Toyama Prefecture – Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Yuki no Otani Walk

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A Spectacular View Only in the Spring! A Huge Wall of Snow Reaching 20 Meters High!

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a 40-kilometer sightseeing route on the border between Toyama Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture. The course passes through six mountains up to 3000 meters tall.
The highest point of the Alpine Route is “Murodo,” at 2450 meters, and it is an area that receives some of the heaviest snowfall in the entire world. The snow drifts accumulate particularly heavily in the area “Otani,” located a five-minute walk from Murodo Terminal.
An enormous wall of snow, called “Yuki no Otani,” covers this part of the Alpine Route, and it takes a month to clear the path from the snow that closes it down in the winter. From mid-April through mid-June, just after the Alpine Route has reopened after the winter, an approximately 500-meter section is opened, and visitors can walk “Yuki no Otani.”
Large numbers of tourists from around the world every year come to see this unique, one-of-a-kind enormous wall of snow.

An incredible amount of snow! People have even said it looks like a course in Mario Kart!
As this is a mountainous area, be sure to dress warmly. Be sure to bring sunglasses and UV protection as well.Additionally, be sure to wear waterproof shoes.
In the case of dangerous weather conditions, cancellations and shortening of courses may occur.
Using GPS to find the road beneath the snow, special bulldozers clear a 500-meter path in the 10- to 20-meter high snow. It’s certainly impressive that the available technology is able to clear the road with barely even a few centimeters’ worth of error!

Bulldozers for Clearing “Yuki no Otani”
[Bulldozers for Clearing “Yuki no Otani”]

There are two entrances to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route: the “Tateyama” entry from Toyama Prefecture, and the “Ogisawa” entry from Nagano Prefecture.
There are restrictions on personal vehicles in this area to protect the environment, so be sure to take advantage of the available public transportation.
When crossing the Alpine Route, you will need to take six different transports: the Tateyama Cable Car, Tateyama Highland Bus, Tateyama Tunnel Trolley Bus, Tateyama Ropeway, Kurobe Cable Car, and Kanden Tunnel Trolley Bus. The entire trip takes about 4 hours to complete, so if you add in walking time, so expect to spend a full day in the mountains.

Rough Map of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Rough Map of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Video of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Yuki no Otani Walk

Basic information on Toyama Prefecture – Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Yuki no Otani Walk

Toyama Prefecture – Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Yuki no Otani Walk

Murodo Ashikuraji, Tateyama Town, Nakaniikawa-gun, Toyama Prefecture
076-431-3331 (Tateyama Kurobe Kanko Ltd.)
Open Dates
April 15th-June 22nd, 2019
9:30 am - 3:15 pm (admission until 3:00 pm)
Free (access to Murodo requires a charge)