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There is a fun ride between the mountain ranges by tram, the so-called “torokko”!
It’s open from May to November.

It’s located near the boundary to Niigata and Nagano prefectures.Trams used to be the transportersfor building thehydroelectrickurobe01.jpgThe open-air tram travels slowly, but it’s enough to feel a sense of anticipation. power plants.When it was still under construction, and due to hikers’ requests, they started giving people lifts under one condition.., “there is no guarantee on your life!”
kurobe02.jpgkurobe03.jpgImpressive man-made feats and ancient natural beauty are both visible during the tram's open-air journey"kurobe04.jpg
We met up with Marlies at 7:30 am in the heart of Kanazawa, then arrived by car at Unazuki station (1) around 9 am. The 10:03 train departure was already booked for us in advance, and we were very excited. The tram goes through a V-shaped gorge along the Kurobegawa river, which is chilly even in August. (Don’t forget to bring a jacket!) The open-air tram ride with fresh mountain air, while looking down upon the scenery of the humongous dam and glistening water are all breathtaking. In addition to the large views, you shouldn’t miss the small curious spots, such as a suspension bridge exclusively constructed for wild monkeys, a holy Buddha rock, and the Italian-dessert-looking perpetual snow!
kurobe05.jpgTake a deep breath and relax at Keyakidaira!

Usually people ride directly to the end of the line at Keyakidaira which has some fun spots!

After the enjoyable 80-minute-tram-ride, we arrived at Keyakidaira (10). We were all starving, even though it still wasn’t 11:30 am! On the second floor of the terminal building, we had lunch first. kurobe08.jpgYou can try some of Toyama‘s specialities in the restaurant, such as trout sushi, which is called Masuzushi, ‘Toyama Black’ ramen noodles,or Shiraebidon (deep-fried glass shrimp bowl).

In kurobe06.jpgMarlies soaking her feet in the warm footbath after the cold river water. (Keyakidaira)kurobe07.jpgKeyakidaira (10),many people were enjoying the river, or relaxing at the footbath. Marlies took off her shoes to join them. The water is extremely clear! There is a beautiful promenade for strolling as well, and additionally you can visit hot springs, such as Babadani Onsen or Meiken Onsen, to stay over if you want. Reservations are recommended of course.


The natural hot spring for outdoor bathing, in which you can soak while breathing in the fresh air, is located in Kanetsuri!

ake sure you buy a ticket to your destination each time. There is no pass to get in and off freely. We were supposed to go back directly to Unazuki Station, but changed our plan and got two tickets, one from Keyakidaira (10) to Kanetsuri (8), and the other from Kanetsuri (8) to Unazuki (1).

At Kanetsuri (8), we watched the perpetual snow first, and then stopped by a cafe for a coffee break. The view from the cozy cafe was impressive!
kurobe09.jpgKanetsuri is lovely for stopping by. It’s quiet and isolated from people. Marlies having a coffee break at a lovely cafe in Kanetsuri.There is an outdoor bath in Kanetsuri (8), and you can stay over there as well. Please remember that tourists are allowed to get off only at Kuronagi (4), Kanetsuri (8) and Keyakidaira (10). The others are for business use.
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Kurobe Kyokoku Tetsudo
Open: May 1 - Nov 30
*Stations for tourists: Unazuki (1), Kuronagi (4), Kanetsuri (8) and Keyakidaira (10).
*Please buy a ticket to your destination at each station! There is no pass to get on and off the tram freely.


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Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route & the Snow Wall

yuki_no_otani.jpgPicture provided by Toyama Prefectural Tourism AssociatonTateyama (Mt. Tate) is one of the tallest peaks in the Hida Mountains with its 3,015-meter elevation. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a famous mountain sightseeing route between Toyama and Nagano.On the toll road there, Ohtani is well-known for its 20-meter-high snow walls carved out by snow plows. It’s pretty impressive to walk at the bottom of the white pile! The snow is not permanent, as the walls are limited seasonally from April to June for viewing.
[Snow wall in Ohtani: Apr - Jun]



Toyama Squid Sparkling Blue during the New Moon

hotaru_ika.jpgPicture provided by Namerikawa CityHotaruika, literary means “firefly squid,” but can also be called “Toyama squid”, because Toyama Bay is well known for this tiny “seafood.”Yes, it’s true we eat this beautiful creature - I’m sorry, but it tastes good!During a new moon night of the spawning season (March - May), tons of female hotaruika are washed ashore along the beaches between Toyama and Uozu cities. The amazing view of sparkling blue is somewhat bizarre, and local people call this phenomenon minage (drowning themselves). Surprisingly, some of the beaches are pretty crowded with people who catch them for eating, even though it’s at midnight.
[Hotaruika Spawning Season: Mar - May]