The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. This unique and spectacular route located on the border between Toyama and Nagano prefectures, in central Japan stretches over 37 kilometres (23 mi) and tops out at 2.450m (8,038ft) above the sea level.
Located within the Northern Japan Alps, this sightseeing route is paved. It is completely inaccessible from December to mid April. This is an area of immense snowfalls, and when the road opens in mid May, it is surrounded on both sides by walls of snow 15 meters tall. This spectacular scenic passage over the Japanese Alps connects Toyama City and the Sea of Japan in Toyama Prefecture with Omachi Town in Nagano Prefecture.
The conditions and temperature can change quickly and suddenly. The road opened on June 1, 1971. The section between Tateyama Station and Ogizawa is closed to private vehicles and attracts about a million visitors every year. The highest station is Murodo, at an altitude of 2,450 m (8,038 ft) above the sea level. Known as the “Roof of Japan”, the beauty of the Alps fascinates many people, not only mountaineers but also tourists are able to experience their stunning enormity. It has wonderful seasonal features, and is a perfect destination for nature-lovers. Along the way you will be impressed by the variety of scenery that can be seen in different seasons.
From the top of the mountain, it is possible to see Mt. Fuji on a clear day. The main attraction of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is the magnificent scenery of the Tateyama Mountain Range, part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park. The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don’t forget your camera! The route goes across the 3,000-meter-high North Alpine mountains, the so-called “roof of Japan. The route is particularly famous for the high snow walls that line some of its roads in spring.The Murodo-daira of Tateyama area has one of the heaviest snowfalls in the world, receiving about seven metres on average. However, the Otani snow mantle near Murudo can receive snowfall of up to an astonishing 20 m (65 ft), which allows the famous snow walls to be formed. In 2015, the snow corridor was open to pedestrians from April 16 to June 22. On the opening day, the snow walls reached a height of up to 19 meters.