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Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a mountain sightseeing route through Northern Japan Alps, one of Japan’s three major mountain ranges called the Japan Alps. Northern Japan Alps is a series of mountain ranges about 3,000 m in height. It stretches through Toyama, Gifu, Nagano, and Niigata prefecture. Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route has a great panoramic view of these mountains. The entire region around Tateyama is a national park called the Chubu-Sangaku National Park. Over 400 species of alpine plants and wild animals like antelopes in the park are designated as special natural treasures.
- Tateyama, Nakaniikawa, Toyama - Omachi, Nagano
- Contact No.
- From JR Shinano Omachi station, take Alpico Kotsu bus & Kita Alps Kotsu bus bound for Ogisawa. Ride for 40 minutes and get off at Ogisawa. Short walk to Ogisawa station. From Toyama Chitetsu Tateyama Station, take each transportation on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (TK route).
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- Alpine Route opening period: from the beginning of April to the end of November
- Official Website
- Time Required
- One day
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
How to Go Around Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route has a route that connects the Toyama prefecture side and the Nagano prefecture side. From the starting point in Toyama prefecture, a cable car operates from Tateyama station to Bijodaira. Tateyama Highland Bus operates from Bijodaira to Murodo, Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus between Murodo to Daikanbo, Tateyama Ropeway from Daikanbo to Kurobedaira, Kurobe Cable Car from Kurobedaira to Lake Kurobe, on foot from Lake Kurobe to Kurobe Dam, and finally a Tunnel Trolley Bus connects Kurobe Dam and Ogisawa in Nagano prefecture side.
Gateway to the Alpine Route on Toyama Prefecture Side & Tateyama Station
The starting point to the Alpine route on Toyama prefecture side is Toyama Chiho Railway and Tateyama station where cable cars arrive and depart. There are snack counters and a souvenir shop in the station. The cable car ascends the steep mountain up to 500 meters and enters the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
Bijodaira: Deep into the Woods
Bijodaira area is in the depth of the forest with cedar and beech trees. There are some great trees such as a cedar called “Kosodate-sugi (Child-Raising Cedar)” with a huge 9.55 m trunk and “Bijo-sugi (Beautiful Woman Cedar)” that gave the place its name. The forest is a good place for a refreshing walking and also known as a great bird watching spot.
Shomyo Falls: Highest Waterfall in Japan
Shomyo Falls is accessible by bus from Tateyama station. It is a beautiful waterfall known as the highest waterfall in Japan. In spring, the melting snow swells the water and another waterfall called Hannoki Fall appears on the right side. Sometimes, the water rises more and one more waterfall appears called Somen Fall. You will be lucky if you can see these three falls together.
Beautiful Autumn Scenery in Midagahara
Midagahara, a beautiful wetland located at 1,930 meters above sea level, is designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. You can see a great scenery of autumn leaves of bog plants from the end of September to the middle of October. Sometimes, the temperature can drop below ten and get cold even though its autumn. Please make sure to bring warm clothes.
Murodo Terminal: Base of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Murodo Terminal is at 2,450 meters above sea level, the highest point of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. It serves as a base of the Alpine Route tour. The facility has Tateyama Nature Conservation Center where visitors can learn the nature of Tateyama, a restaurant, a tea lounge, and a post office to send memorial postcards.
Murododaira: a Plateau facing 3,000 m High Mountains
An extensive area called Murododaira stretches around Murodo bus terminal. It is facing 3,000 m high mountains including Tsurugi-dake and the Three Tateyama Mountains. The magnificent view of these mountains always attract many hikers.
Mikurigaike: Crystal Clear, Beautiful Lake
Mikurigaike, the lake near Murodo bus terminal, is believed to be the most beautiful volcanic lake in Northern Alps. The blue, clear surface of Mikurigaike reflects the surrounding great mountains and offers a stunning view like that in a postcard.
Yuki-no-Otani: Impressive Snow Wall
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route receives heavy snowfall, especially around the area called Yuki-no-Otani (snow wall) where over 10 m of accumulated snow remains even after the middle of May. Every year, from the middle of April to the end of May, visitors can enjoy “Yuki-no-Otani walk,” the experience to walk between the impressive thick snow walls that result from the piled up, remaining snow. Yuki-no-Otani starts at Murodo Terminal.
Oyama Jinja: Mountaintop Shrine with a Great View in Summer!
Among the beautiful mountains of Tateyama Mountain Range, Oyama is considered to be the main peak. Oyama Jinja is located on top of it. The shrine has a great panoramic view of the Northern Alps without any obstacles. During the climbing season from the beginning of July to the end of September, many people come to enjoy the view. It takes about two hours to walk the path from Murodo Terminal to the shrine.
Daikanbo overlooks the Tateyama Mountain Range and Lake Kurobe
Daikanbo is the transfer station between the Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus and the Tateyama Ropeway. It has an observation deck called Daikanbo Unjo Terrace, where you can get great views of Tateyama Mountain Range and Lake Kurobe. There is a snack counter and a souvenir shop in the facility. It is a popular spot to take a break during the Kurobe Alpine Route tour.
Enjoy Alpine Plants at Kurobedaira
Kurobedaira is the area around Kurobedaira station located at 1,828 m above sea level. After viewing Lake Kurobe and the Tateyama Mountain Range, visitors can learn about the plants inhabit Kurobe at “the alpine plant observation garden” located at a 2-minute walk from the station. The Kurobedaira Garden with about 100 species of Alpine plants is also a must see.
Kurobe Dam: Tallest Dam in Japan
The Kurobe Dam on the Alpine Route is known as Japan's tallest dam. Every year, during the period from the end of June to the middle of October, you can see over 10 tons of water per second gets discharged spectacularly through its gates. Also, you can enjoy cruising Lake Kurobe on a pleasure boat “Garube” that operates at the highest altitude in Japan. You should definitely try this if you go to Kurobe Dam.
Ogisawa: Gateway to the Alpine Route on the Nagano Side
Ogisawa is the gateway to the Alpine Route on Nagano Prefecture Side. The trolley buses bound for Kurobe Dam arrive and depart from here. In the station, there are panel exhibits to learn the nature of Kurobe, an information center, a restaurant, a souvenir shop and so on.
Kurobe Dam Curry: a Local Specialty
The area in and around Ogisawa, Nagano prefecture, has about 20 restaurants that offers Kurobe Dam curry. It is the local specialty with the rice placed in the shape of a dam along with a topping that seems to be a pleasure boat. Kurobe Dam Rest House located next to Kurobe Dam serves Kurobe Dam green curry that brings to mind the image of the green water of Kurobe Dam.