Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Tateyama-machi: Hours, Address, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Reviews: 4.5/5

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Scenic Drives
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine (pronounced “Alpen”) Route is known as the “Roof of Japan”. The route passes through the dynamic scenery of Mt. Tateyama in the Japan Alps. It is traversed using a variety of vehicles with an elevation change of 2400 meters from Toyama Prefecture to Nagano Prefecture.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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1,030 reviews
Very good

Andy S
Adelaide80 contributions
One of the highlights of our 4 week trip to Japan
Nov 2019
We stayed in Toyama for 5 days and this was one of our many day trips. Its starts with the ride on the train from Toyama (Dentetsu Toyama Station) and note JR Rail Pass does not cover this or any of the transport options in this trip. The train takes you all the way to Tateyama, about 60 minutes. The scenery is stunning from the train windows particularly as you get closer to Tateyama. I loved the stops we made at the local stations some of which appear to be original wooden structures. At Tateyama you purchase a ticket for the next stages of your journey. We choose a return trip to Murodo Station which is one of many stops along the alpine route. Once the ticket is purchased you then jump onto the cable way that drags you up the mountain. At the end of the cable way you hop onto buses that then take you to Murodo. We were here in late November and much of the Autumn leaves had gone although there are splashes of colour. However we had snow in the morning and blue skys for the rest of the day so Murodo was stunningly beautiful. There is a smell of sulpher in the air from the volcanic action in the area and gushes of steam. There are many walks in the are ranging from easy to difficult, particularly
if you want to access the shrine at the top of Mt Tateyama. You could spend the whole day here. Note that we had a sunny day so things will be different if its fogged in or raining. There is a restaurant at Murodo. We left at 9am and got back to Toyama at 4:30pm. This trip is not available during the winter. I think the return trip cost us $80 AU each. To do the whole alpine route one way is about $120 AU. There is also a first class option on the train from Toyama, see photos. Toyama is a great base for a few days.
Written December 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nicholas Y
353 contributions
Snowy but nice visit
Nov 2019 • Family
It was snowing on the day so we got very limited visibility. Some of the scenic pts are closed due to heavy snow and they cut short of the bus back down the the train station due to safety.
Written November 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brisbane, Australia21 contributions
Very beautiful - don't miss this!
Nov 2019
It's a lot of fun switching from one form of transport to another all along the route, and the scenery is beautiful. We had a beautiful cool day with bright blue skies, would recommend this to anyone.
Written November 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia8,695 contributions
Oct 2019 • Couples
We put up a night at Shinano Omachi so that we can catch the first local bus at 6:15 am to Ogizawa. We arranged with our hotel to sent our luggage bags to our hotel at Toyama tomorrow. By starting early, we hope to be able to complete the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine ( TKA) route by 5 pm. To save time, we bought the TKA route pass beforehand. At Ogizawa, we changed to another transportation , the Kanden tunnel electric bus to get us to Kurobe dam. We climbed up 280 steps to get to the observation deck to see Kurobe dam. It was long hard climb. Kurobe dam is situated at an altitude of 1500m , with a height of 186 m is the tallest dam in Japan. Unfortunately, on the day we visited , no water was released into the dam. From the dam,we walked to Kurobeko to take the Kurobe cable car to Kurobedaira. There is a garden as we exit the station, surrounded by the scenic mountain range and Kurobe lake. The botanical garden displays high altitude plants. After this we took the Tateyama ropeway to get to Daikanbo. Outstanding view from the observation deck atop the station. A wide panorama of the Japan Alps and the lake formed by Kurobe dam. Having spent enough time here, we took the Tateyama Tunnel Trolley bus to Murodo. At 2450m, this is the highest point on TKA route. There are many places within walking distance such as Mikurigaike pond, Tateyama Murodo Hut, hot springs and Hell valley. We stopped for lunch at the restaurant of hotel Tateyama . After lunch, we took the Tateyama Highland bus to Midagahara. MIdagahara offers green fields dappled with in descent blue ponds, strolling paths and a short course to hike to get a breathtaking view of Tateyama Caldera. A truly natural wetland. Next we waited for the Tateyama Highland bus to get us to Bijodara forest. We took a hike through the forest, observing nature and bird watching. Walking paths stretch through virgin forests of beech and cedar. Bijodara means Forests of beautiful women. Long ago, it was believed that women who trespassed into the forests of Mt. Tateyama would be transformed into trees. After Bijodaira, we took the Tateyama cable car to get us to Tateyama station. From Tateyama station, we took the Toyama Chiho Railroad to Toyama where we put up the night. The TKA route pass covers all the modes of transportation from Shinano Omachi to Toyama. Please remember to get a copy of the TKA route time table and be mindful of the time to board the various vehicles. This would ensure you have the time to cover the various places as I have mentioned.
Written November 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brisbane122 contributions
Pretty awesome
Nov 2019 • Solo
I did a return trip to Murodo from the Nagano side, because autumn leaves season has already finished and I screwed up my accommodation bookings. I approached via the JR Shinano-omachi station. The weather was very nice and it has recently received snow, so wear non-slip footwear, a trekking pole would be handy right now as the snow on the stone paths sometimes gets slippery. Only the biggest pond at Murodo is not yet frozen over. It's windy, and some paths are closed due to volcanic activity.
1) Bring a thin cloth to hold over your mouth if you do the pond circuit, it cuts out some of the sulphur stench.
2) Buy your snacks/food for the day before you get to Ogizawa, the snacks are overpriced and small choice relative to what you would expect from a convenience store. This is most important if you go early to beat the crowds, as most food vendors don't open until after you have gone.
3) If you didn't bring food, the hotel attached to the station in Murodo serves a hearty sized beef curry that is really quite good, but be prepared to pay 1400yen for it.
4) Even in low season there is a 15-30min wait between rides at each station. Take this into account in transit times.
5) If Kurobe dam is discharging water for the spillway, you would need to be there early afternoon to catch the rainbow that forms in the water spray.
6) the JR Oito line from Matsumoto stops heaps and gets to standing room only with schoolkids between 7-8am.
Written November 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rucha M
2 contributions
Totally dependent on weather, pick a good day & pray it doesn't rain!
Oct 2019 • Couples
The route is really pretty, but the fact that we couldn't see a thing ruined our trip. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Option Pass (9800¥ pp) that we bought is valid for 5 days, and is one way. We started the trip on Monday from Nagano, with a night halt at Shimano Omachi.

Tuesday when we began our route, from Kurobe Dam - Daikanbo - Murodo - Midagahara - Tateyama, it was raining so heavily it was impossible to step out of the stations. We had no option but to end our journey at Tateyama early. Even though the pass is technically valid for another 3 days, a partial return trip is not allowed, so we'll have to spend a lot more money again to go back (6800¥ pp), since we really want to go see Midagahara & Murodo.

Request to the company - People should be allowed to use the pass again partially when it's due to horrible weather, this is really unfair to visitors. Thanks.
Written October 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shlomi T
Nagano, Japan1,274 contributions
Great views, but it is VERY expensive to do this trip...
Sep 2019
Great views, but it is VERY expensive to do this trip...
The panoramic view is absolutely great, but if doing this a a one day excursion for example starting point from Nagano, all the way to Toyama (Tokyo would be even more expensive, I suppose) will cost around $200 per person if you are coming back to the same point, meaning Nagano.
Even without coming back, it is still around $100-150 per person, depends on where is your starting point in Nagano.
Written September 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK104 contributions
Lovely - end of August, hiking possible
Aug 2019 • Solo
I really enjoyed my 24 hour trip On the alpine route. I think most of the information is already below, but a few things I found on my visit which might be helpful:

- I got the overnight bus from Tokyo to Toyama, arrived at 06.45 (scheduled around 07.00) which was very convenient - stops at the JR station and the Dentetsu station is just round the corner.

- Be prepared for it to be colder at the top! (Was around 30 degrees on the bottom but at Murodo probably around 14).

- I went in late August and the snow was almost all gone so hiking was possible (I see some disgruntled posts below about it being too snowy earlier in the year).

- I hiked up to the peak - took 3.5 hours return, going fairly slowly, not the 4/4.5 hours in the leaflet. I hate heights but still managed the ridge up to the peak - fellow vertigo sufferers, it’s not as steep as it looks from below, give it a go! Views from the top were stunning. I was in trainers (sneakers, for American readers) which was just about ok in dry weather (Although be prepared to feel woefully underdressed surrounded by Japanese in full on hiking gear and boots) - but it is rocky and in some parts loose so if in doubt (eg you have bad balance or it’s raining) I recommend walking boots with grip and ankle support.

- Transport is incredibly well organised with signs in Japanese and English showing you the way at each station, so very easy for non-Japanese speakers.

- There was a bus straight back to Shinjuku from Ogizawa, which I hadn’t been expecting, it left at 16.10 and arrived at 21.15 - 5 hours but not much longer than the bus to Nagano (100 mins, ¥2,800) and Shinkansen (2 hours or so, ~¥8000) route I had planned, plus much cheaper at under ¥6,000 (have a look on the Japan Highways Bus website for the schedule - I cant post the link here - I think that is the only one a day!)

- As others have said, it’s perfectly possible as a day trip but it is a little rushed - so start early to give yourself time at the top. There are hotels at the top too and if you book far enough in advance/ have deep pockets they would be lovely places to stay.

Generally the scenery was lovely and I really enjoyed the trip!

If you need information then the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route official website is a treasure trove of information (and in English).
Written August 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kimitaka S
Taichung, Taiwan10,987 contributions
Great nature
Jul 2019 • Solo
It is maybe less known than Nikko or Hakone for foreigners, but Alpine Route is one of the major tourist attractions in Japan. You can experience the great nature of Japan. During winter time, some routes are inaccessible, and so you should visit in July or in August at the best. You can buy a through ticket at Ogizawa or at Tateyama station (credit cards are accepted). Anyway, it may be crowded in summer. It is advisable to check the schedule in advance and start your travel early in the morning.
Written August 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tin Tel
Manila, Philippines24 contributions
Spectacular in April
Apr 2019 • Couples
Went there just a few days after opening. The snow wall was at its highest. It made for a very memorable trip for a tropical person like me. I've never seen so much snow! I especially enjoyed the bus ride from Murodo to our hotel in Midagihara, and from Midagihara to town the next day.
Written August 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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