Another perfect day in Japan

tateyama kurobe alpine route

Last week I shared my version of a perfect day in Japan. Luckily for those who live their entire lives in Japan, I feel like there are several possible perfect days in Japan. So here’s another one for you. Read on for the play by play.

A perfectly fancy day in the Japan Alps:

Wake-up at Toyama Excel Hotel Tokyu in Toyama – a very fancy and conveniently located place to stay.

Walk 1 minute to Toyama Station and pick up some breakfast and lunch to go. Look for hotaruika (firefly squid) and shiroebi (white shrimp).

Hop on the train for 60 minutes on the Toyama Chino line bound for Tateyama.

Ride a cable car for 7 minutes up to Bijodaira.

Catch a bus and ride 50 minutes to Murodo via the Midagahara Kogen.

Midagahara Kogen

Walk 15 minutes to see Tateyama caldera – the largest nonactive crater in Japan – and then back to Murodo.

OR walk 30 minutes past Mikuri-ga-ike pond ( Japan’s highest onsen ryokan) and on to Jigokidani Onsen (Hell Valley Hot Springs) where we’ll find literal boiling water – and then back to Murodo.


Hop on the trolley bus for 10 minutes through Tateyama-dake to Daikanbo.

Then take the Tateyama Ropeway 7 minutes down to Kurobe-daira.

Tateyama Ropeway

Next, catch the underground Kurobe cable car 5 minutes to Kurobeko.

Walk 15 minutes across the Kurobe Dam for a great view. And then walk back.

Karobe Dam

Hop a trolley bus for 16 minutes through a tunnel to Ogizawa.

Finally, catch a 40 minute bus to Omachi onsen-kyo, and another for 90 minutes to Nagano Station.

And then we’ll just need to find a nice place to rest like babies.

In summary:

  • Walking: 1 – 1.5 hours
  • Variety of public transit: 4.75 hours
  • Eating: hotaruika, shiroebi, and various travel snacks
  • Experiencing: a ropeway, an underground cable car, an inactive crater, boiling hot springs, a cable car, a dam, Nagano (you remember it from 1998)

What do you think?!

Should we do more next week?!


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