Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route

9 years ago by in Japan Archives

Last September I traveled the famous Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route, in Toyama prefecture.

It’s a great trip, especially if you like trains and funiculars and rope-ways, great views and a little bit of hiking. It can be crowded, as it is a popular destination with Japanese tourists. So best to be avoided on public holidays.

This trip is also highly recommended in spring-time, when there is still snow on the mountain.

Here you see all stops along the way, and the various modes of transportation.

Traveling from left to right:

  1. to Tateyama station (立山駅) by train
  2. to Bijodaira (美女平) by funicular
  3. to Murodō (室堂) by bus
  4. to Daikanbō (大観峰) by trolley bus through the mountain
  5. to Kurobedaira (黒部平) by ropeway
  6. to Kurobeko (黒部湖) by funicular though the mountain
  7. to Kurobe Dam (黒部ダム) by foot
  8. to Ōgisawa (扇沢) by trolley bus through the mountain, and finally
  9. to Shinano-Ōmachi (信濃大町) by bus.

You can make the trip in either direction. There is a connection to Tōkyō (Shinjuku) from Shinano-Ōmachi. Tateyama station can be reached from the west coast of Japan (e.g. Toyama, Kanazawa).

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tateyama_Kurobe_Alpine_Route

Official tourist site of the area can be found here.

Tateyama Station

More people decided today was good day for this trip. We are all waiting on the funicular.

Against my better judgment, I picked a public holiday. It was Respect-for-the-Aged Day (敬老の日, Keirō no Hi), which is part of the Silver Week.

Autumn is starting to set in. The higher we get, the more autumn colors are appearing. It’s a shame today is not very clear.

Arrived at Murodō (室堂). Time for a hike. Some nice walking options in this area. It’s a bit drizzly, but that does not deter any of the folks making the trip.

The walk down to Hell’s Valley

About to enter Hell Valley (地獄谷) near Murododaira. There are many Hell Valleys in Japan. No surprise given the volcanic activity throughout the country.

Arrived at Daikanbō (大観峰), taking the ropeway down to Kurobedaira (黒部平). This ropeway is special because it is the longest in Japan without any support pylons. The cables stretch from the top station all the way down – just hanging in the air.

Used to maximum capacity!

Lake created by Kurobe dam

This is already the sixth part the journey. Taking the funicular from Kurobedaira (黒部平) down to Kurobeko (黒部湖), right trough the mountain.

It’s like going down an elevator shaft

Arrived at Kurobeko (黒部湖). Now it’s only a short walk to the dam.

Kurobe Dam (黒部ダム)

Part 8 of the trip: the trolleybus from Kurobe Dam (黒部ダム) to Ōgisawa (扇沢). I forgot to take a picture of the last part of the journey; which is the bus ride from Ōgisawa (扇沢) to Shinano-Ōmachi (信濃大町)

All these folks are waiting to board the trolley bus! I wasn’t kidding about avoiding public holidays.