Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is one of Japan's top mountain crossings, featuring scenery that is stunning in every season. It is a unique and spectacular route through the Northern Japan Alps compaleted in 1971.
The Northern Alps crossing is just 25 km long, as the crow flies. However, the height difference is 1,975 m. It uses a variety of modes of transport, including cable car, highland bus, trolley bus, and ropeway.
The route connects Toyama City in Toyama Prefecture with Omachi Town in Nagano Prefecture. The section between Tateyama Station and Ogizawa is closed to private vehicles. It is completely inaccessible from December to mid April.
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route opens in April each year. The main attraction of route is the magnificent scenery of the Tateyama Mountain Range, part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park. In spring, visitors can witness a form a majestic snow corridor whose snow walls reach up to 20 meters high. In summer, visitors enjoy watching the discharge of water from the Kurobe Dam, the tallest dam in Japan.
The highest point in the route, Murodo offers a hiking trails that suit both hikers and to those looking for a leisurely walk. Other highlights along the route are the single-span Tateyama Ropeway that offers a great panoramic bird's eye view of the mountain scenery.
Via Toyama - take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (high-speed train) from Tokyo to Toyama.
Via Nagano, take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano. From there, take the bus in Ogizawa along the Alpine Route.
From mid June through September temperatures along the Alpine Route are mild. From April to early May and from mid October through November, temperatures are cool. Good walking shoes are advised if you plan on hiking beyond the easy walking trails along the route.
Accommodation in hotels, mountain huts and camp grounds is available along the route, especially around Murodo.
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