The Snow Walls of Tateyama-Kurobe
Sitting over 3000 meters above sea level, Mt Tate is one of Japan’s highest mountains. One of several peaks in the North Japan Alps that ascend to over 3000 meters, the dramatic alpine landscape is subject to heavy snow through winter. Often referred to as the ‘Roof of Japan’, the region is accessible from mid-November until April at which time, humans venture back and with great effort and ingenuity, re-carve the road from Bijodaira to Murodo Station.
In doing so, the grand Snow Walls of Tateyama-Kurobe are carved anew. Towering up to 20 meters in height, the vast walls dwarf not only people but also the large coaches that transport them to and from Murodo Station. Although the Snow Walls are only one visible for a matter of months, they are without doubt the most famous attraction of the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route and one of Japan’s most iconic sights.
For visitors wanting to walk beneath the giant Snow Walls, make sure to time your visit to fall between the opening of the transports in mid-April and mid to mid-June. Whether you are coming from the Nagano-side of the mountains – from Ogizawa Station – or from the Toyama-side – from Tateyama Station – the Snow Walls are readily accessible.
Both routes take you to Murodo Station, from where the Snow Walls can be accessed within 5 minutes walk. For visitors coming to Murodo from Tateyama Station, your journey will actually take you under the Snow Walls as you ride the coach from Bijodaira to Murodo. Visitors coming from the other side of the mountain will arrive Murodo Station by trolley bus. It’s then a matter of following the signs for the short walk to the walls.
Although movement in the plateau surrounding Murodo Station is limited from April to June due to large amounts snow, visitors are free to explore on foot within a relatively large area. Many guests don’t stray far with the Snow Walls drawing the most attention. We recommend coming prepared with good quality boots and clothing suitable for walking through the snow, and heading-out across the snow-covered plain for some spectacular (and uncrowded) alpine views. Importantly, all guests should carry sunglasses as the glare off the snow can be intense!
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!