Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Snow Wall of Nagano

Day 1 of 7 

Time Log:
- D1
21st Sunday
05:14 Minatocho -> 05:17 Keikyu Kawasaki 
05:34 JR Kawasaki -> Tokyo (05:52)
06:16 Tokyo -> Nagano (07:38) Kagayaki 1501
20:35 Toyama -> Kanazawa 20:55

1) Kawasaki -> Nagano

We started off with the first train from Minatocho Line (place where I live).
Getting around Nagano-station was not that difficult. My family (3 members) had a JR rail pass of 7 days. Before using the rail pass, we just need to get it checked from the station master. Every time you pass the JR station, you need to show the pass to the station master and then checkin / checkout. 
I didn't had the 90days short visa, so I had to buy tickets.

We reached Nagano around 07:38 AM.
I had thought I will buy the Option ticket ( from Nagano station, but the Midori Madonokuchi (ticket office of JR) opens at 10:00 and I arrived at Nagano before that.
I should have bought the ticket beforehand from Tokyo.

2) Nagano -> Ogizawa
Instead of wasting time waiting for the Midori Madonokuchi to open up, I proceeded with my plan of traveling the one way route by paying for individual tickets, but to my surprise there were other companies which were also providing tickets for some sections of the Alpine Route.

So we took Alpico Bus from Nagano -> Ogizawa. it cost around 2,600 yen.  From Ogizawa-station, the one way ticket from other company was available, so we took that one. It cost around 9,500 yen. 

3) Ogizawa -> Kurobe Dam
You take a Kanden trolley bus to go to Kurobe Dam. This is a nice trolley bus which goes through the tunnel in straight manner. It is electric bus and gets power from the two connecting rods to the overhead power cables (similar to train). I was amazed that they maintained this old technology still  till date and are using it for tourism.
I suppose this trolley was used to transport all the construction material to Kurobe dam.

After reaching Kurobe Dam, there are two places to visit.
  1. Go to top walking 222 stairs to get good view of the dam. (there is a spot from which you can see the rainbow when the water is opened out of dam)
  2. Go to bottom directly on the edge of the dam. (one side you can see the deep dam side and other side the flat lake Kurobeko )
At regular intervals you will find fresh stream water to quench your thirst


On the end of the dam, you will find the Kurobeko station located like inside the Tunnel.

4) Kurobeko -> Kurobedaira -> Daikanbo
From Kurobedaira you need to take an almost vertical cable car. It is quite tilted (I think the angle must be around 29 degrees). It takes you to the intermediate top of Mt Tateyama.
From here you have to ride the ropeway to reach to the top Daikanbo station. 
While riding the ropeway, you can see over the the snow blanket of the mountain. I could see some skaters coming from the top. It was a spectacular view.


5) Daikanbo -> Murodo 
The trolley bus takes you from one side of the Mt Tateyama to other side (Murodo).
This is the main place were you can see the Yuki No Otani (Snow Wall) 
The wall is around 3 floors high and it is better to check weather before going there.
We thought it would be quite cold up there, so we tool big jackets, but they were of no use. it was not freezing cold. even a normal jacket / sweater would have been fine.

6) Murodo -> Bijodaira -> Tateyama
We directly caught the bus to Bijodaira since we all were tired. There are not much things to see while coming down. There were some parks but we were least interested in them.
Then you take a cable car from Bijodaira to Tateyama

7) Tateyama -> Toyama 
There is a beautiful old train from Tateyama to Toyama which goes slowly and you can take good pics from this train.


We had booked Airbnb at Kanazawa. Entire room for 4 people.

It was a great experience.
Just had to go into hot bath for relaxing.

Kanazawa is very quite and beautiful place. Maybe next time I would like to visit just Kanazawa. This time it was just the stay.

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