[Encounter an overwhelmingly beautiful natural landscape] Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route Tourist Guide

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On the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, which runs through the 3,000-meter-high mountains of the Northern Alps, you can easily enjoy the dynamic scenery of the four seasons.
This section provides all the information you need to enjoy the scenery of the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, as well as highlights and recommended accommodations.

Table of Contents

Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, a place where you can encounter dynamic and beautiful natural scenery

The Kurobe-Tateyama Alpine Route is a 37.2 km long, 2,450 m high mountain tourism route through the Northern Alps.
Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the four seasons and powerful natural scenery, including snow-capped peaks even in summer, flower fields full of alpine flora, and a large panoramic view from observatories at elevations of 2,000 meters or higher.

The Kurobe-Tateyama Alpine Route has a well-developed transportation network, and if you start from either Ogizawa Station in Nagano or Tateyama Station in Toyama, which are both ends of the route, and take six different vehicles, you can enjoy the route in about eight hours, including sightseeing time.

It is also called the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, but the only difference is the starting point.
If the route starts from Tateyama Station in Toyama, it is called the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. If the route starts from Ogizawa Station in Nagano, it is called the "Kurobe-Tateyama Alpine Route. There is no difference in the sightseeing spots that can be visited regardless of which station you start from, so let's start the route from the station that is most easily accessible.

These are the only places you need to see! 9 Highlights of the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route

The Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route has many highlights, such as the panoramic view of nature at an elevation of 2,316 meters, the snow-covered valley at a height of nearly 20 meters, and the Kurobe Dam, the highest dam in Japan.
Among them, we will introduce some of the most spectacular spots that you should not miss.

1. Kurobe Dam

It is the largest dam in Japan and one of the top classes in the world. in the world, boasting a height of 186 meters. From the new observation plaza, visitors can see up close the powerful discharge of more than 10 tons of water per second. (Water is released from late June to mid-October.) In addition, from the dam observatory at an altitude of 1508m, you can see the scenery of the Northern Alps including the Tateyama mountain range, and there are shops and spring water fountains, so it is perfect for taking a break and taking commemorative photos.

2. Murodo

Murodo is the highest point on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, located at an altitude of approximately 2,450 meters. This is an area where popular sights on the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route gather, such as Mikurigaike, the most beautiful volcanic lake in the Northern Alps, and Yuki-no-Otani (Snow Valley), which rises nearly 20 meters above sea level.
If you are lucky, you can even meet the thunderbirds and ocellated titmice, which are both special natural treasures and endangered species.

3. Midagahara

Midagahara, which is also registered under the Ramsar Convention, is a wetland with a unique landscape. The sight of approximately 3,000 small ponds and puddles scattered throughout the area can only be seen here. Visitors can also enjoy the seasonal changes in scenery, with rare alpine plants in full bloom in summer and the autumn colors of the leaves in fall.

4. Daikanbo

From Daikanbo, which rises from a precipitous cliff, you can see a magnificent view of the Tateyama Mountain Range. Take a rest on the "Cloud Terrace," where tables and chairs are provided, and enjoy the spectacular view of the mountains surrounding the emerald green Kurobe Lake. Don't forget to take pictures as it is the best photo spot along the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route.

5. Murododaira

Tateyama Murododaira is located in the center of the Alpine Route and serves as a base for sightseeing. The dynamic view of the 3,000-meter mountains spread out before you is a must-see. Many of the paths are flat, and some are well-maintained, allowing visitors to enjoy walking while viewing a variety of alpine flora.

6. Kurobedaira

Kurobedaira offers beautiful views of the majestic Tateyama mountain range.
The panoramic terrace on the roof of Kurobedaira Station offers a dynamic view of Tateyama and the lake.
At Kurobedaira Garden, visitors can stroll through an area with about 100 varieties of alpine plants. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular view while waiting for the next ropeway, or simply take a leisurely stroll. It is a spot where you can fully enjoy the waiting time.

7. Yuki-no-Otani (Snow Valley)

The most unmissable event in Kurobe Tateyama in spring is the Yuki-no-Otani (Snow Valley).
The huge wall of snow, nearly 20 meters high, created by plowing the road near the "Murodo Terminal" in Murododaira, one of the world's heaviest snowfall areas, is a spectacular sight.
If you participate in the "Yuki-no-Otani Walk," in which you can walk along the road between the giant snow walls, you will be able to see the giant snow walls up close.

8. Bijodaira

At Bijodaira, 1,000 meters above sea level, there is a rich virgin forest of Tateyama cedar and beech trees. A stroll through this mysterious forest lined with giant trees will make you feel as if you have wandered into another world. There are also walking trails where you can observe more than 60 species of wild birds, making it a popular spot for bird watching.

9. Mikurigaike Pond

Mikurigaike pond is said to be the most beautiful volcanic lake in the Northern Alps.
The azure blue surface of the lake, reflecting the mountains in each of the four seasons, is worth seeing. The reflection of snow-capped mountains on the lake is a nice sight, but the reflection of the mountains in autumn leaves on the lake is also hard to ignore.
Adjust your visit according to the scenery you want to see.

3 transportation options to enjoy the spectacular view of the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route

On the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, you can travel from the starting point, Ogizawa Station in Nagano, to the finish point, Tateyama Station in Toyama, using the following six means of transportation.

  1. Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus
  2. Kurobe Cable Car
  3. Tateyama Ropeway
  4. Tateyama Tunnel Trolleybus
  5. Plateau bus
  6. Tateyama Cable Car

The trekking course only allows you to see a part of the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, so if you want to see the main highlights, use public transport to complete the route. Some scenery can only be seen by using transportation. From here, we will introduce three modes of transportation where you can enjoy the magnificent natural scenery while traveling.

1. Tateyama Ropeway

The Tateyama Ropeway, which connects Kurobedaira and Daikanbo, is also called a "moving observatory". The ropeway is the only way to experience the 360-degree panoramic view of the Tateyama Mountain Range, with the Daikanbo peak to the west and the Tateyama peak to the east, as you move slowly through the air.
The one-span system, in which the carriages can be suspended without a support pole by attaching weights to the rope, allows passengers to enjoy the natural scenery without being disturbed by the pole.

2.Tateyama Cable Car

The Tateyama Cable Car climbs a 1.3-km distance between Tateyama Station and Bijodaira Station, with an elevation difference of approximately 500 m and a steep gradient of up to 29 degrees, all at once.
Two cars are connected by a single cable, and the power of one car going down is used to power the other car up, making it an environmentally friendly ride that requires no power.
One of the highlights of the ride is the open and dynamic view of the mountains that unfolds the moment you exit the tunnel after riding the Tateyama Cable Car.

3. Tateyama Kogen Bus

The Tateyama Kogen Bus, which connects Bijodaira and Murodo at 2,450 meters above sea level, is the most relaxing ride on the Kurobe-Tateyama Alpine Route, with the longest ride lasting 50 minutes. One of the features of this bus is the magnificent mountain scenery as it runs through the great nature and crosses an altitude of 2,000 meters.
From the windows of the train, you can enjoy a wide variety of scenery, including the giant Tateyama cedars, Shomyo Falls, and "Yuki-no-Otani," where you can see snow walls over 10 meters high.

3 recommended accommodations for a sightseeing base along the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route

The time required for sightseeing the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route is at least 8 hours, including lunch and walking. Therefore, if you want to fully enjoy the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, we recommend that you stay at either Ogizawa Station, the starting point, Tateyama Station, the terminal point, or Murododaira, the base of Kurobe Tateyama.
In the above area, we will introduce hotels where you can enjoy natural hot springs and beautiful scenery.

1. Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Senjuso

Senjuso is the closest inn to the departure station for the Kurobe-Tateyama Alpine Route.
The natural hot spring water melts into your skin and soothes your fatigue accumulated from sightseeing.
The inn also offers three services that will make your stay more enjoyable: breakfast according to your departure time, luggage storage service, and boxed lunches prepared for you to eat on the Tateyama mountain.

2. Tateyama Kokusai Hotel

Tateyama Kokusai Hotel is located in the great nature at the foot of Tateyama.
It is only 6 minutes by taxi from Tateyama Station, the gateway to the Alpine Route.
The natural hot spring is said to beautify the skin without the need for lotion, and is known as the "beautiful hot spring", which is said to leave you with egg skin after bathing.
The greenery of the Tateyama foothills, the star-filled sky, and the clear air seen from the windows are the charm of this hotel.

3. Hotel Tateyama

Hotel Tateyama is located in Murododaira, the sightseeing base of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Because it is located at an altitude of 2,450 meters above sea level, guests can view the four seasons and beautiful majestic mountains from the windows of their rooms.
At night, the hotel offers an inspiring experience with a view of the star-filled sky that is almost within reach.

Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route sightseeing season

The Kurobe Tateyama route is open from mid-April to November 30th.
The mountain is closed from January to March. The Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route offers natural scenery that changes from season to season, so please plan your visit accordingly.
We will introduce the highlights of each season, so please use it as a reference when deciding when to visit.

The powerful snow wall is a must-see! Highlights of spring (April to June)

The Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route in spring is known as "Yuki-no-Otani" (Snow Valley).
In mid-April, visitors can enjoy the rare experience of walking through a 20-meter-high wall of snow.
This is also the time when you have the highest chance of seeing the "Thunderbird," which is said to have survived from the Ice Age. Let's look for "thunderbirds" while enjoying trekking.

Glad the weather's so pleasant to stroll around in! Summer (July-August) Highlights

Summer is the best time for mountain climbing, trekking, and nature walks.
You can feel the energy of nature strongly in the valleys where fresh winds blow, alpine plants that celebrate the short summer, and budding broad-leafed trees that give you a sense of nature's life force. At the Kurobe Dam, the tallest dam in Japan, you can also enjoy a powerful sightseeing water discharge.

Spectacular view of the tri-colored foliage lining the streets! Autumn (September-October) Highlights

If the timing is right, visitors can see the "three-tiered colored leaves": "snowy landscape on the top of the mountain," "autumn and yellow leaves in the middle of the mountain," and "green trees changing color now at the foot of the mountain".
The "three-tiered colored leaves" are usually at their best from early to mid-October, so those who love autumn leaves should adjust their sightseeing time to see the unique autumn colors of the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route.

Enjoy a fantastic world covered in snow! Early Winter (November) Highlights

Tateyama in winter can only be enjoyed for a very short period of time, right after the beginning of November. Tateyama and Murodo covered in snow are breathtakingly beautiful.
Enjoy a fantastic space while feeling the clear air with your whole body.

Don't forget to prepare for the season! Clothing guidelines for each season

The Kurobe-Tateyama Alpine Route has a well-developed transportation network, so you can easily go sightseeing, but trekking requires some preparation.
It's a 3,000m class plateau, so pay attention to the weather and enjoy hiking in seasonal clothes. The UV rays are strong, so a hat and sunscreen are essential in any season.

Spring Long sleeve shirts, sweaters, fleeces, winter jackets, windbreakers
Summer Short-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved shirts, windbreakers
Autumn Long-sleeved shirts, light sweaters, fleeces, windbreakers
Early Winter Long-sleeved shirt, light sweater, fleece, windbreaker

Spring (April-June) Clothing

Waterproof trekking shoes or boots are recommended for walking on snow from April to June.
Sunglasses are also a necessity due to the strong glare of the snow. The temperature is low but it gets hot when walking, so prepare a jacket with front buttons or zippers that are easy to put on and take off.

Summer (July-August) Clothing

July and August are pleasant, but the mountain sun is more intense than one might expect.
We recommend that you wear clothing that does not expose too much skin and is well ventilated.

Autumn (September-October) Clothing

In September and October, many days feel chilly.
In October, snow may even flicker at an altitude of around 2,500 meters. Prepare thick, long-sleeved shirts made of wool or fleece.

Early winter (November) Clothing

Temperatures in November often drop below freezing, so warm clothing is essential.
Waterproof, non-slip shoes are recommended, as there is a possibility of walking on snow even if you do not plan to go for a walk.

Frequently asked questions about Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route sightseeing


How long does it take for sightseeing?


It will take at least 8 hours including lunch and walking.
On the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, you will need to change public transportation, so make sure to check the wait times and final service times when planning your trip.


Are there restaurants on the Kurobe-Tateyama Alpine Route?


There are five restaurants between Tateyama Station and Ogizawa Station (Murodo Station, Midagahara Hotel, Kurobedaira Station, Kurobe Dam Station, and Ogizawa Station).


How much does it cost to visit Kurobe Tateyama?


The round-trip fare from Ogizawa Station to Tateyama Station is 15,790 yen for adults and 7,900 yen for children.
For details, please see the official website.


How can I get to the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route?


From Tokyo, "Ogizawa Station" is closer and takes about 3 to 4 hours by connecting Shinkansen and bus. From Osaka/Nagoya, "Tateyama Station" is closer and takes about 4.5 to 5 hours by connecting trains such as limited express and Shinkansen.


Are there sightseeing tours available?


There are a variety of tours that include popular tourist spots such as thunderbird watching, Yuki-no-Otani(Snow Valley) and observation of alpine plants, and even tours that include overnight stays.


When will the mountain open in 2023?


It is scheduled from Saturday, April 15 to Thursday, November 30.


We have introduced the information necessary to fully enjoy the "Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route," which offers beautiful and dynamic natural scenery from season to season, as well as highlights and recommended accommodations.
Since the scenery looks completely different depending on the season, please refer to this article to adjust the time of year for sightseeing.
Since there are so many attractions, we recommend that you make a sightseeing plan with plenty of time to spare.