While spring has arrived in Tokyo and the capital’s cherry blossoms are in full bloom, other parts of Japan are still covered in snow. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, which connects Toyama and Nagano prefectures, is celebrating its Yuki no Otani Festival (or Snow Corridor Festival), from April 15.
The snow corridor is a 500-metre-long path along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route close to the Murodo Plateau. The trail is lined by towering snow walls up to 20 metres tall. With a maximum altitude of 2,450 metres, the area sees heavy snowfall throughout winter. In spring, the road finally opens up when snowploughs clear away the snow, resulting in these massive walls. One part of the road is open for pedestrians to wander through this icy wonderland.
Running parallel to the snow corridor is the panorama walk, which is perfect if you're after a different snowy sight. The promenade is open daily between April 15 and May 8 from 10am to 3pm and provides great views of the Tateyama mountain range.
Before venturing through the snow corridor or the panorama walk, make sure to check out the kamakura – they’re little snow huts made in the walls when the snow is cleared (visible from April 15-May 31). Keep an eye out for the large snowplough that’s used to move masses of snow to the sides of the road (on display from April 15-June 25).
The Yuki no Otani Festival takes place daily from April 15 until June 25 from 9.30am until 3pm. To get there, hop on the Tateyama cable car that departs from Tateyama Station in Toyama prefecture and get off at Bijodaira Station. From there, it’s another 50-minute ride to Tateyama Murodo via the Tateyama Kogen bus.
For more information, check the festival website.
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