Ever heard of ‘Roof of Japan’? This is the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in Japan with an elevation of 2,400 meters (7,800 feet). This sightseeing route stretches for 90-kilometer (56-mile) along the Japan Alps. One can drive on this route from Tateyama Station in the west or Ogizawa Station in the east and it takes around six hours of driving on snow. Another wonder of sorts is the Murodo Station, that at 2,450 meters (8,000 feet) is the highest station of the route. From here one can access the Great Valley of Snow.
Attractions along the route
The biggest attraction of this route is the impressive Snow Wall Walk. Here, the snow towers as high as 17 meters (56 feet) over the road. It takes around 50 minutes to complete. The road to it is maintained by the back-breaking work of snowplow truck drivers. The Walk opens from April to November and witnesses over 5,000 daily visits of tourists during the months of April and May. The Walk stays open till June 22.
This is not the only thing to see here, there is also Panorama Road that provides an incredible view of the Tateyama peaks. Also, must-sees are the snow maze and the snow slide. Besides these, one can enjoy some of the most scenic trekking routes. Visitors can trek through Bijodaira, a primeval forest that is home to thousand-year-old cedars and beech trees. They can also soak in the incredible view of the photogenic volcanic crater lakes of Mikurigaike and the oldest mountain hut in Japan.
Those keen on climbing mountains get a chance to summit Mt. Tateyama from where Mt. Fuji can be seen on clear days. Those not keen on mountaineering can instead opt for trekking and enjoy Mt. Tateyama’s vibrant fall colors during the autumn season. Of course, visitors opting for either mountaineering or trekking need winter clothing and suitable climbing and trekking gear.
Transport and lodging
There are regular trains that ply from Tokyo to Tateyama Station with a changeover at Toyama Station. Since private cars are prohibited for accessing the area, visitors have to use local public transportation that includes a tunnel trolley bus and the longest supported ropeway cable car of Japan.
Visitors have the option to stay a couple of nights in one of the several mountain accommodations. So, if you are interested in visiting the place in 2019, the corridor is open between April 15 and June 22.