From mesmerizing landscapes to panoramic hiking trails to tranquil lakes, Japan’s Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route offers fun for all. This naturally spectacular journey through Japan’s Northern Alps is 3000 meters above sea level, hence is called the ‘Roof of Japan’. One has to travel through varied means of transportation including cable cars, trolley buses, and a ropeway to witnessing its beauty in totality.
While the route can be completed as a long day trip from either Toyama or Nagano, it is advised to relax and complete this 23 miles long journey in two days. The best recommended time to travel Alpine route is from April till November. The highlight of this snow route which makes it all the more popular is the majestic snow corridors of Midagahara and Murodo. Straight out of ‘Game of Thrones’ fairy-tale, the wondrous wall reaching 66ft high entails a section for pedestrians which can be accessed from April 15 to June 22.
First on this nature trail comes Midagahara, a stunning snowy landscape on an altitude between 1600 and 2000m which is a haven for snow trekking aficionados. Next, on the route tourists can’t miss the panoramic snowy landscape of Tengudaira, which after spring transforms into a flower garden.
The last tourist spot of day one of Alpine tour is Murodo, which is also the midpoint of this tour. Murodo, which is known for being the highest altitude railway station/bus terminal, is also famous for its mind-boggling sunset point. From there, one can’t miss the sight of the sun slowly setting in a sea of clouds amid the hues of orange, pink, red, and purple.
The second day begins with an exciting walk along the snow corridor of Murodo which leaves the traveler awestruck by its beauty. After a 10-minute bus ride from Murodo Terminal comes Daikanbo. This tourist spot has an observatory which allows visitors to captivate the enthralling picturesque beauty of the Tateyama Mountain Range and Kurobe Lake’s emerald green sheen.
The exciting voyage then proceeds to Kurobe dam, which can be reached by using a 7 minutes ropeway to Kurobedaira and from there 5 minutes cable car to the tallest dam in Japan. Towering at an altitude of 1470m and 186 meters high, the dam supports a hydropower plant which helps supply electricity to the entire Kansai Region. Tourist can also enjoy cruising around the lake if they are lucky enough to be visiting during a time when the floodgates are open to let pass the water. The tour then ends on a healing note at the hot spring sightseeing spot Omachi Onsenkyo, where tourists can wash away their fatigue in a natural hot spring surrounded by the majestic view of the Northern Alps.
Japan has been a loved destination amidst the Indian travelers and this year 18,400 Indian travelers visited the destination in the month of April, which saw 3.9% growth over last year. When compared with January to April, Japan welcomed 57,700 Indian visitors, which is 13.7% year-on-year hike. While the Cherry Blossom season in Japan has faded away, one cannot miss to be on an Alpine route tour which will leave one surprised by the astounding elements that this tour entails!