Conquering "Summer Snow" Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route - Waku Waku

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Conquering "Summer Snow" Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

People came to Japan for many reasons. Some loved exploring the cuisine, others preferred learning the culture, but perhaps to me, traveling to witness the stunning scenery of nature was the most fascinating thing. That's why I chose the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route of Snow Walls for the trip. Let's discover it together!



Published on 16 Sep 2021, 12:00

Geographic location

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a transportation link between Tateyama Station and Ogizawa Station, connecting a series of mountains ranged in a line with countless magnificent natural landscapes located in the north of the Japanese Alps.

The route also passes through the mountains and attracts the most visitors in Japan.

How to get there?

Let's take a look at this map to better understand the geographic location of the route:

Screenshot from Google Map
Screenshot from Google Map

It can be seen that Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is easily accessible for most major tourist cities in Japan.

To explore this wonderful route, you must reach one of the following 3 stations: Shinano-Omachi, Nagano, or Toyama.

I would recommend a few suitable routes to get there from major cities:

  • From Tokyo -> Nagano by Shinkansen bullet train, about 02 hours.
  • From Osaka -> Kanazawa -> Toyama: about 03 hours in total.
  • From Nagoya -> Matsumoto -> Shinano-Omachi: about 03 hours in total.

You can experience the route in one of these two ways: from starting point at Nagano to Toyama (closer to Osaka) or vice versa from Toyama to Nagano (closer to Tokyo).

If you decide to get to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, you should buy a JR Pass to save money since you have to travel quite far (only applicable to tourists ^^)

Time to visit

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route opens annually from mid-April to mid-November.

The best time to visit is between mid-April and late June when the whole landscape is covered in white or in late September - early October when fall colors spread across the entire mountains.

How to get around the route?

There is only a one-way trip, from Nagano to Toyama or vice versa.

The total journey of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is over 37 km long and it takes about 7-9 hours for both traveling and sightseeing. So, you should choose suitable and comfy clothes and try earnestly to avoid carrying your suitcase along. If that's not possible, use the luggage storage services at the stations ^^

Along the way, visitors will have to walk and switch transport modes up to 8 times: bus, cable car, and tunnel bus.

To save money you should buy a "Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket"

The price was 9,800 yen/adult, saving nearly 2,700 yen/person compared to buying single tickets. Remember to buy tickets at least 1 day before departure. Tickets are available at major JR stations (you can google to find the exact locations).

The route map
The route map

The most unique attractions along the route

Traveling around the route is like leafing through a selection of diverse paintings. You will have to switch modes of transportation several times to reach a certain point so even if you’ll be tired, try not to fall asleep ^^

At each stop, there’ll be something unique for us to explore

  • Kurobe Dam: At a height of 186 m, Kurobe Dam is the tallest dam in Japan. The dam was constructed within 7 years and completed in 1963. Especially, if you come here between late June and mid-October, you can witness a spectacular view of the falling water from this lofty dam.
The majestic Kurobe Dam
The majestic Kurobe Dam
  • Daikanbo is the place you should take your time to enjoy as the scenic views are exceptional, just like being in Switzerland ^^
Aerial excursion on the cable car
Aerial excursion on the cable car
Mountain weaved from snow ^^
Mountain weaved from snow ^^
  • Murodo: At about 2,450 meters above sea level, Murodo is the highest peak of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. This is where the famous 20m high snow wall of "Yuki-no-Otani" located.
Towering snow walls on both sides
Towering snow walls on both sides

The most exceptional snow wall in Japan right here ^^
The most exceptional snow wall in Japan right here ^^

From mid-April to late June, the snow starts to fall heavy. Really admire those who ploughed the snow, clearing the mountain roads. Perhaps it is only Japan that can come up with and carried out such a unique thing like that ^^

Lake Mikurigaike (starting from July, the snow will gradually melt, displaying the beautiful reflection of Mount Tateyama in the lake)
Lake Mikurigaike (starting from July, the snow will gradually melt, displaying the beautiful reflection of Mount Tateyama in the lake)

Also, if you visit between the end of April and the end of June, you can spend your time to try snowboarding. Super interesting ^^


Not only super impressed by the grandeur of nature, but I also took my hat off to admire the people there for their effort, strength, and creativity.

Japan never ceases to create and bring everyone the most special and exceptional experience, then when leaving, we still keep telling ourselves to come back and continue the journey of discovery!



“Du lịch – ban đầu nó khiến bạn không thốt nên lời, và sau đó biến bạn trở thành một người kể chuyện.” – Ibn Battuta

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