Sushi, anime, J-pop, Nintendo, samurai, Pokémon, ultra-advanced technology, cherry blossoms… Yeah, Japan surely has engraved a multi-layered international image for itself. But there’s something that most people don’t think about when they hear the word ‘Japan.’ Snow. And not just regular snow… But insane, humongous amounts of snow that actually make one Japanese city the world capital of snow. And if you go for a drive through Tateyama Kurobe, a mountain route that is rather unique… You would easily understand why.
Remember the great icy wall from Game of Thrones?
Turns out, reality can be as fascinating as fiction. Welcome to the majestic Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, just a few hours from Tokyo
It’s a part of the ‘Roof of Japan’, a mountain road across the Toyama and Nagano prefectures
Located North of Tokyo, on the so-called ‘Roof of Japan’, a 55- miles-long (90 km) route, the Snow Wall is easily the star of the show.
The season when the otherworldly mountain passage is open lasts only a few months
Curious travelers can visit the sight for a very limited time only. In 2019, the snow corridor is open to pedestrians from April 15 to June 22.
Once here, tourists can indulge in an hour’s walk through the icy passages
Even though accessible for few months only, the Snow Wall Walk is a huge tourism attraction with approximately 5000 daily visitors
At its highest point the snow wall reaches as high as 55 ft (17 meters)
To put it into perspective, 55 ft (17 meters) is taller than an average three-story building.
And it’s only accessible by specialized tourists’ buses
An average round-trip ticket price for an adult costs around $40.
In order to prepare this road for visitors, the Japanese use special snowplow trucks that are created precisely for this location.
Image credits: Tateyama Kurobe Alpen Route
Image credits: Wonder World
But surprisingly, that’s not the only snowy attraction that can be found in Japan
In the north of Japan there’s Aomori City, home to 300,000 people.
Blizzards and ice storms turn the nature surrounding Aomori into a unique viewing
Icy Siberian winds sweep into Japan by bringing massive amounts of snow that pile up in unusual formations, proving that nature is a one-of-a-kind artist
Even though annual snow-cleaning costs around $30 million, the frozen wonderland that the snow creates here makes it more than worth it