kurobe alpen route bus tour

snow capped mountains with a hazy moon in a grey sky

Up bright and early -around 4:30am – we arrived at Shinjuku, ready for our bus to depart at 7am. We were off on a two-day bus tour to discover Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route.

a doctor's office in a museum dedicated to the showa era
traditional shop

First up, we stopped at Hida Takayama where we explored a museum dedicated to the Showa-era and sampled mitarashi-dango whilst basking in the traditional town streets. It was nice to see the sakura still blooming in the area – getting to see sakura is always a plus for me.

thatched roofed houses of Shirakawa-go
inside a house in the rafters in shirakawa-go

Then we were on our way to Shirakawa-go to see the thatched houses. The village is open for visitors to wander around, however people still reside there. I’m not sure I would enjoy being constantly surrounded by throngs of tourists but I’m sure it works for them. We enjoyed an ice cream and more dango here.

kaiseki vegetarian dinner

After Shirakawa-go, it was time to travel to our hotel for the night where we had dinner included. The tour guide had phoned ahead and arranged a vegetarian meal for me which was brilliant and completely unexpected.

pink cherry blossoms

Once dinner was done, we headed to the conbini and then went straight to bed – completely exhausted from our activity packed day and early start.

breakfast tray

A breakfast buffet was also included at the hotel, so we filled up and then filed back onto the coach, ready for the main event – Tateyama Alpen Route to see the snow wall which was apparently 20m high when we were there.

tateyama snow wall

We rode various transport up and down the mountains, pausing for some time at Kurobe Dam, enjoying an ice cream before heading back to Shinjuku and going to Saizeriya for dinner.

Having never been on a bus tour in Japan before, I was really pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was international, well-paced and the tour guide was amazing. We made lots of rest stops throughout the journey and I wouldn’t hesitate to go on another one.

Hope you’re all keeping well,


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