Enjoying Alpine Route
Around the marshland and volcanic crater of Midagahara
Stroll around the vast Midagahara marshland that overlooks the Dainichi mountain range. The inner course, which departs from Midagahara hotel, is recommended for beginners. Scattered around the wetlands, you will find small ponds called "Gakita," and in the beginning of summer you can also see beautiful little yellow and white flowers. For a slightly longer walk, you can take the outer course, in which case you will see clumps of cottony sedge in the summer, and in the autumn you will see the beautiful reds and browns of the drying grasses. Finally, if you have the time, you can go on the volcanic crater observation platform course, in which case you will see the Tatayama volcanic crater spread before your eyes. As soon as you come out of the promenade in the forested area, the view will open up before you: Karikome pond at the bottom of the crater, with the hot steam continually rising from it.
Pleasant Bijo-daira, with singing birds and soothing forest
Take the plateau bus down from Midagahara to Bijo-daira, and you will find Tateyama cedar and birch trees that are hundreds of years old - one of Japan's top 100 locations for "Forest Bathing." This forest known as a Mecca of bird-watching, as it is home to over sixty species of birds, including the blue-and-white flycatcher and the Japanese robin. There are three different walking paths through the forest: the inner course, which takes about one hour, the middle course, which takes about two hours, and the outer course through the beech tree slopes, which will take more than two hours. Please choose the course that fits with your level of fitness. Your heart will melt as you listen to the beautiful singing of the birds on your stroll through the forest.
Dynamic view! Shomyo waterfall with a drop of 1150 feet (350m)
It takes about 20 minutes by car or bus from Tateyama station to the rest area at Shomyo-daira. From there, it's about a 30 minute hike to Shomyo falls. This is Japan's highest waterfall, with a height of about 1150 feet (350 meters). The rising mist from the falling water is a scene that gets full marks for overwhelming power. This waterfall shows different faces in each of the four seasons. In the spring, there is melting snow and new greenery, and because the flow of water is so intense, a second waterfall, Hannoki falls, appears beside the main chute. In the autumn, the season of changing leaves, the waterfall shines in a brightly colored valley. It is truly a spectacular sight!
At a height of 610 feet (186m) and a width of 1614 feet (492m), Kurobe Dam stops the flow of water on the Kurobe River, which receives the spring runoff from the Northern part of the Japanese Alps. The dam was completed in 1964, after seven years of large scale construction work. This is a popular tourist stop with many beautiful features: the beautiful arc of the dam, the surface of the lake that changes color depending on the position of the sun, and the powerful water discharging from the dam. Kurobe Dam Observation Deck and New Observation Square are ready for visitors, so you can fully enjoy the various views. Kurobe Lake also boasts Japan's highest altitude boat cruise, so you can also enjoy a boat ride of about 30 minutes.