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Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Channel the Amazing Race on this unique mountain route.

If you’re a lover of dramatic alpine scenery, you really need to make the trip out to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a path traversing the Northern Japan Alps in central Japan. The whole route is an impressive 90 kilometers, stretching from Tateyama Station in Toyama Prefecture to Shinano-Omachi station in neighboring Nagano Prefecture, climbing to an elevation of 3,015 meters as it crosses the peak of Mount Tateyama.

This spectacular route can be traversed via ropeways and cable cars, so children and those who are not avid hikers can also enjoy its incredible scenery. Each point where you change transportation has something to see and do, though the biggest stops along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route are Murodo, Daikanbo and Kurobe Dam.


Walled in by snow.

The famed Snow Corridor starts in Murodo, the highest point of the route 2400m up on Mt Tateyama, accessible by the “Highland Bus” from Bijodaira Station. It’s a mere width of two vehicles carefully cut out from the meters-high snow deposited in a place that gets one of the heaviest snow-falls in the world. This part of the route is probably the most well-known and widely photographed, drawing in many foreign tourists and domestic travelers alike during peak season. In mid-April, the road is opened for visitors to walk between the sheer snow walls often towering up to 20 meters high.

Autumn Colors in Chubu

KamiKochi Autumn Leaves in Nagano Japan
In the summer months, serious hikers and mountaineers are drawn to the plethora of hiking trails around Murodo. Its popularity with families and more leisurely hikers can be attributed to the amazing alpine and volcanic landscapes. Thermal pools, hot springs, and glacial water-filled craters are all just a short stroll from the bus stop.

The only hotel on the whole route lies here, with the restaurant serving day-trippers affordable and well-portioned hot meals. From Murodo, you need to take the Tunnel Trolley Bus, powered by electricity generated from the Kurobe Dam to Daikanbo where the Tateyama Ropeway starts.


Tateyama Ropeway

Take the Tateyama Ropeway for some epic vistas.

At Daikanbo there are a few stalls selling souvenirs and snacks like onigiri (rice balls) and soft-serve ice cream to enjoy whilst taking in the view of the surrounding mountain peaks from the observation deck. From here, visitors need to hop on the Tateyama Ropeway to continue on the route to Kurobedaira. The 1.7 kilometer-long ropeway connects Daikanbo on Mount Tateyama to Kurobedaira on the neighboring mountain. With no supporting towers in between, this is Japan’s longest one-span ropeway.

The Tateyama Ropeway has panoramic views of the surrounding alpine scenery—tundra and snow-covered peaks in the spring, alpine flowers and teeming foliage in late summer, and colorful leaves in the fall. The trip is worth it just for this portion of the route.

Kurobe Dam

Kurobe Dam, Japan

Dam! That’s big.

A five-minute cable car’s ride away from Kurobedaira soars the 186m high Kurobe Dam, the tallest in Japan to which visitors can come in extremely close proximity to. Explore the spectacular structure from viewing platforms carved out on the top and sides of this monster which discharges up to 15 tons of water per second from the Kurobe lake!

Apart from observing the dam from above, sightseeing cruises are offered on the lake in front from June to November, making it the highest altitude boat ride in the country. The dam is walkable and has a few shops selling hot food and souvenirs.

From the dam, you will need to cross to Akasawadake, the final mountain on this route, just a short walk away. The second Tunnel Trolley Bus runs from here to Ogizawa on the other side of the mountain, also the final stop on the route from which taxis and local buses that service the wider Nagano area pass through. A popular choice is to take a bus from Ogizawa to Shinano-Omachi Station, which has many convenient train lines and buses ready to bring you to your next destination.


KamiKochi Autumn Leaves in Nagano Japan

Autumn Colors in Chubu

Changing autumn leaves paint Japan in a sea of gold and red. Learn the best spots for autumn leaves around Nagano, Gifu and Toyama.


Things To Know


The route is closed off to private vehicles. The only way to access it is via the dedicated public transport.

When to go

April and May is prime time to catch the best of the precipitous snow walls. For the best autumn views, mid-September to early November is ideal.

Official Website


How To Get There


Japan, 〒930-0221 Toyama-ken, Nakaniikawa-gun, Tateyama-machi, Maezawa, 県道3号線

By train

There are two gateways to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. You can start from Tateyama Station in Toyama Prefecture, or Shinano-Omachi Station in Nagano Prefecture. Make your way to Tateyama Station on the Tateyama Line from Toyama Station. To get to Toyama Station, you can take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo. It takes about 150 minutes and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

To start from Shinano-Omachi Station, take the JR Oito Line from Matsumoto in Nagano. This is also covered by the Japan Rail Pass. It takes about 150 minutes from Tokyo to Matsumoto on the JR Azusa train.

Where To Stay

  • 25 Yunomiko, Nakaniikawa-gun Kamiichi-machi, Toyama, 930-0454 Japan
  • ¥9,850 - ¥25,200
  • 3.75/5 (41 reviews)
  • 5.5 km
APA Hotel Stay Toyama
  • 6-1 Kuboshimmachi, Toyama-shi, Toyama, 930-0842 Japan
  • ¥9,000 - ¥40,800
  • 8.9 km
Toyama Manten Hotel (Manten Hotel Chain)
  • 2-17 Hommachi, Toyama-shi, Toyama, 930-0029 Japan
  • ¥7,200 - ¥30,600
  • 4.14/5 (3,149 reviews)
  • 9.4 km
APA Hotel Toyama-Ekimae
  • 88-2 Meirincho, Toyama-shi, Toyama, 930-0001 Japan
  • ¥7,100 - ¥29,400
  • 3.81/5 (5,009 reviews)
  • 9.6 km
Onyado Nono Toyama
  • 3-9-2 Sogawa, Toyama-shi, Toyama, 930-0083 Japan
  • ¥13,200 - ¥91,520
  • 4.53/5 (1,716 reviews)
  • 9.6 km

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