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Tateyama 'Snow Walls'

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Tateyama 'Snow Walls'

 

These giant snowdrifts stand 20 meters high on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Toyama Prefecture

 

 

Located just north of the center of Japan, the Tateyama Mountain Range in the Northern Japan Alps extends up to 3,000 meters and has been worshipped since ancient times for its unique terrain said to embody both paradise and hell.

 

Nowadays, to visit Tateyama is to be soothed by its majestic nature. A great way to experience it is to follow the spectacular natural beauty along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a 90km-long scenic course traversed by train, bus, cable cars and trolley buses. The Route celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021.

 

Part way along the route is the Tateyama Murodo Plain, where you can see beautiful alpine flowers in summer and the crystal-clear Mikurigaike Pond. At 2,450 meters above sea level, the plain is famous for its heavy winter snowfall, which accumulates in drifts, creating a 500-meter-long corridor of snow. The ‘Snow Walls’ accumulate up to 20 meters high and you can experience them up close from mid-April to mid-June.

 

The surrounding area, blanketed in winter snow, is a vision of pure-white as far as the eye can see. Look hard and you might even spot Toyama’s beloved prefectural bird, the ptarmigan – once revered as a messenger of the gods – camouflaged against the snow.

 

How to get there

 

From Toyama Station take the Toyama Chiho Railway Main Line about 1 hour to Tateyama Station. The 'Snow Walls' are 7 minutes by Tateyama Cable Car (Tateyama Kurobe Kanko) from Tateyama Station to Bijodaira, or 50 minutes by Tateyama Highland Bus from Bijodaira to Murodo.

 

 

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