JP 2010 Oct Alpine route

Overall itin – Tokyo > The Alpine route (East to West) > Kurobe Gorge > Shin-hotaka > Kamikochi > Tokyo


The Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route is the one of the most spectacular during fall foliage season. It descends from Murodo side from 2700m+ from mid September.

We visited in mid-Oct when peak fall foliage descended to about 1800-2200m. We took a “East-to-West” route, commencing from Ogizawa (on Nagano side) and exit in Tateyama (on Toyama side). We stayed in Omachi onsen-go the night before. While no car is allowed, all have to take 6 different types of transports within this route. Even though it was on a normal day, there were loads of tourists so we had to queue up between 5 to 20min.

From Ogizawa @1400m to Daikanbo @2300m (Nagano side)

The most beautiful fall foliage was between Kurobe-daira @1850m to Daikanbo. While we were walking across the Kurobe dam @1400m, water was released from the Kurobe lake. The ride on the ropeway was the highlight, where we were in a sea of colourful foliage.

Murodo @2450m to Tateyama (Toyama side)

Once arrived at Murodo, we had a quick bite and took a walking trail of about 1hr. Fall foliage up there had passed its peak in the ponds such as Mikuriga-ike, however, we were lucky to have spotted some rare birds РThunderbird (Raicho). We stayed in the Tateyama hotel Рprobably the highest hotel in Japan. Chose a French course and surprisingly it was better than expected, including its service.  The next morning when we woke up we were literally above a sea of clouds. Thus, before descending we took a quick stroll along the walking trail to take advantage of clear blue sky and reflections in the ponds. Took the only highland bus, descended to Midagahara @1900m and did some trekking there for some fall foliage, though the peak had passed as well. On the way down from the bus, we passed Kobo probably @1600m and the colours were at peak! Next, we descended to Bijodaira @1100m where there were some huge Sugi trees. As it was turning late and it was well below the foliage zone, we decided to skip it and exit the Alpine route Рwe still had to travel to Unazuki onsen for overnight stay.

Official page for fall foliage

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5 thoughts on “JP 2010 Oct Alpine route”

  1. May I know which period in Oct did u visit? I plan to visit around Oct 13-15 this year but not sure if it will be too early for autumn colors.

      1. Thanks! Unfortunately, the days I have in find is the weekend. We arrive Narita on Saturday morning, and I thought that we should stop for lunch in Tokyo before taking the Shinkansen to Toyama. Then on Sunday travel the alpine route with plan to stay the night at Omachi Onsen or Nagano.

        1. Well, crossing the Alpine route on Sunday is better on Saturday I guess.
          Your plan looks fine. If you can start early from Toyama, consider dropping by Midagahara @1900m or Murodo @2400m for a short trek (as we did in 2010).

          Use the web ticket reservation on busy days.

          Also buy this Option ticket in advance for one-way crossing which saves 25%

          Have a nice trip !

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