Monday, 1 May 2017

Walls of Snow

ICE and snow maybe the furthest things from your mind now that spring and its glimmers of sunshine and blue sky are here, but the stunning Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in the #Japan Alps is so breathtaking that it might just be worth togging up in your winter clothes again in order to appreciate it at its jaw-dropping best.

The Alpine Route is a famous mountain sightseeing road snaking its way between mountains in the northern Japan Alps at an elevation of 3,000m - that’s almost as high as the summit of Mt. Fuji! The route is closed during winter, meaning that heavy snow piles up into fantastic walls of snow that are 20 metres tall in some places.

The route is open from April 15th until November 30th this year, allowing visitors to enjoy the stunning vistas and unique landscapes as they travel over, above and even under the majestic Mt. Tateyama and its towering snow tunnels - billed as “19 metres of amazing”!

The total length of the route is 37.2km, and visitors can make use of a variety of vehicles to explore every inch of it to the fullest, from cable cars and ropeways to trolley buses and even lake cruises.

The range of airborne transportation also includes several unique options that are not for the faint of heart, though potential passengers with less of a head for heights can take comfort from Japan’s impeccable transport safety records. These include the only cable car in Japan without any pylons supporting it, a cable car with an average gradient of 24 degrees that elevates passengers 500 metres in a single trip, and the only underground cable car in Japan, allowing it to remain unaffected by snowfall.

One of the route’s most popular spots is Yuki-no-Otani (giant snow valley) at Murodo, whose great Snow Wall can reach stupendous heights of 20 metres - that’s as high as a 10 storey building! Snowfall has been especially heavy this year, meaning that the snow wall is higher and more impressive than ever. A 500 metre section of the road between the walls is open for walking and sledding from April until June.

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Picture Credit: YouTube

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