Snow tunnel on Japan’s “rooftop” reopens to tourist.

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Along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, the 500-meter-long Yuki no Otani, or Great Valley of Snow, travels between high snow cliffs.
Alpine Route Tateyama Kurobe.

A massive snow tunnel near the surreal Mount Tateyama, one of Japan’s three holy mountains, will reopen to visitors on April 15.

This 500-meter-long trail, known as Yuki no Otani (or Great Valley of Snow), goes between huge snow walls that climb up to 20 meters at the highest point of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.

The 90-kilometer sightseeing route dubbed the “Roof of Japan” spans the Toyama and Nagano prefectures north of Tokyo, offering incredible views of the 3,015-meter Mount Tateyama and 2,478-meter Mount Akazawa-dake peaks, as well as access to everything from Japan’s highest altitude hot spring to the country’s highest waterfall.

The route’s primary draw, though, is the snow walk, which takes around 20 minutes to complete and will be accessible until June 25.

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route provides breathtaking views of Japan’s alps.

The tourist attraction is the product of months of hard effort by snowplow drivers clearing the snow off the Tateyama Toll Road.

The restoration of traffic across the whole Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route at the end of winter is also marked by the inauguration of the Yuki no Otani stroll.

Other local attractions include a Panorama Road that provides excellent views of Mount Tsurugi, which is part of the Tateyama range. This one will only be available till May 7.

At Daikanbo Station, tourists may also visit the Snow Kamakura (Japanese igloo) and Snow Tunnel, as well as an observation platform with panoramic views of the Japanese Alps.

Other attractions include the stunning Snow Tunnel, which is accessible until mid-May.

For the first time, visitors in 2023 may help shovel the icy snow and assist create a new passage – or, as the attraction site puts it, “Kuzusou Yukikabe (Let’s break the snow wall).”

During inclement weather, the Snow Wall and other attractions may be closed. Before embarking on the trek, visitors should consult the official website, Alpen-route.com.

Visitors who want to escape crowds may consider traveling in June, according to the website.

“The walls are still over 10 meters high even in late June.” You may have a more relaxing touring experience in June because there are less people. In addition, the weather in June is warmer and more predictable,” according to the official website.

Other attractions

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route begins at Tateyama Station in the west or Ogizawa Station in the east, and the Great Valley of Snow may be reached from Murodo Station, which is 2,450 meters above sea level and the highest station on the route.

It takes around 1 hour to get from Tateyama Station to Murodo Station, including a 50-minute scenic bus ride and a cable car ride.

Visitors to the vicinity may hike to the Mikurigaike volcanic crater lakes.

Travelers can choose to stay in one of the mountain hotels available.

Visitors must utilize local public transit and travel along authorized routes because private automobiles are not permitted.

According to CNN, Bijodaira, a primeval forest home to 1,000-year-old cedars and beech trees, and Murodo (near the snow wall walk), where tourists may find the beautiful volcanic crater lake of Mikurigaike and Japan’s oldest mountain cabin, are two of the most scenic hiking paths.

The itinerary also includes Japan’s highest altitude hot spring, Mikurigaike Onsen at 2,410 meters in Murodo, and the country’s tallest waterfall, Shmy Falls, which rises 350 meters.

On a clear day, keen mountaineers can tackle one of Mount Tate’s peaks, which provide views as far as Mount Fuji.

Credit: CNN

By: Safian Kafabah

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