Visiting Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Every year, as winter turns to spring, people from all over flock to the Japanese Alps to see the outstanding scenery and journey along the remarkable alpine route up in the Tateyama Mountain Range. For those planning a trip to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, you may have already found out that traveling around the Japanese countryside, while admittedly beautiful can be a little more complicated and troublesome to get around efficiently.

Fortunately, KKday has a few great tour options available to make the journey much smoother, alleviating transport and accommodation worries, while also throwing in a couple of extremely worthy bonus stops along the way.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Flickr | Kabacchi


Flickr | Ming-yen Hsu

When Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route opens up to the public between April and November, many will come to enjoy the scenic, snow covered landscape. A particularly spectacular and unique sight is the snow corridor (Yuki-no-Otani). Formed by clearing and expelling heavy snow from the route, the famous snow walls stretch for up to 500 meters, and at it’s peak, reach 20 meters high, creating one of Japan’s best sightseeing spots. A fantastic sight, that if missed, is gone for another year.

2017 Operating Period:

Partial route (Dentetsu Toyama – Midagahara) – April 10th to April 14th.

Full route (Dentetsu Toyama – Shinano Omachi) April 15th to November 30th.

Recommended Routes

Route 1: Osaka – Hida Takayama – Shirakawa-go – Tateyama Kurobe

Flickr | Ming-yen Hsu

If you’re coming from Osaka and would also like to add couple of extra highlights onto your journey into the Japanese countryside this tour is an excellent choice. In addition to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, this 2 day and 1 night trip will visit Takayama, deep into the mountainous region of Hida. Also known as “Little Kyoto”, Takayama is a quaint and excellently preserved traditional town, famous for producing some of Japan’s best woodwork and sake.

The next stop is UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shirakawa-go.  A delightful and traditional village rich in history and character. Many come to see the charming gassho-zukuri houses made all the more fairytale-like when decorated by snow.

Departing from Osaka – Hida Takayama – Shirakawa-go – Tateyama Kurobe


Route 2: Nagoya – Hida Takayama – Shirakawa-go – Tateyama Kurobe

Flickr | Kentaro Ohno


Flickr | Greg Palmer

Do not worry if your plan sees you starting off in Nagoya. With route 2, you can also take in the same excellent sites of Hida Takayama, Shirakawa-go and of course, Tateyama Kurobe. One of the great things about traveling with a tour bus, particularly when you are heading out of the city and into the countryside, is not needing to worry about transport and accommodation, it’s already taken care of!


Route 3: Nagoya – Tateyama Kurobe

Another good option for those possibly short of time and quite rightly not wanting to miss out on seeing the spectacular snow walled Yuki-no-Otani is a one day trip from Nagoya. Meet up in the morning at Nagoya Station and head off to Tateyama Kurobe for a beautiful snowy experience. Before a same day return to have you back at Nagoya Station in the evening.