There are several choices of hotels, B&Bs and lodges along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. We stayed at Hotel Tateyama in Murododaira during our trip to Kurobe Dam. Murododaira Station is located at the height of 2,450m and it is the key station to climb the Tateyama Mountain Range and to visit the Kurobe Dam. Mountain weather was changeable, so we stayed two nights at the Hotel Tateyama to visit the Kurobe Dam to prepare for any possible weather conditions. We enjoyed Japanese and Western style dinners at the Hotel Tateyama. It was amazing to find local ingredients in such a high mountain hotel.
The old dining room had a cozy atmosphere and the service at the restaurant was satisfying. It was a long way to travel to Hotel Tateyama from Tokyo for us and we were happy to finally enjoy Toyama’s local cuisines.
When it comes to coffee
We had lunch at Tea Lounge Rindou in Hotel Tateyama. What was good about the Tea Lounge was cold-brew coffee with Tateyama’s spring water. We drew Tateyama’s spring water at the Water Station near Murododaira Station. However, it seemed the water at the restroom of Hotel Tateyama was the same as Tateyama’s spring water. In fact, it seemed to be the same water at our guest room, or even at the restroom, as it was at the water station.
We also ate rice balls and Japanese noodle at Tateyama Soba Noodle shop in the Murododaira Station. It helped us a lot after hiking in cold weather.
The snow corridor in summer
Tateyama has some of the heaviest snowfalls in Japan. This area gets over 10m of snow and sometimes as much as 20m. When mountain-climbing season starts, local people clear away the snow on the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route and create a snow corridor.
You can walk through the 500m long snow corridor for 40 mins from mid April to May.
Around the Hotel Tateyama in the Murododaira area is the end of the snow corridor. The snow walls remain until August and you can play with the snow in summer. The snow was a little bit dirty, but the size of the remaining snow was overwhelming.
View of Tateyama Mountain Range
We enjoyed the landscape of the Tateyama Mountain Range, consisting of Mt. Oyama (3,003m), Mt. Oonanji (3,015m) and Mt. Fujino Oritate (2,999m), from the Hotel Tateyama. Sometimes, I forget Japan is a mountainous country due to living in Tokyo on the Kanto Plain. We continuously saw Tateyama Mountain from Toyama Station until arriving at Hotel Tateyama. I was impressed to arrive in the middle of Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route finally after taking several complicated forms of transport.
We wanted to go to the top of Mt. Oyama, but we were just wearing casual summer clothes and running shoes, so we gave up to climb this time. Instead of reaching the top of Mt. Oyama, we went to the Ichinokoshi Hut (2,700m) which was located in the middle of the path to Mt. Oyama. We saw many local elementary school students climbing Mt. Oyama with their teachers. It’s a 4-hour round trip to the top of Mt. Oyama from the Murododaira Station.
Climbing to the Ichinokoshi Hut was different from walking around the Mikuriga Pond or Midagahara on the plain boardwalk. We had to walk on the remaining snow. Rangers maintained the route well and we felt safe not to slide down into the bottom of the valley. However, the atmosphere was totally different from hiking at suburban Tokyo small mountains and it gave a greater sense of tension than usual.
After we had climbed to the Ichinokoshi Hut, we went to the Murodoyama Observation Deck. We needed to go back to the entrance of the route to the observatory. This route was also a real mountain path with snow and steep slopes, but it was much easier to walk than hiking to the Ichinokoshi Hut. The distance to the Murodoyama Observation Deck was shorter than the way to the Ichinokoshi Hut from the Murododaira Station.
The view from the deck gave a good understanding of the Murododaira area at a glance. Our kids got into snowball fights near the observatory under the summer sunshine in August.
It takes about 3-4 hours to walk around the Murododaira Station. We could just stroll around for a short walk and enjoy various kinds of scenery. There are not many slopes in Murododaira, so you can really enjoy one of the highest peaks in Japan.
- Hotel Tateyama
- Tea Lounge Rindou
- Tateyama Soba Noodle shop
- Ichinokoshi Hut
- Murodoyama Observation Deck
It’s all in the details:
Transportation: Tateyama Alpine Route
Hiking: Midagahara Hiking