Spring? Is it?
It was the the start of the golden week here in Japan. Golden week is named so as there are numerous public holidays that fall within the same week and some workplaces, such as mine, take the whole week off. Unluckily for my hubby he had the usual work week. But that didn’t stop us from having fun on his consecutive days off (that I never get) and booked ourselves a (Japanese) tour to Tateyama Alpine Route where we could still enjoy a winter wonderland in the form of the Murodo Snow Wall.
I know some of you real adventurers out there might think, “umm, tour group? maybe not.” But we had no clue how to get there and the trip sounded easy with english guide provided. This part was a bit hilarious, the tour guide sounded like she was on a bilingual tv channel. She spoke Japanese on PA, then gestured for our instructions to follow. The trip started early in the morning and involved a lot of waiting and queuing.
From the Nagoya station where the tour kicked off we drove for a couple hours to our first toilet stop, and this was one thing I loved about the tour – generous toilet stops along the way! (It must have been put up by a lady tour planner) The first town was Unazuki where we hopped on an old style Kurobe Gorge train.
The train was an open type train and the view from the turn-around ride gave us an outlook of what the rest of the trip was about. Then we went off to Hakuba Onsen Village where we stayed for the night. Based on the tourism website the village came to life since the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. The village hosted many of the athletes as it offered a number of winter sports actions.
The next morning we started with a Japanese style big breakfast and off to more bus and trolleybus rides to get to walk on the Kurobe Dam.
Next stop was a quick visit to Daikanbo Station via a ropeway ride up the mountain. This was our first touch of the winter wonderland of Tateyama.
Then onto our final trolley bus ride for the Murodo Snow Wall. I must say, after all the rides and waiting to get here…it was worth it all!
I couldn’t help myself touching the wall, it was such a amazing experience for me! Growing up in a tropical country where the weather was either sunny or rainy then seeing a snow wall like this was beyond words. The rest of the trip was just a blur compared to the experience of walking through this wall!
I highly recommend a trip to the Tateyama Alpine Route.