Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, one of most spectacular sightseeing route in Northern Japan Alps

Famous snow wall is almost same height as 10 stories building. (C) Jonathan Ayre

This post is written by Mr. Jonathan Ayre. He is one of the frequent visitors. He offered me some images, writing articles such as Managing baggage during trip, Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine. I would like to thank you again, Jonathan for sharing your experience.

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The Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route is one of Japan’s famous sightseeing routes. It passes through the Japanese Alps to a height of 2450m above sea level, and often snows well into May and begins to snow in October. The Alpine Route includes famous places such as Kurobe Dam, Japan’s highest dam and Murodo, featuring the famous 20m high snow walls. There are also opportunities to experience natural surrounds, go skiing, and stay at resorts high in the mountains.

The Alpine Route only operates from mid-April to the end of November. Conditions are cold in spring and autumn and cool in summer. The area around Murodo is one of the the snowiest in Japan, and Kurobe Dam is equally spectacular in summer and autumn. As a destination, it is a great place to travel either through from Matsumoto to Toyama, or as a round trip from either city.

Orientation of Alpine Route


View Alpine Route in a larger map

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route official website

The Alpine Route runs from Toyama Station, in Toyama Prefecture, through to Shinano-Omachi Station in Omachi, Nagano Prefecture, on the JR Oito Line. The route consists of eight individual transport components, and a 15 minute walk. The cost for a full one-way trip is just over 10,500 yen and can take anywhere from 6 to 9 hours, depending on your pace and how busy each transport mode is. You can do the Alpine Route from either direction or even loop from one side to the major points and back to the starting point again.

Unfortunately, the entire route is private and no section is covered by the Japan Rail Pass. The most convenient ticket is a combination ticket that saves a bit, and is valid from Toyama all the way through to Ogizawa (second last station), and gives you your cablecar reservation. If coming from Shinano-Omachi you need to take the bus to Ogizawa, where you can buy your combination ticket to Toyama.

There is a convenient baggage forwarding service if you are travelling in one direction, allowing you to drop your bags at Dentetsu-Toyama Station (the private line station) or select hotels in Toyama City, and pick them up at a kiosk attached to Shinano-Omachi Station at the other end. From Matsumoto, you will have to bring your bags to the same kiosk at Shinano-Omachi Station to get them transported to Toyama. The service is very affordable and the staff are happy to help with your luggage. (link for baggage forwarding)

Toyama Chiho Railway

Toyama Chiho Railway Tateyama line goes along Jouganji river near Tateyama station. (C) Jonathan Ayre
Toyama Chiho Railway is a private railway company in Toyama. JR Pass do not cover this train service.

From Toyama, you start by taking the private Toyama Chiho Tateyama Line (staff are happy to direct you) from Toyama to Tateyama Station (about one hour). The trains are generally local but there is the occasional rapid service. From Tateyama, head upstairs to the gates for the cable car. If you don’t have a combination ticket you will need to purchase a ticket for the cablecar. Tickets are reserved for a time so be sure not to miss it. The cablecar will take you to Bijoudira Station, and takes about 10 minutes.

Tateyama Cablecar and Highland Bus

Tateyama Cablecar at Tateyama station (C) Jonathan Ayre

When you arrive at Bijoudaira, you will have to change to a bus. The buses are relatively frequent, but often busy, and depart when filled. If it is busy, you may have to wait, but it will give you an opportunity to stretch your legs outside, and a good chance to relax if you are taking it slow. The bus from Bijoudaira to Murodo takes just under an hour, and if you’re in the right season, will drive straight through the famous snow walls, and pass through 1500m of elevation and a pleasant forest view along the way. When you arrive at Murodo, you have the chance to walk a small section of the snow walls yourself, and experience being surrounded by up to twenty metres of snow! Murodo is also the highest point of the Alpine Route, at about 2450m.

Tateyama Trolleybus, Tateyama Ropeway and Kurobe Cablecar

View from Tateyama Trolleybus (C) Jonathan Ayre
In summer season, it is packed at Daikanbo station. (C) Jonathan Ayre

From Murodo, you walk into the mountain for the Tateyama Trolleybus, one of only two trolleybuses left in Japan. This electrified bus runs entirely inside Mount Tateyama through to Daikanbo Station, gateway to Kurobe Dam, in only 15 minutes. Exiting the trolleybus, you can change soon after to the Tateyama Ropeway to descend to the dam. Daikanbo Station is only small, and consists of only a waiting room and souvenir shop.

View from Tateyama Ropeway (C) Jonathan Ayre

The ropeway is unique in not having a support tower in the middle, making for a panoramic experience as you descend almost 500m to Kurobedaira Station in only 7 minutes. Once you arrive at Kurobedaira Station, you change again to the Kurobe Cablecar, Japan’s only all underground cablecar, for another 400m descent to arrive finally at Kurobe Dam.

Kurobe Dam

Kurobe Dam is sometimes called Kuroyon Dam. Means Kuro(=Kurobe) yon (=4) because it is Kurobe River No.4 hydro powerplant.
Breathtaking valley view from Kurobe Dam. (C) Jonathan Ayre

Kurobe Dam is another scenic spot on the Alpine Route. Japan’s highest dam at an elevation of 1500m, the damn walk reveals an amazing construction looking down over the river and valley and is famous for its autumn colours. A 15-minute walk across the dam leads to a rest house, access to an observatory, and a lower deck walk on the mountainside near the dam, as well as access to the Kanden Trolleybus for the descent to Ogizawa Station. With less frequent departures of the trolleybus, Kurobe Dam is the perfect place to enjoy a meal and take a walk around this amazing combination of nature and engineering.

Ogizawa to Shinano-Omachi and Matsumoto

After the 15 minute trip to Ogizawa, there is only one more change before arriving at Shinano-Omachi Station on the JR Oito Line. Exiting the trolleybus, simply go downstairs and exit to find the bus platform for the bus to Shinano-Omachi (some buses go to Nagano, too). Here is where the combination ticket ends, so you’ll have to get a new ticket (1,480 yen) from Ogizawa to Shinano-Omachi Station. The final trip takes 40 minutes, and at Shinano-Omachi Station you can get frequent connections to Matsumoto and Tokyo, or less frequent connections to Minami-Otari and Itoigawa.

175 thoughts on “Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route, one of most spectacular sightseeing route in Northern Japan Alps”

  1. Hi Takeshi
    Im hoping to see the wall of snow this trip back to Japan.
    There will be 5 of us travelling and will be doing a day trip to Matsumoto castle from Tokyo. Is it possible to do the wall of snow on the same day or would it not give us enough time to do both?
    It’s really the only part of the Alphine Route we are desperate to see.
    Is it covered by the jr pass?

    1. Hi Nichole,

      It’s not realistic to visit both in one day. Please see the link below to find the one day sample itinerary to visit Alpine route from Tokyo. You can find how much you can use JR pass for this trip.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/sample-itinerary-of-day-trip-to-kurobe-tateyama-alpine-route-from-tokyo.html

      Even if you want to see only Snow Wall, you must have a round trip to Murodo from Toyama. Trip time is not much different from going through all part of Alpine route. I don’t think you cannot get any extra time to squeeze Matsumoto castle. And snow wall season is super busy on alpine route. You may spend some extra time to wait for the transportation on alpine route.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Dear Takeshi-san,

    The following is my itinerary :-

    20th June…. touch down Haneda at 22:15. Will be depositing our luggages with JAL ABC to be sent to Daymaruya Ryokan in Yamanouchi. Will get 7days unlimited data package too. Will check into Beagle Hostels (near airport) for the night.

    21st June… will return to Haneda Airport to exchange our JR pass. Office opens at 6:45am. As soon as we get the pass, we will take the necessary connections to Tokyo for our train Nagano. Will visit Tateyama Alpine Route (TAR) via Ogizawa. We will spend more time on the snow wall (last date to visit is 22nd June) and Kurobe Dam. we will be spending a night in Midagahara Hotel.

    22nd June… will continue our TAR tour. Will either do the Shomyo Falls or the Kurobe Cruise ship. I’ve checked the schedule. Looks like cruise ship is more feasible as our entry and exit point is Nagano. After TAR, we will visit Matsumoto Castle. Then we will take Ltd Exp Snow Monkey to Yudanaka. Check into Daymaruya Ryokan.

    23rd June… will visit Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, visit Shibu Onsen (all 9 bath house).

    24th June… check out. Will visit Zenkoji Temple. Will check into our ryokan in Gotenba (Tokiwa guest house). This place will be our before and after 2days Mount Fuji climb. Gotenba station is our Mt fuji climb meeting point.

    25th & 26th June… Mount Fuji climb

    27th June… fly home to Malaysia.

    Questions:-
    1. What is the best pass /tickets to buy for our 2 Days Tateyama Alpine Route Tour? Can we buy the ¥9000 to be used on second day? And for 1st day, we buy the normal tickets?

    2. What is the best JR pass to buy for the above mentioned itinerary?

    1. Hi Nicole san,

      1. I recommend you to use Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket (9,000 yen) for 21st and use normal ticket on 22nd. Because you will take an express bus from Nagano to Ogizawa on 21st and take a local bus from Ogizawa to Shinano-Omachi on 22nd. Express bus from Nagano is more expensive than local bus to Shinano-Omachi. And also normal fare is around 8,000 yen for Midagahara to Shinano-Omachi. You cannot get the worth of the pass anyway.

      2. JR East Pass Nagano Niigata is recommended:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/jr-east-pass-niigata-and-nagano-flex-5-days-pass-in-14-days-period-to-cover-kanto-region-nagano-and-niigata.html

      When you go to Gotemba, you will take the following route:
      Nagano-Tokyo-Kouzu-Gotema

      This pass does not cover Kouzu-Gotemba. The fare is just less than 700 yen. You can pay this fare when you exit Gotemba station.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi Takeshi-San

    We are a family of 5(including 1child), arriving in Kansai on the last week of May. We have planned the following:

    Day 1 Kansai Airport to Kyoto
    Day 2-4 Tour around Kyoto
    Day 5 Kyoto-Fukui (Tojinbo) – Awara Onsen – Toyama
    Day 6 Alpine Route (until Kurobe Dam and back to Tateyama)
    Day 7 Toyama- Kanazawa ( short tour) – Osaka
    Day 8 Osaka – Mt Koya day trip -Osaka
    Day 9 Osaka – Kansai Airport

    Our plan B is to enter and exit Japan at Nagoya.

    Which JR pass is more suitable and economical for this trip? Or do we need a pass for this?

    1. Hi Lovie san,

      You may use Kansai Hokuriku area pass for the first 7 days:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/kansai-hokuriku-area-pass-perfect-deal-for-the-traveller-who-wants-travel-to-kansai-kanazawa-and-toyama.html

      But it does not cover Alpine route. You need to add the fare from Toyama station to Kurobe dam return. And also, you may need to add the fare for taking local bus and subway. This pass covers only JR trains.

      For day 8 and 9, you may add other deal in the links below:
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/koyasan.html
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      If you arrive in Nagoya, there is no deals to cover your trip.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi-San

    Greetings from the Philippines! Our family is going to Tokyo, 28Nov and we are deciding whether to go for this Tateyama-Kurobe-Alpine Route OR the Mt. Fuji. Which do you recommend? Can we take either of this trip on our own or would you recommend a tour group? We are generally a young group, no senior citizens yet 🙂

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    Thank you so much for helping us out!

    Abby

    1. Hi Abby san,

      I recommend you to visit Mt. Fuji. It’s too cold in Alpine route. It is open until the end of Nov. But it’s completely winter condition. It may be closed earlier due to sever weather.

      You can visit Fuji on your own. Please see the link below to find the info:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/fuji-hakone-access-guide-by-train-and-bus-from-both-tokyo-and-osaka-kyoto-nagoya.html

      I have never taken tour before, so I cannot compare it.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Thank you Takeshi san! We would love to see and experience snow and it seems my group is keen on visiting Alpine route. Thank you so much for your thoughts!

        Best,

        Abby

  5. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I’m planning a trip to Japan in 2 weeks time and need some help.

    I plan to visit the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and other scenic sights in central of Japan.

    I’m thinking of doing the following itinerary:
    4 Nov – Arrive in KIX at noon, train to Nagoya, overnight in Nagoya
    5 Nov – Nagoya to Shinano-Omachi station, go through the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, overnight in Takayama
    6 Nov – Explore Takayama in the morning, and travel to Toyama, overnight in Toyama
    7 Nov – Travel to Kanazawa then to Gifu, then back to Osaka, overnight in Osaka
    8 Nov – Day trip to Kyoto, overnight in Osaka
    9 Nov – Osaka, overnight in Osaka
    10 Nov – Osaka, overnight in Osaka
    11 Nov – Osaka and flight home in the afternoon

    Is it worth checking out the Shin-Hokata Ropeway?

    I’ve booked my accommodation from 7-11 Nov in Osaka, so that can’t be changed. But am flexible with the earlier part of the itinerary.

    Since there are a few passes available – the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass, the Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass, the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and the 7 Day JR Pass, each offering a different coverage for different areas, which would you recommend?

    I’m also ok to do the first part of the itinerary in reverse so that I can use the Takayama Hokuriku pass and skip Nagoya, but I read that the two way ticket on the alpine route is very expensive.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Valerie san,

      Before I recommend the deal, I want to make sure which part of Gifu you want to go on Nov 7?

      When you go to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route, please expect it is winter up there. Temperature is around 0 at Murodo. It may be snowing. November is fall in Osaka and Kyoto but mountain area is completely different. Please do not expect fall scenery. But as long as you are okay with snowy day, you can go. If it’s snowing, you may not be able to see the mountain. Usually the rate of sunny day is around 60% in November.

      Shin-Hotaka is nice place to visit but it may be hard to squeeze in your trip plan. It will be cold in Shin-Hotaka too.

      So let me know where you go in Gifu. I cannot suggest you the pass without this location.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-san,

        Thank you for your reply. I was initially looking at the Shiragawago and the Gero Onsen.

        For this route, I will get the Takayama Hokuriku Area Pass and pay for individual tickets on the Alpine Route.

        Day 1, Sat 4 Nov
        Arrive at KIX at noon
        Travel to Toyama
        Overnight in Toyama

        Day 2, Sun 5 Nov
        Toyama to Tateyama station by railway – 1 hour (1200 yen)
        Tateyama to Bijodaira by cablecar – 7min (720 yen)
        Bijodaira to Murodo by highway bus – 50min (1710 yen)
        Murodo – highest point – sightseeing
        if weather is good – continue journey:
        Murodo to Daikanbo by trolley bus – 10 min (2160 yen)
        Daikanbo to Kurobeidaira by ropeway – 7min (1300 yen)
        Kurobedaira to Kurobe Dam by cable car 5 min (860 yen)
        Kurobe dam + sightseeing cruise

        Back to Toyama
        Collect baggage
        Travel to Takayama
        Overnight in Takayama

        if weather is bad, head to Takayama and then Shinhotaka ropeway instead

        Day 3, Mon 6 Nov
        Explore Takayama town in the morning
        Get luggage delivered straight to Osaka hotel
        Day trip to Shiragawago
        Travel to Kanazawa
        Overnight in Kanazawa

        Day 4, Tue 7 Nov
        Explore Kanazawa
        Travel to Fukui
        Explore Fukui
        Travel to Osaka
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 5, Wed 8 Nov
        Kyoto Day Trip
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 6, Thu 9 Nov
        Osaka
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 7, Fri 10 Nov
        Osaka
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 8, Sat 11 Nov
        Osaka
        Flight back in the afternoon from KIX

        Alternatively, I was considering getting the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and pay for return Shinkansen tickets to Nagoya & bus to Shiragawago:

        Day 1, Sat 4 Nov
        Arrive at KIX at noon
        Travel to Shinamo-Omachi via Nagoya
        Overnight in Shinamo Omachi

        Day 2, Sun 5 Nov
        Embark on Alpine Route from Shinamo Omachi to Toyama
        Get luggage delivered to Takayama hotel
        Travel to Takayama
        Overnight in Takayama

        Day 3, Mon 6 Nov
        Explore Takayama town in the morning
        Day trip to Shiragawago
        Overnight in Takayama

        Day 4, Tue 7 Nov
        Day trip to Shinhotaka ropeway
        Travel to Osaka via Nagoya
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 5, Wed 8 Nov
        Kyoto Day Trip
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 6, Thu 9 Nov
        Osaka
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 7, Fri 10 Nov
        Osaka
        Overnight in Osaka

        Day 8, Sat 11 Nov
        Osaka
        Flight back in the afternoon from KIX

        I understand the weather in November isn’t very good, but I have been wanting to see the alps so I hope I can still catch a glimpse of it.

        Thank you!

        1. Hi Valerie san,

          If you take the first plan and continue trip to Kurobe dam, are you going back to same way via Murodo? Or are you going to Nagano and catch Shinkansen to go back to Toyama? If you go to Nagano, you can use Tateyama Kurobe option ticket.
          http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/

          This is valid for one way trip only. You cannot use this pass to go back to Toyama from Murodo. And also you need to pay Shinkansen ticket for Nagano to Toyama which is 7,100 yen.

          If you take plan 2, arrival day schedule may be tight. The following long long link shows you train schedule on Nov 4.
          http://www.hyperdia.com/en/cgi/en/search.html?dep_node=KANSAI%20AIRPORT&arv_node=SHINANO-OMACHI&via_node01=&via_node02=&via_node03=&year=2017&month=11&day=04&hour=13&minute=00&search_type=0&search_way=&transtime=undefined&sort=0&max_route=5&faretype=0&ship=off&lmlimit=null&search_target=route&facility=reserved&sum_target=7

          But you need to exchange Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass at Shin-Osaka, Kyoto or Nagoya. You will spend 10-15 minutes to exchange. And you need to take one later train at Kyoto or Nagoya.

          In my opinion, plan 1 is less risk and easier. You can purchase Tateyama Kurobe option ticket at Toyama station. So you can decide your plan in the last minutes. You can purchase Shinkansen ticket from Nagano to Toyama at Toyama station too. So it’s more flexible.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi Takeshi-san,

    Greetings from Singapore. You have provided a detailed explanation of the various trains covered under Takayama Hokuriku Area Tourist Pass but I could not find such detailed information for Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass.

    Thus, below are our itinerary and would like to check if the transport cost is covered under Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass. We will be staying in Toyama and Nagoya.

    Day 1)
    From Nagoya station to Tomaya station via LTD. EXP (WIDE VIEW) HIDA

    Question – Can we use Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and can we reserve seats?

    Day 2)
    Visit Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route using the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass

    Question – From SHINANO-OMACHI (JR station), I understand that there is no direct train to Toyama station as I use the Hyperdia to search. Thus, what is the best way to return to Toyama using the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass?

    Day 3 morning)
    Travel to Shirakawago village by taking Nohi Bus from Toyama station to Shirakawago

    Question – is this included in Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass?

    Day 3 afternoon)
    Visit Kurobe Gorge by taking SHINKANSEN HAKUTAKA from Toyama station to KUROBE-UNAZUKIONSEN

    Question – is this included in Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and can we reserve seats?

    Day 4)
    Visit Shinhotaka Ropeway by taking train from Toyama to Takayama station (via LTD. EXP (WIDE VIEW) HIDA) and then take Nohi Bus from From Takayama Nohi bus center.

    Question – is this included in Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and can we reserve seats?

    Day 5)
    From Tomaya station to Nagoya station via LTD. EXP (WIDE VIEW) HIDA

    Looking forward to your advice.

    Thanks so much in advance for your assistance

    best regards
    susan chong

    1. Hi Susan san,

      Day 1)
      From Nagoya station to Tomaya station via LTD. EXP (WIDE VIEW) HIDA
      Question – Can we use Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and can we reserve seats?

      >>> Yes, you can. This pass allows you to book a reserved seat up to 4 times.

      Day 2)
      Visit Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route using the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass
      Question – From SHINANO-OMACHI (JR station), I understand that there is no direct train to Toyama station as I use the Hyperdia to search. Thus, what is the best way to return to Toyama using the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass?

      >>> Most affordable way is taking a local train from Shina-Omachi to Minami-Otari, Minami-Otari to Itoigawa, and then Shinkansen from Itoigawa to Toyama. But train does not run frequently from Minami-Otari to Itoigawa and this route is not very convenient. Even though you need to pay more but the best route is taking bus to Nagano and then taking Shinkansen from Nagano to Toyama.
      http://www.alpico.co.jp/access/express/nagano_omachi/#timetable_summer

      Day 3 morning)
      Travel to Shirakawago village by taking Nohi Bus from Toyama station to Shirakawago
      Question – is this included in Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass?

      >>> No.

      Day 3 afternoon)
      Visit Kurobe Gorge by taking SHINKANSEN HAKUTAKA from Toyama station to KUROBE-UNAZUKIONSEN
      Question – is this included in Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and can we reserve seats?

      >>> No. You should take Toyama Chiho Railway from Toyama to Unazuki-Onsen directly.

      Day 4)
      Visit Shinhotaka Ropeway by taking train from Toyama to Takayama station (via LTD. EXP (WIDE VIEW) HIDA) and then take Nohi Bus from From Takayama Nohi bus center.
      Question – is this included in Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass and can we reserve seats?

      >>> You can take Wide View Hida to Takayama by this pass but bus to Shin-Hotaka is not covered.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi-san,

        Thanks so much for your quick reply.

        Some queries:

        1) Day 2 – Visit Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
        I think it is best for us to take local bus from Ogizawa station to JR Nagano station, and then take SHINKANSEN HAKUTAKA or SHINKANSEN KAGAYAKI from JR Nagano station to Tomaya station.

        I noted that local bus between Ogisawa – Shinano-Omachi is covered under Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass but if I take local bus from Ogizawa station to JR Nagano station, is this still covered under Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass?

        (I noted that SHINKANSEN HAKUTAKA or SHINKANSEN KAGAYAKI from JR Nagano station to Tomaya station is not covered under Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass)

        2) Day 3 afternoon – Visit Kurobe Gorge by taking SHINKANSEN HAKUTAKA from Toyama station to KUROBE-UNAZUKIONSEN

        You mentioned that I should take Toyama Chiho Railway from Toyama to Unazuki-Onsen directly so this is covered under Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass, yes?

        If no, I checked from hyperdia that the travel time via SHINKANSEN HAKUTAKA is much faster and the unreserved fare is 1440yen as compared to 1840yen via Toyama Chiho Railway. Thus, I prefer to take SHINKANSEN HAKUTAKA and my question: is KUROBE-UNAZUKIONSEN station within walking distance to Unazuki station to visit Kurobe Gorge?

        3) Day 5 – From Tomaya station to Nagoya station via LTD. EXP (WIDE VIEW) HIDA

        Question – is this included in Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass?

        4) Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass
        Do you have a detailed write-up on Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass in your website? If yes, can you provide the webpage link?

        Looking forward to your reply.

        Thanks so much in advance for your assistance

        1. Hi Susan san,

          1. Express bus to Nagano
          If you take an express bus from Ogizawa to Nagano, you have to pay full fare. The pass does not cover even Ogizawa to Shinano-Omachi segment. If you want to save your cost, take a local bus to Shinano-Omachi and then catch express bus to Nagano at Shinano-Omachi.

          2. Trip to Kurobe
          The pass does not cover anything. It does not cover Shinkansen and Toyama Chiho railway. If you want to take Shinkansen, you can take it. Kurobe Unazukionsen and Shin-Kurobe are almost same location.

          3. You can take Wide View Hida from Toyama to Nagoya by this pass.

          4. I don’t have any post about this pass unfortunately.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. My wife and I from Singapore would like to spend about a week or at the end of September this year to visit this route and hopefully to catch the colours of this route in autumn. Beside experiencing travel along this route, we would be starting and ending our visit from Tokyo.We would like to stay at Tateyama at least for night and be able to visit Shirakawa,Kurobe Dam and a ride on the Kurobe Gorge Railway. If time permits, we would also like to see the Showyu Falls. Would be most obliged if you could plan a schedule and the most suitable JR Rail Pass to purchase. Thank you.

    1. Hi Michael,

      You can start this route from Nagano to Toyama. Of course you can stay in Tateyama if you like on alpine route. The following link shows you one day trip itinerary but you can get some idea from this link:
      https://jprail.com/destinations/chubu-area/sample-itinerary-of-day-trip-to-kurobe-tateyama-alpine-route-from-tokyo.html

      Kurobe Gorge can be visited from Toyama as day trip. Shirakawago can be visited from Toyama as day trip too.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-get-shirakawa-go-%E7%99%BD%E5%B7%9D%E9%83%B7.html

      You can use JR pass to get Nagano from Toyama, from Toyama to Tokyo. But all transportation on alpine route, train to Kurobe gorge and bus to Shirakawago are not covered by JR Pass. If you visit these places only, Hokuriku arch pass is better option.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/tokyo-osaka-hokuriku-arch-pass-user-guide-clarify-valid-trains-coverage-area-and-compare-single-fare-and-pass.html

      Unfortunately I don’t make any travel plans personally because once I do it, everybody may ask me and it’s too much for me. Please understand.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Hi Takeshi-San,

    I’ll be travelling with my husband with the following itinerary (in August):

    19th – Arrive in Fukuoka/ Overnight in Hakata
    20th – Day trip to Nagasaki
    21st – Day trip to Beppu
    22nd – Overnight in Nagoya
    23rd – Arrive in Takayama/ Overnight in Takayama
    24th – Day trip to Shirakawa-go
    25th – Depart Takayama/ Head towards Toyoma for the Alpine Route/ Overnight stay in Midagahari Hotel
    26th – Complete Alpine Route/ Overnight in Nagano
    27th – Head towards Tokyo

    Based on the above itinerary, seek your advise on the following:
    1. Will it be more worthwhile for us to get the 14 days JR Nationwide pass instead?
    2. Will the JR Pass cover the journey for Alpine Route?
    3. As we are staying overnight in Midagahara Hotel, we will most probably check-in to the hotel after lunch. Will any of the pass option allow us to travel to Murodo & Kurobe Dam after check-in and return back to Midagahara hotel in the evening, so that the next morning we can depart straight from the hotel and head towards Matsumoto/Nagano?

    We are also comfortable with self-driving in Japan should it be another option to work around the itinerary.

    Any suggestion on the above itinerary greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Trix san,

      1. I recommend you to use Kyushu Rail Pass northern Kyushu 3 days and JR Pass 7 days.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/kyushu-rail-pass-the-best-deal-for-rail-trip-in-kyushu-for-oversea-visitors.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      This combination offers same coverage as 14 days JR pass but cheaper. You may use 3 days Kyushu rail pass for 19 to 21. And then you can use JR pass on 22.

      2. No. Tateyama Kurobe option ticket is most common deal.
      http://www.jrtateyama.com/e/

      3. But this deal gives you only one way. You cannot do Murodo and Kurobe dam and back to Midagahara by this deal. You need to buy regular ticket for Midgahara – Kurobe return. There is no deals to cover this round trip. You will go through Murodo and Kurobe on the way to Nagano. I think you can enjoy hike around Midagahara, and visit Murodo and Kurobe dam on the way to Nagano. It’s easier and cheaper.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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