Vegetarian's Japan Guide

A Day Trip to the Stunning Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (立山黒部アルペンルート) is a scenic route that goes through the Japanese North Alps, connecting Toyama prefecture and Nagano prefecture. It is also known as the Roof of Japan. This spectacular route is known for its magnificent 20-meter snow corridor, which can only be experienced in limited spots worldwide. In 2023, you can walk in the snow corridor from the 15th of April to the 25th of June. But, we believe the best season for visiting is autumn, especially if your home country snows during winter!

Tateyama-Kurobe-Ropeway

In autumn, you avoid the massive crowd. In addition, starting from JR Toyama Station (富山駅) to the top of the alp of 3,015 meters above the ground, you will experience an amazing four seasons view in just one autumn day (check out the Fall Foliage Viewing Timing Table at the end of this article)!

If you are worrying about whether you can hike to the top of the mountain, don’t worry! The whole Alpine Route offers various transportation options, including cable cars, busses, trolley buses, and ropeways that will bring you to the top of the mountain – Murodō. Between each transport mode, there are different beautiful treks for those who fancy walking into nature (´ω`*).

Ⓒ Tateyama Kurobe Kanko Ltd

Table of Contents

Tips:
☆彡 Get some food from convenience stores before you start your trip! Unfortunately, there aren’t too many choices for food on the route.
☆彡 Menya Iroha CiC (麺家いろは CiC店) at B1 of CiC shopping mall at the station’s south exit has two choices of vegan ramen noodles soup.

*** The recommendations below are for those who plan to spend only one day on the whole route.  For a stay over multiple days, check out the transport time schedule and official crowdedness forecast to plan HERE) ***

Exploring Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route With a Tour

If you prefer to join a tour, below are a couple of options you can consider.

About Making a Reservation to Various Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Whether you decide to purchase an advanced ticket or a ticket on the day, ensure you make a reservation to Tateyama Cable Car or Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus.

  • If you start your journey from Toyama Prefecture, you need to reserve a seat for Tateyama Cable Car. A reservation isn’t required and can’t be made for Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus. Please queue for the next service when you are ready to proceed to Ogizawa.
  • If you start your journey from Nagano Prefecture, you need to reserve a seat for Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus. A reservation isn’t required and can’t be made for Tateyama Cable Car. Please queue for the next service when you are ready to proceed to Tateyama Station.

If you plan to purchase a ticket on the day, you can do so at Dentetsu Tateyama Station, Dentetsu Toyama Station, and Ogizawa Station.

You can refer to the official website HERE for more details, which has photos and maps of the ticket office.

Using the Alpine Takayama Matsumoto Area Pass

You can’t use the Alpine Takayama Matsumoto Area Pass to reserve the Tateyama Cable Car or Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus. Please visit the ticket office to reserve your seat on the day.

Should I Start the Route from Toyama or Nagano??

As you may have gathered from the transport mode map above, you may start your exploration of the great Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from either the Toyama or Nagano sides. So how will you decide which city to start with?

Based on our personal experience, we recommend starting from Toyama. Many tourists start from Nagano, so starting from Toyama will allow you to enjoy the magnificent scenery with the smallest crowd around. (Note that this may not be the case if you go between April and June for the snow corridor!)

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route’s Busy Season

☆彡 As Japanese hikers love this place as well, avoid weekends as well as Japanese public holidays. As a general guide, the route is busy during
   ☛ Mid-April to Mid-May
   ☛ Mid-August
   ☛ Late September to early October

What to Do with My Luggage?

Baggage forwarding services between the two sides of the route are available at each end of the alpine route. The service will cost you 2,500 yen per luggage. Please refer to the official website HERE for more information.

Important: Before the pandemic, they used to be able to forward your luggage to Nagano Station. But this is not the case in 2024. If your final destination is Nagano Station and you require the baggage forwarding service, you will need to pick it up from Shinano Ōmachi Station (consider this when you book your accommodation and bus ticket from Ogizawa).

Tip: If you do want to stay anywhere on the route that isn’t around the stations where the Alpine Route Baggage Forwarding Service is available, you can always ask your hotel to arrange for private luggage shipping to your next accommodation (‘ω’)ノ. The other option is the coin lockers at each station (excluding Tengudaira) on the route. It costs money, but you want to be as light as possible when trekking!

What Time Should My Day Start?

Assuming you are staying in one of the cheaper accommodation options in Toyama City the night before, your day should start really early. Especially if you (like us) want to catch the first train from Toyama, which departs at approximately 6 am.

The Attractions on Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

Stop 1: Dentetsu Toyama Station (電鉄富山)

Your 65-minute train ride to Tateyama Station starts here!

If you have already purchased a ticket online, head to the ticket machine to scan your QR code for the paper-based ticket.

If you haven’t made a reservation, purchase it at Dentetsu Toyama Station and reserve your spot for Tateyama Cable Car, which departs from Tateyama Station.

If you are catching the first train, you might need to wait a bit before they allow you to the platform after you pass the ticket gate. But this is what your train should look like (though always confirm the indicator screen around the platform)!

Check out the view during this train ride. Already scenic!

Important: If you purchased a Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Option Ticket or Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass, there is no need to buy another ticket to travel from Dentetsu Toyama to Tateyama Station. This journey is included in your set ticket.

Stop 2: Tateyama Station (立山駅)

After you get off the train at Tateyama Station, go straight up one level and queue for the cable car if the cable car you reserve departs next.

If you need to change the boarding time or have other ticket-related issues, there are two Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Ticket Sales Counters you can utilize. The first one is at the right of the ticket gate on B1, and the other one is at the back of the shop on the first level.

You can refer to the station map HERE.

Ⓒ photo-ac.com

Here start your 7-minute cable car ride to Bijodaira (美女平)!

Please follow others and queue to board the cable car.

Tip: When boarding the cable car, don’t sit on the seats but go straight to the front of the cable car to enjoy the panorama view on the way to Bijodaira!

Stop 3: Bijodaira Station (美女平)

If you have time, you have the option of trekking around the forestry area at Bijodaira Station to experience the fresh air and various wildlife!

The bus service you should catch depends on your next stop. There are two corridors to two different bus stops.
☆ One is express to the top of the mountain – Murodō (50-minute ride), or
☆ Stopping over at Midagaraha and/or Tengudaira (30-minute ride).

Tip: Sit on the left-hand side of the bus to see the Shomyo Fall (称名滝) during this bus ride! (if you are starting from Nagano, then RHS)

Stop 3.01:On the Way to Midagahara

Ⓒ photo-ac.com

On the way to Murodō, your bus driver will most probably stop or drive really slow and start talking.
He/she is trying to direct your attention to the left – Shōmyō Fall (称名滝). It is most beautiful during the autumn foliage season when leaves start to redden.

Stop 4: Midagahara Stop (弥陀ヶ原)

At Bijodaira Stop, if you have time, enjoy the trekking courses (3 courses, with the longest one taking approximately 2 hours for a return trip).

If you choose to stay at the Midagahara Hotel, the hotel provides its customers with free activities such as nighttime stargazing and staff-led highland trekking!
Check out the trekking map at the end of the webpage (it may give you some ideas despite being in Japanese) provided by Midagahara Hotel.

Stop 5: Murodō (室堂) – The Top of the Mountain!

The first thing you will want to do when you arrive at Murodō is to take a picture with the landmark. There are professional photographers around to help tourists take photos with it.

And don’t worry. They don’t charge you unless you want the photo from their camera!

Get your water bottle ready! The famous Teteyama Tamadono Spring Water is among the most natural spring water we have ever tasted! It is coming directly from the snowmelt in the area. There are also scoops for you to use if you require them (‘ω’)ノ.

After you fill up your bottle, start trekking/hiking (or if you go between April and June, enjoy the snow)!

Stop 5.01: Backcountry Skiing, Snow Walking, and Sledding at Murodō

The snow/ski season here in Mt. Tateyama is between April and May. Ski on 3,000 meter-tall mountain will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience (‘ω’)ノ.

Hotel Tateyama offers free rentals of snowshoes, stock, long boots, and sleds. Otherwise, you’ll need to bring your own gear.

You can enjoy various snow activities HERE, at Murodō, including the FAMOUS SNOW CORRIDOR WALK (the link is to the Japanese official website link as the English official website lacks activities information)!

Snow-Corridor-Tateyama-Kurobe-Alpine-Route
Ⓒ photo-ac.com

Stop 5.02: Hiking at Murodō

Ⓒ photo-ac.com

☛ Hiking: to the top of the mountain to enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding mountainouts scenery. There is even a chance to see Mt Fuji on a sunny day!

Allow yourself approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes (climbing 2 hours + 1 hour and 40 minutes going back to Murodō).

Stop 5.03:Trekking at Murodō

☛ Trekking: there are various trekking courses in the area. Consider the amount of time you have and choose the course that best suits you.

No matter which course you choose, make sure you walk to the Mikurigaike Pond! The view there includes a reflection of the mountain in the pond and is absolutely breathtaking.

Check out the photo on the official Japanese website (unfortunately, the English version doesn’t have as many photos).

Stop 5.04: Camping at Raichōsawa Camping Ground (雷鳥沢キャンプ場)

Ⓒ photo-ac.com

For those who love camping, how about bringing your own tent and camping at Raichōsawa Camping Ground?

Whilst you have to bring your own food, so you don’t starve during the time you spend at the campground, it will definitely be an unforgettable experience!

From late May to early July, the longer you stay in the Murodō area, the larger the chance you have to spot one of these nearly extinct birds of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route – Raichō!

Tip: During the peak camping season in August, you might want to bring one of those mobile toilets with you. This is particularly the case in November when the toilet at the campground becomes unavailable.

Ⓒ photo-ac.com

Stop 5.05: To the Murodō Trolley Bus Stop

After you tire of the awesome Murodo area, head to Murodō Station and take the Tateyama Trolley Bus to Daikanbō.

Klook.com

Stop 6: Daikanbō (大観峰)

Enjoy the observation terrace, which allows for a view over the fantastic mountain and Kurobeko Lake view before you head off and queue for the ropeway to Kurobedaira!

←←←←←The Terrace &Daikanbō

View from the Terrace↓↓↓↓↓

Stop 7: Kurobedaira (黒部平)

After a 7-minute panorama scenic view, you will reach Kurobedaira.

The photo at the right is the ropeway that you will be getting off.

If you are hungry, visit the Restaurant Kurobedaira here at Kurobedaira Station (located on the 2nd floor) to fill up your stomach while enjoying the magnificent mountain view over Kurobedaira. (Note that for vegetarians, you probably won’t be able to find a true meat-free dish. The dishes selling at the restaurant probably all contain fish/meat stock.

Please refer to their allergen info under each dish on the MENU). You can also use the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to order.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Ropeway
Ⓒ Tateyama Kurobe Kanko Ltd

If you are not in a rush, walk around the station for a different view of the mountain range. We especially recommend the Panorama Terrace. Check out the photos on the official Japanese website!

Kurobedaira Landmark
Ⓒ photo-ac.com

You can also pay their botanical garden a visit to see the high-altitude plants!

Tip: If your water bottle is empty, fill it again with the sweet spring water at the Kurobedaira Landmark!

Stop 8: Kurobe Dam and Kurobeko Lake (黒部湖・黒部ダム)

Kurobe Dam is famed as the dam with the highest altitude in Japan that is not to be missed!!!

Take the Lake Pleasure Boat to tour around Kurobeko Lake! You will be traveling between the mountains surrounding the dam whilst having a different view of the great Kurobe Dam.

To get to the boat boarding deck, please check the indicator at the station for directions.

If you find yourself walking on top of the dam, you are walking in the wrong direction!

  • Time required: 30 minutes
  • Distance traveled: 11.5 km
  • Service Period: June to the 10th November

To us, the 1,100 yen for the ferry ticket is totally worth it! A highlight is a bridge that can be seen during the boat ride (the 2nd photo in the IG post).

There are several trekking courses of different lengths at Kurobe Dam Station. Check out the area map at the station and choose a course for light trekking!

After your leisure walk around Kurobeko Lake, on your way to Kurobe Dam Station, the view from the top of the Kurobe Dam is absolutely breathtaking (the 1st photo in the IG post)!


There are various lookout decks around the Kurobe Dam. If you are unafraid of the height, we highly recommend you climb up, as the photos that can be taken from the decks are magnificent! Check out a detailed illustration of various decks HERE.

Also, if you want to see the 10 tons per second of water pouring out of the dam, make sure you plan your trip to Kurobe Dam between the end of June to the 15th of October!

If the weather is good, you will be able to see a RAINBOW alongside the water coming out of the dam (*’▽’).

Ⓒ photo-ac.com

Step Back to Civilizations

From Kurobe Dam Station, take the Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus to Ogizawa. After crossing through Mt. Akawaza-Dake, you will arrive at Ogizawa Station. From here, you can choose to take a bus or train to JR Shinano Omachi or JR Nagano Station.

Important: If you have purchased the route’s option tickets or tourist pass and later decided you want to tour around Shinano Omachi Station before heading to Nagano, you will have to pay extra for the travel between Shinano Omachi and Nagano Station.

Alpine route Electric Bus to Ogizawa
Ⓒ Tateyama Kurobe Kanko Ltd

Extra Information About Tateyama Kurobe Route

Fall Foliage Season:

Station/StopShomyo FallsBijodairaMidagaharaTengudairaMurodōDaikanbōKurobedairaKurobe DamOgizawa
Average Viewing TimeEnd of Oct to Early NovEnd of Oct to Early NovEnd of Sep to Early OctMid-Sep to End of SepMid-Sep to End of SepEnd of Sep to Early OctMid-Oct to end of OctMid-Oct to end of OctMid-Oct to end of Oct

Past Weather/Temperature Average at Murodō 

 Mid-AprLate AprEarly MayMid MayLate MayEarly JunMid-JunLate JunEarly JulMid-JulLate Jul
Temp1℃4℃5℃8℃9℃9℃10℃11℃12℃15℃16℃
Possibility of Sunny – Cloudy Day68%81%72%81%84%78%79%63%64%72%72%
Check out things to do on the official website HERE
 Early AugMid-AugLate AugEarly SepMid-SepLate SepEarly OctMid-OctLate OctEarly NovMid-NovLate Nov
Temp18℃15℃14℃13℃12℃11℃9℃6℃4℃2℃0℃-4℃
Possibility of Sunny – Cloudy Day88%74%62%68%62%66%70%65%73%72%62%69%

So… How Much Does It Cost to Experience the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route??

The cost to travel through the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route depends on which ticket you purchase. You have four options.

  1. Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Ticket: The ticket includes the train fare from Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya and all transportation modes on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
  2. Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass: Unlimited rides on on JR local and limited express trains on the valid train lines and all transportations of the Alpine Route.
  3. One-way Express bus from Shinjuku to Toyama via the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
  4. Pay the normal fare from station to station. This option is more expensive, but you can reserve tickets online!
Matsumoto-Castle-and-Uzumi-Bridge-Matsumoto-Nagano-Japan
Use Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass to explore the surrounding destinations!

Important: The first 2 options above are only for people who entered Japan as temporary visitors with a “Temporary Visitor” stamped on their passport.

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Ticket

The 8-Day ticket includes the return train fare from a JR station in the Chūbu (Nagano, Gifu, and Shizuoka) and the Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, Himeji, and Kobe). In addition to the local, rapid, and express services, the ticket includes unlimited rides on a part of the Tōkaido Shinkansen and Hokuriku Shinkansen.

But note the ticket doesn’t allow you to get off the train between certain stations.

Refer to the JR Tōkai’s Official Website for more information. If you don’t read Japanese, translate it using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar. The parts of the train lines where you can’t get off the train are marked by dotted lines.

Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass:

In addition to the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, if you plan to also visit Toyama, Matsumoto, Kiso Fukushima, Nagoya, Gero, Takayama, and Furukawa, the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass is recommended.

The 5 consecutive days pass allows you unlimited travel on the non-reserved trains on JR limited express, rapid, and local trains between:

  • Nagoya and Toyama via Tōkaido/Takayama Lines
  • Shinano-Ōmachi to Nagoya via the Ōito/Shinonoi/Chūo Main Lines
Validity and Prices

 ☛ The ticket is valid for 5 consecutive days.
 ☛ 23,800 yen for adults and 11,900 yen for children between 6 and 11 of age.

Below is a list of popular destinations that you can travel to with this pass. Click on each of them to discover all the great attractions that you can visit in each area!

Please refer to the official website for more information such as the route map HERE.

Where to Purchase

Check out where you can purchase overseas and within Japan HERE.

A Side Trip to the Stunning Kurobe Gorge

Check out the attractions at Kurobe Gorge by clicking the photo!

Kurobe Gorge (Kurobe Kyokōku) is one of Japan’s top 100 hidden scenic spots and is located in the mountains of the Northern Japan Alps. It is the No.1 V-shaped Gorge in Japan! With its almost vertical cliffs and virgin forests plus the hot springs in the area, it is one of the most popular places for Japanese seeking relaxation amidst nature.

If the famous Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is also on your itinerary, why not enjoy the two most beautiful hidden places in Japan in one go since they’re so close to each other!

Explore the Fascinating Attractions in Matsumoto City

Wonder what else in the area is worth your time? Check out our list of selected attractions in Matsumoto that you won’t want to miss out on.

There are a couple of places where you can source delicious natural water in the city center, an art museum filled with Kusama Yayoi’s eye-opening contemporary artworks, places perfect for cherry blossom and fall foliage hunting, and a lot more!

For more information, please refer to our article on Matsumoto!

Matsumoto-Castles-Moat-and-Cherry-Blossom-Matsumoto-Nagano-Japan
Click the photo to find out more about this gorgeous attraction!


28 thoughts on “A Day Trip to the Stunning Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route”

  1. Hi Lily

    I plan to travel from Toyama side for the Tateyama alpine route on 24 May. Just wondering if buying Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass or ticket via the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine website would be a wiser choice? or do I go for the Takteyama Kurobe Alpine route option ticket?
    As I understand that no reservation for the cable car is allowed for Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass, would I have to queue for a longer time to board, as yet to find any info on the cable ride boarding system? Also, I plan to send my luggage to Shinano-Omachi, so just worried if I didn’t reserve any seat for the cable ride, I might not be in time to collect the luggage.

    My travel route is Nagoya – Takayama – Toyama – Matsumoto – Nagoya.

    1. Hello Eileen,

      Just note that the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Option Ticket isn’t on sale anymore. Replacing the ticket is the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Ticket issued by JR West and JR Tokai. This ticket might be a better option for you as it covers Nagoya to Takayama to Toyama to Matsumoto and back to Nagoya.
      https://visitjapan-vegetarian.com/tateyama-kurobe-alpine-route-toyama-nagano-japan/#Tateyama-Alpine-Route's-tickets-and-passes

      Regarding the luggage to Shinano-Omachi Station, the pick up time is between 3 pm and 5:45 pm according to the official website. So, make sure you catch the service leaving Kurobe Dam at 4:35 pm. If you missed the service, talk to the staff at the station so they can let the staff at the Shinano Omachi’s luggage reception staff know. I won’t be able to guarantee that they will wait for you. You might need to come back the next morning to pick it up.

      Same-day tickets will be available on the day. But if you are worried about the queue, I’d suggest to take the first service on the day.

      Hope the above helps.

  2. Hi Lily,

    I am planning to do a day-trip to the alpine on 6 May 2024 from Tokyo. I am planning to start from the Nagano side. I have a question, must I purchase tickets or could I afford to purchase same-day tickets on the spot? I see that if i purchase the pass online, I can only collect it from 12pm onwards a day before my start day. With this, I am extremely confused.

    Do you have any advice on the ticketing? Thanks!

  3. Hi LL,
    We are planning our trip on this area on Mid-May and we will purchase the “Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route” thru JR Pass. Is it possible if we will start at Toyama to Kurobedaira and we will go back from Kurobedaira to Toyama…Then next day from Shinano Omachi to Kurobe Dam then go back to Shinano Omachi…
    Kind Regards,
    Roldan

    1. Hello Roldan,
      Do you mean the Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Tourist Pass? It’s possible but I’m not sure if that’s the best way to do it. Are you planning to take the train/bus from Toyama to Shinano Omachi after you return to Toyama on the 1st day? Note a one-way trip takes at least 2.5 – 3 hours. Any reasons that you’re considering doing this?

      Kind regards,
      Lily

  4. Hi Lily
    Have seen the various past correspondences and you have been wonderful in patiently answering everyone’s request. I too have a few clarifications that I need your help on :
    1. I plan to take the Alpine travel in May 2024. Do you know when will the web ticket be available for advance booking?
    2. Does the ticket include both the Toyama Chiho railway from Dentesu to Tateyama station as well as the express bus from Ogizawa to Nagano station?
    3. I read online that only the Tateyama cable car needs reservation. From one of your earlier reply, it seems now the Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus would need reservation as well? Where do i go to make reservation for both these modes of transport?

    Thank you in advance for your kind Advice.

    1. Hi Vincent,
      Thanks for the kind words. Hope the below helps.
      1. Usually, the web ticket is available for purchase from mid-March.
      2. Believe the web ticket on the official website includes the journey from Tateyama Station to Ogizawa.
      3. For reservation, you can only reserve Tateyama Cable Car if you start from the Toyama side and Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus if you start from the Nagano side.

      Kind regards,
      Lily

    1. No worries Nancy 🙂
      Just got a confirmation from Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to confirm you can use the pass to travel on the Alpine Route as long as the pass is valid.
      Remember to reserve a seat when you get to the station for the Cable Car or the Electric Bus depending on the direction of travel.

  5. Hi Lily,
    Thank you for your prompt reply. 🥰
    No, I will make some stop over along the Route and I won’t be staying along the Route.
    Can we use the Pass for reversal routes?

  6. Hi,
    Thank you for your detailed information of the Alpine Route.
    I plan to stay near Shinano Omachi Station, if I start the route from this station to Toyama.
    Then do a reversal back to Shinano Omachi Station and May stop over at some sightseeing points on the return.
    Is it feasible? Do I need to make reservation at Toyama for the cable car?
    What tickets/pass shall I get?
    I plan to spend two days for this route so that I can have time to explore.
    I will be travelling in early November.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for the compliment.
      Do you mean you will travel from Shinano Omachi Station to Toyama Station via the Alpine Route without doing any sightseeing, and only explore the route when you travel from Toyama Station back to Shinano Omachi Station?
      I won’t recommend doing so because traveling on the Alpine Route isn’t cheap and it is a long journey.
      It is better if you stay in one of the hotels along the Alpine Route if you want to spend 2 days along the route.

      Regarding the pass you can get, you can consider the JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass if you plan to also visit other destinations nearby, such as Matsumoto and Takayama.

      Note you can’t use the pass to make a reservation online. But since early November is after the peak season, a reservation isn’t necessary.

      Kind regards,
      Lily

  7. Greetings! I want to express my sincere appreciation for this insightful article. I do have a few questions.

    I’ve acquired the JR Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass and plan to embark on my journey in mid-October via the Toyama route. Firstly, could you kindly advise me on how to secure a reservation for the Tateyama Cable Car? Additionally, I’m curious about the crowd levels during the October period. In case I’m unable to secure reservations, do you recommend an alternative route? Thank you in advance for your assistance!

    1. Hi Yuxian,

      Thanks for your comment and compliment. We really appreciate it.
      Regarding the crowd level, it is best to avoid the 7th to the 9th of October. You can refer to the official website and translate it using Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar for more information on the crowd prediction.
      https://www.alpen-route.com/information/calendar/

      Regarding whether you can use Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass to reserve Tateyama Cable Car, we are waiting for a reply from the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route company and will get back to you as soon as possible. At the moment, it does seem like you can’t use the pass to make a reservation online.

      Kind regards,
      Lily

    2. Hi Yuxian,

      It is confirmed by Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route company that you can’t use Alpine-Takayama-Matsumoto Area Pass to reserve Tateyama Cable Car. Please head to the ticket office at Tateyama Cable Car Station to exchange the ticket and board the next cable car.

      Unfortunately, there is no alternative route to get to Murodo. I would suggest you taking the earliest train to Tateyama Station. This way, you have more time to explore this stunning part of Japan and there will surely be a seat for you.

      Kind regards,
      Lily

  8. Hi! Very helpful article thank you so much. Have a couple of questions. Coming from Toyota on a Sunday to do Alpine Railway.

    Plan is to be at the cable car by 1 PM. Enjoy the railway and stop along the way and then overnight in Shinano Omachi

    My questions- if we don’t leave the cable car until 1 PM I know that does not leave much time as I think last bus is 4:30pm from Ogizawa. However, we would spend more time in the next day on the way coming back on Alpine from Shinano to Toyama. Do you think that would allow enough time? And if we buy the round-trip railway ticket, we can still get off the railway on the way back, correct?

    Next question- want to be sure the local bus that goes to Shinano Omachi is the same as the station? I want to make sure I book a hotel in the right location 😉

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you find the article useful.
      Assuming the cable car you talk about is the Tateyama Cable Car, it’s doable if there isn’t massive queue for the bus up the mountain once you get off the cable car and at Kurobe Dam.
      You can refer to the timetable on the official website. The last bus departs from Ogizawa is at 5:55pm.
      https://www.alpen-route.com/timetable/viewer/86787/

      Yes, the local bus stops at Shinano Omachi Station.

      Kind Regards,
      lily

  9. Hi there! The extra details in your post are really helpful! I actually plan to go to Murodo from Dentetsu Toyama, but the times for the cable car from Tateyama to Murodo are disappearing fast… Is a reservation *required* to go from Tateyama to Murodo via cable car? Or are only the reservations limited and you will be able to buy in person with no issues?

    Do you know if any other parts from Dentetsu to Murodo require a reservation? Also, if I do get a reservation and pre-pay, do I just pick up my tickets from the info counter at Dentetsu-Toyama station or something like that?

    Sorry for asking so many questions, I’ve just been desperate to hear the answers and I haven’t been able to find them anywhere!

    1. Hi Bay,

      No reservation was required to go from Tateyama to Murodo when we visited the route. However, I have just checked the official website again, and it seems like a reservation is required now if you want to board the cable car by 11.20. The Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus that you need to board to travel from Kurobe Dam to Ogizawa needs a reservation too.
      You can pick up your ticket at Dentetsu Toyama or Tateyama’s ticket machine by showing the QR code you would have got after a reservation is made.

      You can refer to the official website for more details.
      https://tateyama-kurobe-webservice.jp/AlpenTour/html/VW001W0010.html

      Kind Regards,
      Lily

      1. Hi Bay,

        We have got a clarification from Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
        If you start your trip from Toyama Prefecture, you only need to reserve Tateyama Cable Car. A reservation isn’t required and can’t be made for Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus. You just need to queue at the bus station when you are ready to head to Ogizawa.
        On the other hand, if you start from Ogizawa, it is the Kanden Tunnel Electric Bus that you need to reserve.

        The ticket is now also on sale at Dentetsu Toyama station. If you happen to miss the reserved cable car, you need to amend the boarding time at Tateyama Station.

        Hope the above helps.
        Kind Regards,
        Lily

  10. Hi Lily,

    I have a JR Pass and wanted to know if I can buy the Tateyama Kurobe Option ticket online? I could not find the site selling this. Or is it to be bought only on arrival in Japan at one of the JR train stations? We need this for a mid-May trip.

    Regards,
    Sudhir

    1. Hi Sudhir,

      It doesn’t seem like the ticket is on sale at the moment, as there is no information on the website.
      I have, however, sent an inquiry to confirm and will let you know if the ticket is actually on sale.

      Kind Regards,
      Lily

      1. Cheow Weng Khong

        Hi Lily,

        I have the Hokuriku Arch Pass, can I buy the Tateyama Kurobe Option ticket when I arrive in Japan, Haneda on 12 April 2023 and use the option Ticket on 15 April 2023, if available?

        Thank you
        Cheow

        1. Hi Cheow,

          I don’t think the ticket is available in 2023. The official website has yet to update the link to the ticket.

          Kind Regards,
          Lily

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