A leisurely rail journey for train enthusiasts and nature lovers
In the bustling cities of japan, where everything moves at a rapid pace, it can be a refreshing change to embark on a leisurely rail journey that takes you through picturesque landscapes and allows you to appreciate the beauty of nature. One such journey is the Kurobe Gorge Railway, a popular attraction for train enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
The Kurobe Gorge Railway offers a unique experience that combines the joy of train travel with the stunning beauty of the surrounding hillsides, peaks, and gorges. As you embark on this journey, you will be treated to breathtaking views from famous vantage points such as Atobiki, Sarutobi Gorge, and Keyakidaira. These vantage points offer panoramic views of the surrounding scenery, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
One of the highlights of this journey is the opportunity to view the autumn foliage along the route. As the train meanders through the countryside, you will be greeted by a sea of vibrant colors as the leaves change from green to shades of red, orange, and yellow. This is a truly magical experience that is not to be missed, especially for those who appreciate the beauty of nature.
Another unique aspect of the Kurobe Gorge Railway journey is the opportunity to enjoy outdoor hot spring bathing near Kanetsuri Station. After a long day of exploring the gorge and taking in the stunning views, there is nothing quite like soaking in a natural hot spring to relax and rejuvenate. The outdoor hot spring baths provide a tranquil and serene setting, allowing you to unwind and connect with nature.
Now let’s delve into the details of how to get to the Kurobe Gorge Railway. The journey begins at Unazuki Station, which can be easily reached from Tokyo by catching the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station. The entire journey takes approximately two and a half hours and is covered by the Japan Rail Pass, making it a convenient option for travelers. From Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station, you can take the Toyama Chiho Railway from nearby Shin-Kurobe Station to Unazaki Onsen Station. This leg of the journey takes about 25 minutes but is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Upon arriving at Unazaki Onsen Station, it is just a short 10-minute walk to the Kurobe Gorge Railway.
If you are coming from Kyoto or Osaka, the journey is slightly different. You will need to take the JR Thunderbird limited express to Kanazawa and then transfer to the Hokuriku Shinkansen to reach Kurobe Unazuki Onsen Station. Although the journey may be longer, it offers an opportunity to explore other parts of Japan before reaching the Kurobe Gorge Railway.
Now let’s talk about the railway itself. The Kurobe Gorge Railway was formerly used to transport workers and materials to construction sites of power plants and dams. However, it has since been repurposed as a tourist train, complete with observation cars that allow passengers to fully appreciate the surrounding scenery. The train travels approximately 20 kilometers from Unazuki Station to the terminus, Keyakidaira Station, at a leisurely speed of about 16 kilometers per hour. Along the way, you will encounter 21 bridges and 41 tunnels, adding further points of interest for railway enthusiasts.
One of the highlights of the journey is the natural wonders and curiosities that can be found along the route. For example, the 60-meter-high Atobiki Prospect offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, the Sarutobi Gorge, located near the meeting point of the Kurobe and Babadani rivers, is another must-see attraction. The gorge is known for its rugged beauty and is a popular spot for hiking and exploring. Near Keyakidaira, you’ll also find the Okukane Pedestrian Bridge, which offers 360-degree panoramic views of the ravine and surrounding peaks. These natural wonders provide ample opportunities for photography and are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Along the route, there are also plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained. Hot spring baths, for example, are a popular attraction in the area. After a day of exploring the gorge, you can relax and unwind in the soothing waters of the hot springs, surrounded by nature. There are also hiking paths and observation points that allow you to further explore the area and take in the breathtaking views. The Kurobe Gorge is among the deepest gorges in Japan, and its sheer beauty is sure to captivate your senses.
When planning your visit to the Kurobe Gorge Railway, it is important to consider the best time to go. The railway operates from early May to the end of November, and each season offers its own unique charms. In early spring, you can witness the beauty of snow and fresh greenery, while summer brings cool breezes and a chance to escape the heat of the cities. Autumn, however, is perhaps the most popular time to visit, as the leaves change color and create a stunning display of natural beauty. Regardless of the time of year, the Kurobe Gorge Railway promises an unforgettable experience for train enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
Please note that the information provided in this article may be subject to change due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is always advisable to check the latest travel advisories and guidelines before planning your trip.
In conclusion, the Kurobe Gorge Railway offers a unique and unforgettable experience for train enthusiasts and nature lovers. From the stunning views of the surrounding peaks and gorges to the opportunity to soak in outdoor hot springs, this journey promises to be a feast for the senses. Whether you are a railway enthusiast looking to indulge in your passion or a nature lover seeking to connect with the beauty of Japan, the Kurobe Gorge Railway is sure to leave a lasting impression. So, pack your bags, hop on the train, and embark on a journey of a lifetime.
Address And Maps Location:
11 Kurobekyokokuguchi, Kurobe-shi, Toyama-ken