The Seasons & Preparing for Your Visit
Inaccessible through winter, the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route opens in mid-April and remains open until mid-November. Always popular, visitor numbers at their highest at opening in April when the famous Snow Walls are at their highest.
Golden Week at the end of April and early May, along with Obon and the Japanese school holidays in August are the busiest times when crowd numbers swell. Try to avoid those times, weekend and public holidays.
Spring / April to June
Through spring, the Snow Walls draw large crowds of both Japanese and international visitors. Starting at height of 18 to 20 meters, the walls dwarf the buses and people below – a truly surreal sight. Gradually reducing as the snow melts, the walls will still be over 10 meters in height come June. Visitor numbers are lower by mid-June, making it a great time to visit.
Murodo and Midagahara will be snow-covered therefore visitors wanting to explore and walk across the plains should wear waterproof shoes or boots. Ensure you have warm clothing that can be taken-off as the daytime temperature rises. The glare from the sun reflecting on the snow can be intense. Visitors should bring sunglasses and sun cream.
Average daytime temperature: April -3 to 6°C / May 3 to 10°C / June 7 to 14°C
Summer / July to August
As summer takes hold, the snow is mostly gone and a green alpine landscape opens-up – peak season for hiking and mountaineering. Alpine flowers are in bloom with azure lakes and ponds reflecting the surrounding landscape on their clear, pure water.
Wear light, breathable clothing and be prepared for changing conditions. In the beautiful weather of summer, it can be easy to forget that weather conditions in mountains can change quickly. Carrying a waterproof jacket is always a good idea while also using sun cream. The summer sun in the mountains is strong. We strongly recommend wearing a hat at all times.
Average daytime temperature: July 11 to 16°C / August 12 to 18°C
Autumn / September to November
The changing leaves of autumn should begin at the end of September and gradually turn the landscape into a stunning mosaic of colour. The colours change from the top down, from the cooler summit and gradually coming down the mountain. Usually set against bright blue skies, this is an ideal time to visit.
Weather and temperatures can vary greatly in autumn. Wear light but warm clothing and carry a waterproof jacket. Clouds and rain can come quickly, with low visibility possible in the mountain fog. It’s important to factor this into your plans, especially if you are walking away from Murodo and the central area.
Average daytime temperature: September 9 to 15°C / October 3 to 10°C / November -5 to 2°C
Want to visit the Alpine Route on our group tour or a private tour or charter? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!