The Japan Alpine Route – Natural and Man-Made Wonders
Traveling the Japan Alpine Route: The Kurobe Dam
A torrent of falling water evokes Niagara Falls, only man made. “Kurobe Dam“, Japan’s largest dam and indeed one of the largest in the world, is a well-known tourist spot of Toyama. Kurobeko Station and Kurobe Dam Station are located at each end of the dam, and visitors can enjoy the 15-minute walk across the dam. This massive man-made structure interwoven with the natural beauty of the Northern Alps provides an overwhelming and stunning landscape. If you’re lucky, you might see a double rainbow on a sunny day. The spectacular sight of the water discharge can be enjoyed from June to mid-October, so be sure to visit the dam during this period.
The gentle arch of the Kurobe Dam against the natural beauty of the Northern Alps, which includes the giant 800- to 1,000-year-old tree Kurobe, alpine plants, stumps of huge trees, and beech tree forests with cold springs, makes strolls in the surrounding area enjoyable. The Kurobe Dam is located in the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a popular mountain sightseeing route from the Omachi hot spring village in Nagano Prefecture to Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture, where trolleybus, cable car, and aerial tramway rides can also be enjoyed.
Autumn Colors and Massive Spring Snow Walls of the Japan Alpine Route
The leaves take six weeks to change color beginning at the end of September and lasting until the beginning of November. The change begins at higher areas and moves down the mountain. There are no other tourist sites with this much change in altitude. Depending on the season, you can see the color contrast created by the nature, with green leaves at the foot of the mountain, the red autumn leaves in the middle, and the white snow at its peak.
In spring, accumulated snow, especially around the upper sections of Midagahara and Murodo, form a majestic snow corridor whose snow walls reach up to 20 meters high. A section of the snow corridor around Murodo is open to pedestrians usually from mid April to mid June. On the opening day last Spring, the snow walls reached a height of up to 19 meters.