The Nature and Seasons of Japan
With the colorful changing seasons, the peaks of the northern Japan Alps have soothed and stirred the hearts of many a traveler. Tateyama Kurobe is the ideal place to experience Japan’s four seasons. Why not make a visit to enjoy the scenery and the different seasonal activities?
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Welcome to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a Resort Area Encompassing a Majestic 3,000-Meter-High (3,281 yards) Range of Mountains.
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a magnificent mountain route that winds through around 90 kilometers (56 miles) of incredibly steep peaks reaching past 3,000 meters (3,281 yards) in height. The route features several unique methods of getting to and fro, including the Tateyama Ropeway that overlooks the Tateyama mountain range, a cable car that is completely underground, and a trolley bus that runs through a tunnel. Travelers can enjoy walking, trekking and touring around from any stop along these routes.
Springtime: The Valley of Snow
(“Yuki no Otani”)
Otani is an area that gets a considerable amount of snow—more than 20 meters (22 yards) in some years (that's as high as a 8-story building!). Visitors can enjoy walking along a 500-meter-long (547 yards) path with walls of snow on both sides (known as the “Yuki no Otani Walk”) after the snow has been plowed.
Summertime: Kurobe Dam
Kurobe Dam is the largest dam in Japan, rising up to 186 meters (204 yards) in height with a base length of 492 meters (538 yards). Tourists can enjoy the massive sprays of water from the middle of June through the middle of October. Visitors who come closer to observe the dam can feel the rising mists, making the cool 20°C (68℉) temperatures of Tateyama feel even cooler and more refreshing. Also, a cruise ship makes 30-minute sails around Lake Kurobe in the summer, reaching an altitude as high as 1,448 meters (1,584 yards)—the highest cruise in Japan.
Autumn: The Colorful Changing Leaves of Kurobe-Daira
The autumn leaves that stretch out over the Kurobe-Daira that can be seen from the Tateyama Ropeway are simply breathtaking. Due to the differences in elevation along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, visitors are able to see these beautiful leaves somewhere on the route for about a month-and-a-half from the middle of September to the beginning of November. Also, depending on the place, you may be able to see snow on the peaks, autumn leaves in the middle elevations, and lush green colors at the base of the mountains—a rare contrast indeed to enjoy.
Yuki no Otani
The snow is removed at Yuki no Otani by using a GPS to find the road, which is packed far below the surface under massive layers of snow. The thick snow is and then shaved off layer by layer, as if by a sanding plane, using a 30-tonne bulldozer.
Built at the highest altitude of any dam in Japan, Kurobe Dam cost 51.3 billion yen, and a total of 10 million workers were involved in its construction. It took seven years from the start of construction until the dam was completed in 1963.