This year's autumn color season is now well under way, with a flurry of color in the process of sweeping down Japan from north to south and from high to lowlands. In continuing the reporting we've done so far this year, today I took a trip to see how the foliage was doing along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.

Raina visited this breathtaking spot three and half weeks ago and captured some beautiful scenes, observing how the highlands of Murodo and Midagahara were approaching peak but the lower areas including the Tateyama Ropeway and the Kurobe Dam were not yet fully showing their color. In light of this, I was eager to get up to breathe in the alpine air and see how things had progressed since then.


End of Season

I first arrive at Murodo, at an altitude of 2450 meters, highest point along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. The area is popular with hikers for its spectacular views and surrounding trails, and, because of its high elevation, is typically one of the first places in the country to see autumn colors. By now, the autumn colors have come and gone, with many of the bushes and shrubs having lost their leaves along with their color. Despite this however, Murodo is still a picturesque place to go for a hike, with great panoramic vistas.

Tateyama Ropeway

Beyond Peak

The next place of interest for me today was along the Tateyama Ropeway, a popular tourist attraction that elevates visitors above the valley between Daikanbo and Kurobedaira stations. The state of the ropeway is now past its peak on the whole, but the bottom is still alive with color and made for some great views today. This being said, I expect the colors at the lower levels to come to an end in the next week or two, and would advise those who want to see them along this part of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to go soon.

Kurobe Dam

Peak Color

One of the many charms of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is the relatively long period that autumn colors can be seen here as they wash down through the different elevations. Kurobe Dam is located 1470 meters above sea level and has reached its peak. Japan's tallest dam is surrounded by a blaze of color in the adjacent gorge and on the banks of Lake Kurobe.