Kurobe Gorge Railway 黒部峡谷鉄道
A leisurely rail journey for train enthusiasts and nature lovers
A perfect antidote to fast-paced urban Japan, the Kurobe Gorge Railway will take you through picturesque hillsides with views of the surrounding peaks and gorges.
- The views from famous vantage points at Atobiki, Sarutobi Gorge, and Keyakidaira
- Viewing autumn foliage along the route
- Enjoying the outdoor hot spring bathing near Kanetsuri Station
How to Get There
Start by heading to Unazuki Station where the railway line begins.
From Tokyo, catch the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station. It takes about two and a half hours and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass. From Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station, take the Toyama Chiho Railway from nearby Shin-Kurobe Station to Unazaki Onsen Station. It takes about 25 minutes, and is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. The Kurobe Gorge Railway is about a 10-minute walk from Unazaki Onsen Station.
From Kyoto or Osaka, take the JR Thunderbird limited express to Kanazawa, then transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen and head to Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station (see above).
Formerly used to transport workers and materials to construction sites of power plants and dams, the railway has since been repurposed as a tourist train, complete with observation cars. The train travels about 20 kilometers from Unazuki Station to the terminus, Keyakidaira Station , at a leisurely speed of about 16 kilometers per hour.
Some 21 bridges and 41 tunnels punctuate the line, adding further points of interest for railway enthusiasts.
Natural wonders and curiosities
Highlights of the route include the 60-meter-high Atobiki Prospect and the Sarutobi Gorge near the meeting point of the Kurobe and Babadani rivers.
Near Keyakidaira, you'll also find the Okukane Pedestrian Bridge with its 360-degree panoramic views of the ravine and surrounding peaks.
There's plenty to see and do along the route, with hot spring baths, hiking paths, and observation points providing fun diversions. The gorge is among the deepest in Japan.
When to go
The railway runs from early May to the end of November.
It's worth visiting at any time during this period. Each season has its own charms, from the snow and fresh greenery of early spring, to the cool breezes of summer, and the changing leaves of autumn.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.