When you first see the ‘Snow Corridor’ in Tateyama, Toyama prefecture you’ll think its a CGI scene from The Game of Thrones. However this Snow Corridor known as the Kurobe Alpine Route is a whooping 500 meter long wall made up of snow!
The snow wall is created by clearing snow from the road which has been recorded to being higher than 20 meters that’s a staggering 65ft!
Seeing the Snow Corridor first hand must be an phenomenal experience thus explaining its popularity with both national and international tourists.
From the 17th century, Tateyama was among Japan’s three holy mountains with the other two being mount Fuji and mount Hakusan. As such many Japanese started to visit Tateyama in the form of pilgrims.
It’s easy to understand how people in the 17th century accepted Tateyama as a holy place, the breathtaking beauty of this place has a air of mysticism to it, however the hot springs were thought to be a vision into the underworld thus combining the notion of heaven and hell. People would climb Mount Tateyama at least once in their life time with intention that their souls would go to heaven after their death.
Tateyam’s awe inspiring beauty doesn’t just stop with it’s breathtaking scenery but it’s also home to some rare animal species! Among the rare species is the Japanese Stoat.
The Stoat is from the weasel family (it obviously inherited the good looking gene) Don’t be fooled by their “kwaii’ appearance these beasts are carnivores…yup they just love their rare mice and rabbit steaks!!
Another amazing rare animal is the Ptarmigan, these snowball like birds only live in the mountains…I’m not surprised, the view must be fascinating from up there and the best bit is that they probably don’t have to fly much!
Legend has it that these birds were thought to be messengers from god and as such were treated very well by the. locals… I guess it’s because of this bond between humans and animals that they are not shy around people.
Not sure why they weren’t featured in the Hollywood animation ‘Madagascar’ as they have supposedly survived since the ice age. The Japanese pride them as a rare national treasure. If all this isn’t enough to keep you entertained there is an annual Snow Maze which is opened from 10th of May to the 1st of June every year.
If you really get stuck or are afraid of not ever finding your way our of the maze, why not download a map at one of the free WiFi hotspots at Tateyama, Murodo and Kurobe-daira stations.
For more more information including how to get there and where to stay be sure to visit the official website: www.alpen-route.com/en/
Hope you’ve enjoyed this post…any comments or questions please leave them below.