The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (立山黒部アルペンルート) is a unique and spectacular route through the Northern Japan Alps, which is traversed by various means of transportation, including cablecars, trolley buses and a ropeway. The route is particularly famous for the high snow walls that line some of its roads in spring.
We traveled from Tokyo to Nagano via Shinkansen and a bus from Nagano station to Ogizawa by bus. You have to exchange for your ticket for the whole route at Ogizawa(扇沢) Station (don’t lose it! as this is the only ticket that you would be using the entire route.) For the alpine route, tourist can choose to either ascend from Ogizawa and descend to Toyama or the other way round. 1 way journey from Ogizawa to Toyama would cost around 10,000JPY.
Kanden Trolley Bus, electric powered buses transport travelers through the tunnel between Kurobe Dam and Ogizawa. The one way journey takes 15 minutes
Kurobe Cablecar runs entirely inside a tunnel, which is a rarity among cablecars and the 5 minutes journey up to Kurobedaira
Tateyama Ropeway is a 1.7 kilometer long ropeway operates without any support towers between the lower and upper stations, making it Japan’s longest one-span ropeway.
Daikanbo (大観峰), this is the transfer station between the Tateyama Trolley Bus and the Tateyama Ropeway. The small station has an observation deck with great views of the mountains.
The main big reason why we headed to Kurobe during this time of the year instead of Autumn for the red leaves. The majestic snow corridor that runs mid April to June 11 for 2013 at Murodo (室堂) at 2450 meters
They even made a snow calendar to explain to the tourists why we see many vertical lines running across the snow wall, mainly due to the different textures of the snow that fell during the winter. Some weeks were just snow, some days were ice and some days were yellow sand.
For the journey from Murodo to Bijodaira Station would be the 50 minutes highland bus which would give us a ride through the snow corridor before we depart. There are 2 lines for the bus ride down where you can choose to go straight down to Bijodaira (美女平) or the 2 stops along the way.