Alpine route, Kurobe gorge and Shin-Hotaka 3-day sample trip plan. Three best scenic mountain routes with Shirakawago and Takayama

Kurobe Gorge Railway trains go along the deep valley,

This 3-day trip plan covers these following mountain routes and spots in Japan Alps mountain range:

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route
✔ 1 hour walking in Murodo
✔ Ride on Kurobe Gorge Railway
✔ 2 hours sightseeing in Shirakawago
✔ Visit Takayama morning market
✔ Shin-Hotaka Ropeway

Two train rides are covered by JR Pass or JR East Pass Nagano Niigata. But you cannot get your money worth by this trip. You may use this sample as the part of your trip.

Overview

On day 1, enjoy the first mountain route, “Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route” . Unazuki Onsen is the place to stay overnight. This is the departure point for Kurobe Gorge Railway too.

On day 2, enjoy the ride on Kurobe Gorge Railway to see the spectacular view. You have 50 minutes break at Keyakidaira station. There are a few nice photo spots.

Move to Toyama to catch the bus for Shirakawago after visiting Kurobe Gorge. You will have 2 hours stop at Shirakawago to see a lovely village. After that, move to Takayama and stay overnight.

On day 3, drop by Takayama morning market and then take a bus for Shin-Hotaka. Enjoy an amazing view from the summit of Shin-Hotaka ropeway.

Day 1, Tokyo – Nagano – Alpine Route – Unazuki Onsen

snow wall
Snowwall is very popular in the spring season.

On the first day of trip, you will take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano and start to go through Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. You will make a stopover at Murodo at the highest point of the Alpine Route.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
06:16Tokyo station
(The Hokuriku Shinkansen Kagayaki 501)
07:40 / 08:15Nagano station
(Alpico Kotsu express bus)
10:00 / 10:30Ogizawa station
(Kanden Electric Bus)
10:46Kurobe Dam station
15 minutes walking
11:10Kurobeko station
(Kurobe Cablecar)
11:15 / 11:30Kurobedaira station
(Tateyama Ropeway)
11:37 / 11:45Daikanbo station
(Tateyama Torolley Bus)
11:55 / 14:20Murodo (lunch stop and walking)
(Tateyama Highland Bus)
15:10 / 15:20Bijodaira station
(Tateyama Cablecar)
15:27 / 15:51Tateyama station
(Toyama Chiho Railway limited express Tateyama 6)
16:26 / 16:42Terada station
(Toyama Chiho Railway local train)
18:10Unazuki-Onsen station

Highlight

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Kurobe dam
You can walk on Kurobe Dam

This is most popular mountain route in Japan. You will go through this route by many kinds of transportation, such as cablecars, ropeway, torolley buses. The vies is spectacular.

Murodo

The trails are well maintained around Murodo station.

Murodo is located at the highest elevation which is 2,450 m above the sealevel. And this is the biggest station on the Alpine Route. There are several restaurants and food stands. You will enjoy a lunch time with a great view.

You can enjoy walking in the moutain fresh air.

Unazuki Onsen

Unazuki Onsen is one of major hot spring resorts in this region. There are many accommodations from the standard to highend. This place is the departure point for Kurobe Gorge Railway. You can start this train trip on next day easily.

Day 2, Unazuki Onsen – Keyakidaira – Toyama – Shirakawago – Takayama

Kurobe Gorge Railway
Kurobe Gorge Railway train is smaller than other ordinarly trains in Japan.

The second day of trip will be busy. You will visit Kurobe Gorge and Shirakawago.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
07:57Unazuki-Onsen station
(Kurobe Gorge Railway)
09:12 / 10:01Keyakidaira station
(Kurobe Gorge Railway)
11:20 / 11:39Unazuki-Onsen station
(Toyama Chiho Railway local train)
13:17 / 14:10Toyama station
(Toyama Chitetsu Bus)
15:30 / 17:23Shirakawago bus terminal
(Nohi Bus)
18:35Takayama bus terminal

Highlight

Kurobe Gorge Railway

Kurobe Gorge Railway

The small train goes along Kurobe gorge. It is located north side of Tateyama mountain. The 1 hour 20 minutes train ride offers a breathtaking view, especially in fall season.

Shirakawago

Shirakawago
The residences in Shirakawago are so lovely.

This small historical village is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many Japanese traditional style residences in the mountain.

Day 3, Takayama – Shin Hotaka – Matsumoto – Tokyo

The by-level gondola
The by-level gondola of Shi-Hotaka ropeday is only one in Japan

The 3-day trip will be wrapped up. You will enjoy a time in Takayama morning market and then move to Shin-Hotaka Ropeway. (It is sometimes called “Shin-Hodaka”.)

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
09:40Takayama bus terminal
(Nohi Bus)
11:16 / 14:55Shin-Hotaka Ropeway (with lunch time)
(Nohi Bus)
15:28 / 15:50Hirayu Onsen bus terminal
(Nohi Bus or Alpico Kotsu express bus)
17:15 / 18:40Matsumoto station
(The limited express Azusa 54)
21:06Shinjuku station

Highlight

Takayama Morning Market / Old Town

Takayama
Takayama old town

The morning market is held daily basis. It is held near Takayama old preserved town. You may visit both at same time.

Shin-Hotaka Ropeway

shin-hodaka-summit
The view from summit observation view point

You can get the summit view point at 2,156 m by two gondolars easily. One of the gondola is a by-level one and it is only by-level on in Japan.

Travel cost

All train trips are covered by JR Pass and JR East Pass Nagano Niigata. And you have to add Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket, Three-star Route Option Ticket, and a few regular fare ticket.

You must purchase Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket (at 9,800 yen) and Three-star Route Option Ticket (at 5,500 yen) before you start this trip in Tokyo. You can buy these tickets at JR East Travel Service Center. Please see the links below to find more information:

Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket (official site)
Three-star Route Option Ticket (official site)

TripCost
The Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to NaganoCovered
Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket for
Alpico Kotsu express bus from Nagano to Ogizawa,
Tateyama Kurone Alpine route from Ogizawa to Tateyama
9,800 yen
Toyama Chiho Railway from Tateyama to TeradaCovered
Toyama Chiho Railway limited express ticket110 yen
Toyama Chiho Railway from Terada to Unazuki-Onsen1,610 yen
Kurobe Gorge Railway round trip to Keyakidaira3,960 yen
Toyama Chiho Railway from Unazuki-Onsen to Dentetsu-Toyama
(For the ride from Unazuki-Onsen to Terada only. Tateyama Kurobe
Option Ticket covers the ride for Terada to Dentetsu-Toyama.)
1,610 yen
Three-star Route Option Ticket for
Toyama Chitetsu express bus from Toyama to Shirakwago,
Nohi Bus from Shirakawago to Takayama
Nohi bus from Takayama to Hirayu-Onsen
Nohi bus or Alpico Kotsu Express bus from Hirayu-Onsen to Matsumoto
5,500 yen
Nohi Bus from Takayama to Shin-Hodaka
For the ride from Hirayu-Onsen to Shin-Hodaka. Three-star Route
Option Ticket covers the ride for Takayama to Hirayu-Onsen.)
910 yen
Shin-Hodaka Ropeway2,900 yen
The limited express Azusa from Matsumoto to ShinjukuCovered
Total cost27,310 yen
Accommodations and meals are not included.

Summary

I understand it is such a busy trip. But I just tried to put all three mountain spots and Shirakawago in 3 days.

You may download this itinerary in Excel file (.xlsx file) and customize it. Please download it at the link below:

You can extend the duration to add Kanazawa and/or Toyama.

I hope you can enjoy this trip.

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