Shinkansen and the Alpine Route

Within the span of 36 hours we boarded our first bullet train, rode three local trains, two funiculars, two trolley buses, a ropeway (gondola) and two buses all to get to the top of Mt. Tateyama.  What an adventure.  We departed Kyoto on the Shinkansen the famous bullet train of Japan.  The blurred countryside whizzed past as we travelled to Nagoya on our Shinkansen, I was able to snap a picture as it came in the station.  This version was not the fastest train in the country but still was upwards of 200 km/h.


After arriving in Nagoya we hopped on a train to Takeyama where we stayed for the night.  It was a quaint town with a river running down the middle.  After eating lunch we split up and explored; Mimi, Caroline and jumped around on the rocks in the river before grabbing some ice cream.  Julie and Maddy took a hike through a wooded area in search of a castle.

The next day we had to get up early and get tickets for the Alpine Route.  We had a minor snafu and thought we were supposed to start the route in Takeyama but actually it was Tateyama… oops.  These are the times when you wish you were on an organized tour but that’s not our style.  We were able to get to the start in Tateyama by 10:00am as it was only an hour train ride.  We then began the trek in earnest, no harm done.  They picked up brochures that you could stamp at all the stops along the way, a great activity for the kids.  We boarded our the first leg of the the journey a funicular and we were off.

Next was a bus which wound it way up the mountain making us all car sick, we passed the Shomyo waterfall, the highest in Japan as well as some very old cedar trees.   The bus ride took us to nearly the top of Mt. Tateyama where they have a huge snow wall, we were not expecting much because it is June but the famous snow wall was still at least 25-30 feet high.


We then took a tram through the mountain before riding the ropeway (gondola/teleferico) which signaled the beginning of our decent.  After another funicular we walked across the Kurobe dam and boarded another tram.


Then a bus to the JR train station in Omachi which took us to Matsumoto.  It was a good 12 hour day, the kids did awesome but we were very exhausted.  It was quite an adventure and we could have taken the Shinkansen and been there in 2 hours but then we would have missed all the adventure!!!


2 thoughts on “Shinkansen and the Alpine Route

  1. Very cool trains

    Amtrak’s Acela Express is America’s fastest train, yet its average speed is only 68 mph on the trip between Boston and Washington, D.C.Jun 4, 2015

    We got 5 inches of rain Friday night which we did not need, had a few more today

    90+ degrees

    Relief is in sight




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