Mar 7, 2024
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Tateyama Kurobe, Japan’s Alpine Route with Snow Walls on the Road

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Tateyama Kurobe is a popular tourist attraction in Japan. It is a scenic mountain route that traverses the Northern Japanese Alps, connecting Tateyama in Toyama Prefecture with Omachi in Nagano Prefecture. The route is known for its stunning alpine landscapes, which include snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, and picturesque lakes. One of the highlights of the Tateyama Kurobe route is the Snow Wall, where impressive walls of snow are formed on the road during the winter months. Visitors can walk between these towering walls of snow, enjoying a unique and impressive winter landscape.

To travel the Tateyama Kurobe route, visitors can use various means of transportation, such as buses, cable cars, and ropeways, which allow them to enjoy the panoramic views along the way. This route is especially popular during the spring and winter, when the alpine landscapes are at their best.

The Tateyama Kurobe route was completed in 1971 and connects the city of Toyama in Toyama Prefecture with the city of Omachi in Nagano. The section between Tateyama Station and Ogizawa is closed to private vehicles, so driving through this natural wonder is not possible.

When is the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route open?

The opening and closing of the Tateyama Kurobe route vary each year due to weather conditions and snow accumulation. In general, the route is open to traffic during the spring and summer seasons, from mid-April to late November.

However, keep in mind that the exact opening and duration of the season may change annually. Before planning your visit, it is recommended to check the updated opening and closing dates on the official website of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route or consult with local tourism authorities.

The route is closed during the winter due to extreme weather conditions and snow accumulation. During this period, the area experiences a large amount of snowfall and maintenance and preparation for the next spring season are carried out.

The best time to go is from June to September, when the temperatures are mild and not too hot. From April to early May and from mid-October to November, the temperatures are cool and it can be cold on windy days.

The main attraction of this route is the impressive scenery of the Tateyama mountain range, which is part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park. In spring, the accumulated snow, especially around the upper sections of Midagahara and Murodo, forms walls up to 20 meters high. A section of the snow corridor around Murodo is open to pedestrians from mid-April to late June. Summer and autumn are notable for their beautiful landscapes and spectacular flora. The autumn colors usually reach their peak around Murodo and Daikanbo from late September to early October.

The Tateyama Kurobe Route

Tateyama Kurobe Route graphic chart from www.japan-guide.comToyama Train Train from Dentetsu Toyama Station (next to JR Toyama Station) in central Toyama to Tateyama Station via rural Toyama Prefecture. It operates all year round. It takes about an hour. The one-way fare is 1200 yen.

Tateyama Trolleybus Electric bus that transports passengers through the tunnel between Murodo and Daikanbo. Murodo is the highest point along the route, at 2,450 meters above sea level, and offers a variety of hiking trails for both experienced hikers and those looking for a leisurely stroll. The one-way trip takes 10 minutes and costs 2160 yen.

Daikanbo Transfer station between the Tateyama and Tateyama ropeways. The small station has an observation deck with excellent views of the mountains.

Tateyama Ropeway 1.7 kilometer ropeway, making it the longest ropeway in Japan. The one-way trip takes seven minutes and costs 1300 yen. Due to the relatively small capacity of the ropeway, there may be queues.

Kurobedaira Kurobedaira is the transfer station between the Tateyama Ropeway and the Kurobe Ropeway. The station offers a restaurant, a souvenir shop, and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Kurobe Ropeway This ropeway runs inside a tunnel, which is a rarity among ropeways. The one-way trip between Kurobedaira and Kurobeko Station (next to Kurobe Dam) takes five minutes and costs 860 yen.

Kurobe Dam The Kurobe Dam, with a height of 186 meters, is the highest dam in Japan. From late June to mid-October, up to 15 tons of water per second are spectacularly discharged through the dam. Tourist cruises are offered on the lake from June to early November.

Kanden Tunnel Bus Electric buses transport passengers through the tunnel between Kurobe Dam and Ogizawa. The one-way trip takes 15 minutes and costs 1540 yen. Advance reservations can be made for these buses for tourists traveling in the direction of Murodo.

Ogizawa-Omachi Bus Regular bus service connecting Ogizawa with JR Shinano-Omachi Station via Omachi Onsen. The one-way trip takes 40 minutes and costs 1360 yen.

Tateyama Kurobe in Google Maps

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