When you visit Kurobe Gorge (Kurobe Kyōkoku – 黒部峡谷), one of Japan’s top 100 hidden scenic spots located in the mountains of the Northern Japan Alps, the Kurobe Kyokoku Sightseeing Train (黒部峡谷鉄道トロッコ電車) is the experience that you don’t want to miss.
The 20km railway brings you a breath-taking scenic view of the gorge, known for its length and depth!
The railway was originally created for the construction of Kurobe Dam and is now open to tourists who are after the panoramic views of the gorge and the Kurobe river down. It is possible to get off at the stations along the train line for exploration and photos.
Below is a detailed guide of the trainline, from reservation to what to do at each of the stations on the line.
3 Types of Carriage for You to Choose From
- Regular/open type of carriage
- 2nd class carriage: regular carriage fare + 370 yen
- 1st class carriage: regular carriage fare + 530 yen
- Regular/open type carriage: if it isn’t rainy, then we would probably just settle with this as there are no windows/barriers between you and the fresh air in the scenic gorge
- 2nd class carriage: the carriage has windows installed. So if the weather isn’t good, it’s a great choice
→ Price is the regular carriage fare + 370 yen
- 1st class carriage: with windows installed like the 2nd class carriage, the SEAT FACING CAN BE ADJUSTED to suit the direction of travel which is a great plus!
→ Price is the regular carriage fare + 530 yen
Check out HERE for more information on train fare, photo of each kind of carriage as well as timetable
Tips: if you do plan to go during peak season, it’ll be a great idea to book in advance as they do limit the number of people that can board the train to ensure everyone has a seat
Reserve your tickets online HERE
Then exchange your ticket at Window No. 1 or No.2 at least 10 mins before your departure time
Things to Know About Reserving Your Kurobe Torroko Sightseeing Train Ticket
- Reservation is available 3 months before till 3 pm from your travel date with the reservation for Apr to Jun opened from 1st of Apr
- Reservation is only available from Unazuki Station
- Modification and cancellation is possible but fees may apply
- Click HERE for more information about ticket reservation and cancellation fees
- As cancellation or modification to your tickets can’t be done on the internet once you’ve made the payment, if you do need help with modification/cancellation, you can contact us HERE and we’ll be able to assist you further
☛ If you do get off before the destination shown on your ticket, the original ticket you’ve purchased is forfeited. A new ticket will need to be purchased before you can get on the train again
☛ Other than Unazuki Station, there is no toilet on the train nor station. Make sure you finish your business before you start your exploration of Kurobe Gorge
☛ If you choose the regular carriage, it can be cold in the tunnels on the train line especially before mid-Jun and from late Sep, so make sure you bring enough warm clothing
☛ There may be no reception during your trip on the train line
The Four Stations on the Sightseeing Train Line
There are a total of 4 stations on the sightseeing train line that you can get on/off to explore. The official English site provides brief highlights around each station. Some more highlights will be outlined below!
Unazuki Station (宇奈月駅) – Yamabiko Lookout (やまびこ展望台)
A 10 mins walk from Unazuki Onsen Station. This lookout is opened from early April to mid-December each year.
From the lookout, you can see the magnificent flow of Kurobe River and the famous Shin-Yamabiko Bridge as well as a full view of the Unazuki Onsen Town.
Unazuki Station – Kurobeshi Unazuki Kokusai Kaikan Serene Museum (黒部川電気記念館)
If you enjoy spending time in galleries/museums, visit the Serene museum! It’s only 5 mins away from Unazuki Onsen Station. Check out HERE to see what’s on!
Unazuki Station – Ashiyu (Foot Spa)
Rest at this free foot spa area and enjoy some quiet time watching the sightseeing trains passing by. Especially recommended when it’s cold!
It will be hard to miss when you walk from the Toyama Chiho Railway Unazuki Onsen Station to Sightseeing Railway’s Unazuki Station.
The onsen/hot spring is approximately 40 degrees, good for Neuralgia, muscle pain, arthralgia, gastrointestinal disease, bruise, motor dysfunction, chronic gastrointestinal disease.
Unazuki Station – 2nd Floor Of Unazuki Onsen Sightseeing Railway Station
Discover the history of the rail line and the Unazuki Onsen Town while getting some rest!
Unazuki Station – Statue of Peace (平和の像)
The statue of peace here is a Buddha Kano statue. From here, you have the natural scenic beauty of the surrounding mountain. If it’s sunny, you can even see the pacific ocean in the distance!
Unazuki Station – Yamabiko Bridge (山彦橋) and Yamabiko Promenade (やまびこ遊歩道)
Just 10 minutes walk from Unazuki Onsen Station, the Yamabiko Bridge offers you a view of the “New Yamabiko Bridge” that the sightseeing train is running on. Get the best photo of the Shin Yamabiko Bridge and the sightseeing train in one go from Yamabiko Bridge!
Kanetsuri Station (鐘釣駅) – Sightseeing Train “Switching Back”
At Kanetsuri station, due to the limited space available for the station’s construction, the sightseeing train has to move backward before it moves forward again. The scene is so rare that tourists from around the country coming to Kurobe Gorge just to see the scene in person!
Keyakidaira Station (欅平駅) – Rooftop Observation Deck
As soon as you arrive at the final stop – Keyakidaira Station, head up to the observation deck at the station’s rooftop!
The contrast between the greenery and the red Okukane Bridge (奥鐘橋) is just awesome!
Keyakidaira Station – Okukane Bridge (奥鐘橋)
Not too far away from Keyakidairai Station, you will see this bright red bridge.
The vermilion bridge that is 34 meters above the group over the mainstream of the Kurobe River can be quite daunting for those who are afraid of height. But, we assure you that you can hardly fall from the bridge. And, the view from this bridge will be worth every effort that you take to overcome your fear!
Keyakidaira Station – Sarutobi Canyon (猿飛峡)
When you come to Kurobe Gorge, Sarutobi Canyon is the spot that you just can’t miss out on. Because It is the spot that represents the Kurobe Gorge!
Here, you will find the deepest and steepest valley in Japan. The spot is one of the reasons why Kurobe Gorge is so popular amongst tourists (^_-)-☆.
From Keyakidaira Station to Sarutobi Canyon, it is just an easy 20 minutes trekking. If you want to head to the Okukaneyama (奥鐘山), it will be a good 2 hours hike!
Keyakidaira Station – Construction Elevator to the Panorama Viewing Deck
At Keyakidaira Station, there’s a secret panorama viewing deck that isn’t normally open to the public.
By booking in advance with a special tour, you will be able to access this special viewing deck that gives you a 360° panorama view of nearby mountains in the Keyakidaira area.
Click HERE for more information about the tour!