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Japanese Alps!

Hey, it has been two months since my last post.

I’m so sorry for leaving my blog for past few months. I’ve been busy with life. I also managed to travel to several places (stay tuned for the post!).

So while I’m at the mood to write, let me continue my past post. If you haven’t read my last post, I wrote about Shirakawa go in summer. You can catch up with the post here.

From Shirakawa-go, I head to Toyama to visit the Japanese Alps!


What I mean by Japanese Alps is the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. It’s the route where you can experience 10-metre-high of snow wall (around May). The route itself passes through Mt. Tateyama in the Japanese alps. You enjoy the scenery using a variety of vehicles or you can hike in certain months.

For more info, check their tourism website here. It’s available in English.

This is the overview of the route and mode of transportation

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 23.16.15
Route Overview – Taken from

Based on the picture, you can either go from Toyama to Nagano, or from Nagano to Toyama. Since I came all they way from Takayama, it was easier for me to go from Toyama. So I got into the express train from Takayama to Toyama (around 8000¥ish one way). It was worth it because it was so fast (only 2,5 hours) and the scenery was stunning!



We stayed one night at Toyama. Our hotel is alpha-1 and I recommend it! It was not that expensive, and the room is so big, clean, and it’s right in front of JR Toyama Station.

The next day we start our adventure. My mistake was.. I went there during the silver week holiday! I’ll tell you more about it later.

From Toyama we have to get into the electric train that will take us to the start point of Tateyama. It took around 1-hour ride. The Toyama Dentestu Station will provide you a timetable for all transportation, so don’t forget to take it. It’s very useful.

When we arrived at Tateyama Entrance, there’re already a lot of people lining for the cable car. This was when the problem start. We were supposed to board the 9:02 cable car, but the person in Haneda (where I bought the 2 tickets for my parents) mistakenly gave me the route from Nagano to Toyama, not the other way around. I bought my ticket in Toyama so there was no problem. But  I need to change my parent ticket. Actually the changing process was not that long. However, since it was holiday, there was a lot of people and the next Cable Car we could get in is 11:00 ish. What a waste of time.


Oh! If you bring your travel bag with you, at this checkpoint, you can sent it to Nagano. You can enjoy your trip without too much hassle. And you receive your baggage at the end of your route.


After finally managed to get on the cable car, you will reach Bijoudaira 美女平. Here you need to transfer to a bus. Here you can choose to walk around Bijoudaira, Tengudaira 天狗平, Midagahara 弥陀ヶ原, or you can go straight away to the top of the mountain by the bus.

I went there at the end of September. It was quite cold that day and actually the mist came down and it was hard to see. We decided to go with the bus.

See how misty is was?

It was a short ride (probably around 50 mins ish). You’ll pass several hotel and the bus will take you to Murodo!

At Murodo you can also take a walk. It was so pretty and there’s a small lake at the top of the mountain.

No snow left. The snow wall exist from May – June. From July the snow wall is getting shorter, but you can still enjoy the snow until August


Japanese Alps!

I took those photos from the bus. It was so hard because the weather is not so good and I need to maintain the stability so the pictures won’t come out blurry.

Arrive at Murodo!
Lake Mikurigaike みくりが池 at Murodo

I did not manage to walk that far because I need to catch the bus to Nagano. I want to go here again next time to enjoy the scenery without being chased by the schedule.

From Murodo, you’ll need to get into the bus that will lead you to Daikanbo. And from Daikanbo, you can take the ropeway down. This bus is so special because it passes through the mountain.

Daikanbo 大観峰
The ropeway

I did mention that I came during the silver week right? It was so crowded, when we changed transportation, we had to wait at least 2 hours! 2 hours!!! 2 hours, my beloved reader. It was the main reason I could not enjoy the scenery and take a lot of photos. And it was on end of September, so the snow wall was melted already.

If you want to see the snow wall, my suggestion is to come there on April to early May.


The ropeway from Daikanbo will bring you to Kurobedaira. Here, you need to transfer to cable car to go to Kurobe Dam. Kurobe Dam is an arch-like dam and it is the biggest hydro-power site in Japan. You can reach the dam from Kurobeko station on foot (1o mins walk).

Kurobe Dam 黒部ダム。
picture taken from the road

The best way to take the picture of Kurobe dan is from up of from the same level of the opening. There were stairs that lead you to the top or to the bottom. Unfortunately, because I don’t have enough time, I just took a few pictures and go straight away to the last transportation.


The last transportation is the bus that will take you down to Ogizawa. From Ogizawa you can take a bus to Shinano-Oimachi or to Nagano. The one to Shinano Oimachi is more frequent and it runs longer than the one to Nagano. The latest one to Nagano is around 5ish and we arrived just in time to catch that bus.


So that’s my experience with the Japanese Alps. Might not the best experience for me since it was too crowded and my schedule was a bit tight.

Here’s my advice for people who want to go to visit Tateyama:

  • Yes, it’s possible to go trough the route in one day, but if you want more time to walk or to enjoy the scenery, do not hesitate to book a hotel in Murodo. The price might not be that cheap but it worth the scenery.
  • Do not go there on holiday season, you hear me? DON’T YOU EVER TRY
  • The route is close from December to April. Opened partially from beginning of April to mid April and opened fully from April to November.
  • If you bring a lot of baggage, you should consider the baggage delivery service.
  • Wear a warm clothes 🙂

The price for the whole route (Tateyama station to Ogizawa station) is around 8290¥. And there are a lot of activities and places you can go (beside the one I mentioned above) such as:

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Cruising
  • Hot Spring
  • Waterfall
  • Jigokudani.

If you visit Japan, probably I’ll recommend this place.

Thank you for reading and see you in the next post!


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