Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a world-class mountain sightseeing route where one will ride on cable cars and ropeways to journey through the Northern Alps at 3,000 meters or so above sea level. With highlights such as Kurobe Dam, the biggest and most impressive dam in Japan, Midagahara and Dainichidaira, designated by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and the first 3 glaciers to be recognized in Japan – you are sure to be impressed on a grand scale by the precious natural treasures which await you. Nature offers something dynamic for visitors to enjoy every season – a 20-meter high snow wall and fresh green in the spring, high-altitude plants and cool respite in the summer, and the beautiful blanket of leaves in autumn. Moreover, along with Mt. Fuji and Mount Haku, Tateyama is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains”, and has been known as a mountain of worship since ancient times. The sun rising up from the horizon, a star-filled sky, these are special awe-inspiring scenes of the morning and night which can only be savored by people who stay overnight in the mountains. Take in a big deep breath while gazing upon this unforgettable scene! Toyama is known for its many delicious foods, but perhaps it is safe to say that the air of Tateyama is a feast for the eyes to indulge in.
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Here we will introduce trekking courses ideal for beginners. Our recommendation is the Mikurigaike loop course. This course takes roughly 1 hour to complete, starting from the Murodo Terminal and meandering slowly along a practically flat pathway. Mikurigaike is a mystic, emerald green lake, 600 meters in circumference and 15 meters deep. The area is a famous spot for observing the Rock Ptarmigan, one of Japan’s Special Natural Monuments. For those who wish to walk through plateaus, we recommend the Midagahara course. Midagahara, as one of the few treasure chests of alpine flora registered with the Ramsar Convention, bursts into life with charming flowers of multiple varieties, such as Hare’s Tail Cottongrass in June-July and Daylily in July – August. The outer course is 1 hour and 20 minutes but offers countless shutter opportunities. This course is definitely recommended for photography enthusiasts to leisurely spend their time.
Board a small trolley car at Unazuki station and travel just over 20 kilometers through Japan’s deepest ravine, Kurobe Gorge, with its untouched nature, until arriving at Keyakidaira station, roughly 80 minutes later. With the sense of an adventurer exploring the vast wilderness, visitors can enjoy the real beauty of this hidden spot. There are plenty of highlights along the route, including the beautiful scenery from the train’s windows, the hidden hot springs of Kurobe Gorge as well as Sarutobikyo Gorge and Okukane Bridge around the final stop of Keyakidaira. The new green of spring, the crisp, coolness of summer, the autumn leaves and more - each of the seasons offers its own unique expression and stunning beauty. The trolley cars were originally used to transport sand and rocks for construction in the area. While the cars have roofs, there are also cars without windows, so passengers can really gain a sense of openness amongst the vast wilderness of Kurobe Gorge.
One of the first sights to catch the eye of visitors to Toyama is without a doubt the majestic figure of the 3,000 meter-class Tateyama mountain range. From the 70-meter high observation tower of Toyama city’s town hall, one can enjoy a full 360-degree panoramic view. We also recommend the night view of Toyama city and the Tateyama mountain range from the Kure Hills, located to the west of Toyama city. The views from the Amaharashi and Himi coasts in the prefecture’s west offer views which attract professional cameramen from far and wide. This is the only point in Japan were 3,000 meter-class mountains rising up from the sea can be seen. This beautiful scene will carve itself in your memory – never to be forgotten. Moreover, Shinminato Bridge Ainokaze Promenade in Imizu city is an elevated walking route floating above the sea. On this promenade, visitors can leisurely enjoy views of Tateyama, Mt. Futagami, Kaiomaru Park and more from 50 meters above ground. Being able to enjoy such luxurious views as these for free is certainly a key attraction of taking a trip to Toyama.