The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is an international mountain sightseeing route some 90 kilometers (56 miles) long. The route goes across the 3,000-meter-high North Alpine mountains, the so-called “roof of Japan,” and connects Toyama and Shinano Omachi. You can enjoy the panorama by taking a train, highland bus, trolley bus, cable car, and ropeway. Since the lines opened in June 1971, the Tateyama mountain area has been transformed from an isolated spot into one of the nation’s best sightseeing areas, where a million guests visit every year.
Murodo-daira of Tateyama has one of the heaviest snows in the world, and the snow reaches about seven meters (23 ft) on average. In particular, the snow mantle at Otani, a five-minute walk from Murodo Station, sometimes gets more than 20 meters (65.6 ft) because of snowdrifts. The famous “Snow Walls” are formed by expelling this heavy snow, and the 500-meter-long area with such snow walls is open to sightseers from mid-April to late May. [Source: Japan National Tourism Organization]