JP-238595 396 - ая открытка

Country: Japan

Distance: 8,349 km

Travel time:  13 days

On postcard: Path Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route  is a famous mountain sightseeing route between Tateyama, Toyama and Ōmachi, Nagano, Japan. The whole route opened on June 1, 1971.


The route is just 37 km in length, but the vertical interval is as large as 1,975m. It uses 7 different public transports with 5 different modes, namely funicular, bus, trolleybus, aerial tramway, and walking.

The route is carefully built so that the surrounding environment is not damaged. Consequently, three lines go entirely under tunnels. (This is also to protect the lines from snow.) Among them, two are trolleybus lines. Trolleybuses have all gone from Japan, except for these two lines which are still used here as they don't exhaust gas.

The route goes through Tateyama in the Hida Mountains with a lot of scenic sites, including Kurobe dam. Some stations have hotels around them and are used as bases for mountain climbing or trekking.

The section between Kurobe Dam and Ōgisawa was originally made for construction of the dam, while the section between Tateyama and Kurobeko was for tourists from the beginning. Currently, the route is purely a sightseeing one, only used by tourists. Although this is the only route that directly links Toyama and Nagano, it is impractical for normal users as it takes 6 transfers, roughly 5 hours, and costs ¥8,060 just between Tateyama and Ōgisawa.

Tateyama Kurobe Kankō

The Tateyama Kurobe Kankō (立山黒部貫光?) is a public transport company that operates most lines in the route. Its official abbreviation isTKK. The word kankō (貫光) was coined by Muneyoshi Saeki, the first president of the company. According to him, kan () means "time-space", and () means "outer space", while kan (貫) also (normally) means "to penetrate", as in "to penetrate Tateyama Mountains" and (normally) means "light". The word is a homophone to kankō (観光; "sightseeing"), possibly intentionally.



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