黒部ダム Kurobe dam is one of Japans biggest Dams which is found in the eastern part of Japan. It takes about 4 hours by 2 bullet trains to get there from Tokyo. To get to the dam itself you even have to take a bus, tram and walk about a few 700 steps up and this is the view that you get once you reach the very top. Breathtaking.
Now before you get to the top of the mountain you must first try their train at the bottom of the mountain. This will take you to a lot of maple trees and beautiful views of the dam and lake.
Then heading up the rope-way you would see that the view outside is changing from Autum to Winter. There is more snow to be seen and the temperature drops colder than it was at the bottom of the mountain. The travel time up takes about 45 mins and be sure to check their schedule before heading up the mountain because there are a limited number of trams.
VIEW FROM THE TOP. This is the view you get when you reach the end of the tram and you will also reach the only hotel which is up there in the mountain connected to the tram. It is the highest hotel in Japan according to them, and it is also an Onsen! There is even a rotenburo (Open air ofuro) for those who are brave enough to get into the cold and take a hot bath.
There is a walking tour of the place around the hotel. So i would suggest for you to take that. Make sure that you have shoes that are good for snow. There are also spiked shoes that one can borrow at the hotel but you have to be early since everyone would want to try the hiking tour and its not always that you get to do that because the snow is pretty deep.
The picture at the bottom shows the hotel from behind us. People go up this alpine route to see the famous sunrise. An hour hike in the morning and you could see it beautifully rising. But I was not able to do this because it would have required me to wake up at 4am and the snow was too deep when we went here.
Heading down the mountain would take about another bus ride and a few stops plus riding another rope-way. On the way down we took a few short side trips to the mountain view of Tateyama.
Then when we got to the bottom we took another train to Unazuki Onsen where we stayed the night. The next day we took another tram going around the place. The tram is open air which is nice except it was too cold! My sister and I were freezing. Thankfully on the way home the tram was closed. If not I would have frozen to death. The tram though has a beautiful view of more Kouyou (Red autums leaves) and more dams and lakes. The view here is breathtaking.
If you ever get the chance to come here. Do not miss out on the onsen and their ramune ice cream! I personally love the different ice cream flavors that they serve in Japan because I am an ice cream lover. Taking the alpine route was a great decision although if you have a lot more time than my family and I did, take more time. We did this all in 5 days which is pretty jam packed but worth it. Another 4 hour shinkansen ride home and we were back to Tokyo. Hope that you try this alpine route out! I heard that the best time to go here is during spring when the flowers bloom and on February when there is a lot of snow.
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