Translated by Shinji Takaramura
Tateyama Mountain Range At A Glance - Murodo Plateau in Toyama
Written by Keisuke Yamada
This article features the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a famous sightseeing route which includes places such as Murodo Plateau and Mikurigaike Pond.
The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a sightseeing route that runs through the Hida mountains in Japan.
There are famous places along the route, such as the Kurobe Dam and the Yuki no Otani snow wall, where tourists from all over the world visit during the sightseeing season. The following article is about the attractions found at Murodo Plateau, another famous spot, and how to get there.
The Tateyama Cable Car
To reach Murodo Plateau, visitors must use the cable car and bus. But first, use the JR lines and the Toyama Chiho Railway, and go to the Tateyama Station. It takes about 80 minutes by train from the Dentesu-Toyama Station, located right next to the JR Toyama Station. There are also buses headed for Tateyama Station from Toyama Airport and JR Toyama Station.
The route map above shows the fares to each destination. To reach Murodo, the round-trip fare including the Tateyama Cable Car and bus is 4,310 yen for adults, and 2,160 yen for children.
If you are planning to visit the Kurobe Dam, it will take eight to nine hours to make a round-trip, so it's best to leave early in the morning. The Kurobe Dam round-trip fare is 10,790 yen for adults.
The ticket can be purchased at this corner. A single ticket covers both the cable car and bus.
Please note that reservations are required, and the ticket specifies the departure time of the cable car.
This is the ticket gate. The cable car's seats are limited, so those who wish to sit should get in line early.
The Cable Car Ride
The cable car platform is not flat, but has steps.
This is the Tateyama Cable Car. It is used for both passengers and freight, a feature which is unique in Japan.
This is the passenger car.
We were lucky to be seated in the front row.
This is called "zaimokuseki." The lava from the Tateyama volcano cooled down, and turned into these pillar-shaped rocks. During the ride, there will be an announcement about them, so keep your ears open.
There are tunnels along the way, and the sight of other cable cars as well, so even though it takes only a few minutes, the ride can be fun.
This is the terminus.
Switching to the Bus
The next step is getting on the bus.
There is a sign for the bus going to Murodo, so passengers wait in line here.
To board the bus, passengers are required to show their tickets, just like the cable car. The bus ride to Murodo takes about an hour.
There are quite a few highlights along the way, such as the tall Japanese cedar tree and the big waterfall, where the bus slows down for the benefit of the passengers. To enjoy the view, take the seats on the left hand side.
Views like the photographs above constantly appear. The 3,000-meter mountains which can be seen from the bus is breathtaking, and we just kept taking photographs.
Arriving at Murodo Plateau
This is Murodo Plateau. The temperature is lower than the Tateyama Station, so visitors should have a jacket ready, even in summer.
This is the first place the visotors should go, where they can enjoy Tateyama's spring water. The water is cool even in summer, and most of the visitors had bottles ready for the trek afterwards.
After a short walk, Mikurigaike Pond comes into sight. This pond is said to be the most beautiful crater lake in the Japanese Northern Alps. Its perimeter is about 630 meters, and the depth is about 15 meters. The surface of the pond mirrors the surrounding 3,000-meter mountains, which makes this spot the perfect place to take photographs.
There are other ponds such as the Midorigaike and Chi no ike ("Blood Pond"), and even a hot spring, as well. A slow trek will take about two hours, so it might be a good idea to enjoy the fresh air and the cool spring water, while leisurely taking in the view.
Address: Toyama-ken, Nakaniikawa-gun, Tateyama-machi, Senjugahara 2
Website/Homepage: Tateyama Station