Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Enjoy stunning vistas while traversing the Japanese Alps via a series of trains, cable cars, trolley buses, ropeways, tunnels and hiking routes.

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a spectacular traverse of the Northern Japanese Alps offering up gorgeous scenery and a smörgåsbord of transportation. From Ogizawa in Nagano Prefecture you'll first take a tunnel trolley bus burrows through the mountain side to the impressive Kurobe Dam, Japan's tallest at 186m. Here you can admire the reservoir and peer over the precipice where the water cascades down to support the towns below. The next section is perhaps the most spectacular, a 488m ascent by cable car to Kurobedaira. The air is starting to get thinner as now you will be at 2,316m above sea level. Another tunnel trolley bus brings you to the highest point of the route at Murodo, a plateau sitting at 2450m. Here you are rewarded with glorious Alpine vistas with Mount Tateyama towering above. What goes up must come down, and you will make the descent by a combination of bus, funicular train and train, eventually arriving at the sea level city of Toyama.
The full journey from Nagano to Toyama takes at least 7 hours, but we recommend breaking the journey with a night in Murodo. This way you can linger at the many view points or even take a detour for a walk in the mountains to steaming volcanic calderas. On a clear night in Murodo the stars are spectacular. From mid-April to mid-June you can take a bus from Murodo through the Tateyama snow corridor, where 20m high walls are carved out of snow.

When to go: The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is usually open from mid-April to late November, but this can change depending on conditions. The trip is very popular with Japanese tourists and can be very crowded over a public holidays as well as weekends in autumn. The autumn leaves are at their most spectacular along the route from late September into early November.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

located in Nagano

Read more >

Other Transport experiences

View more >
  • Taxis


    Like hailing a yellow cab in NYC or hanging on for dear life in the back of a Thai tuk tuk, taking a taxi in Japan is a memorable travel experience.

    Read more >

  • Hozugawa boat ride

    Hozugawa boat ride

    Take a trip down the Hozu River in Kyoto's stunning Arashiyama district.

    Read more >

  • Arashiyama rickshaw

    Arashiyama rickshaw

    There is no better way to see Kyoto's Arashiyama district than from the seat of a jinrikusha rickshaw.

    Read more >