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Central Japan Road Trip Itinerary - Kurobe Gorge Railway



Kurobe is a city in Toyama Prefecture located in the north of central japan. Surrounded by mountains and along the coast, the city’s landscape is one of a kind. Despite located right at the north of Central Japan, H & I decide to make a trip there. Thanks to H spearheading the 4 hours’ drive, we arrived at Kurobe city safely. 

Kurobe Gorge Railway
Being the poster girl of Japan Tourism, one will not miss the photo of Kurobe Gorge Railway. You may even see it without even realizing it to be Kurobe because it’s a hidden gem that is popular with the locals and currently under the tourist radar. Plus, it operates seasonal and is open from April - November, making it even less popular.  

Located 20 minutes away from Kurobe City, the gorge is a paradise on its own. It is so beautiful I can’t stop raving about it to H even when I’m back home. Just when you thought that blue pond is blue, the one at Kurobe Gorge will blow your mind.  

The railway that was built to aid the construction of the Kurobe Dam has become the main attraction at Kurobe. With a small train operating along a winding track, one can enjoy the unspoiled nature from the train

Once we boarded, we were taken to the valley with steep Alpine. The vertical cliff and unspoiled nature is truly a gem.  A single way journey will take 60 minutes crossing more than 20 bridges. From the train, one is treated to a panoramic view of the gorge. Highly recommend one to get on their foot and explore.

Railway tickets in Kurobe Gorge
Tickets are sold in the railway station and only cash is accepted. Alternatively, you can purchase an online ticket from here. E-reservation closes 2 days in advance. Do note that some tickets are sold with return tickets as some station does not have a ticket office.

Kurobe Gorge Railway Route
Credit: Kurotetu
There are 4 stations in Kurobe Gorge. Each station has a different attraction and I’m guessing you would need at a full day to complete. We didn’t have much time after encountering many unforeseen issues, we bought a return ticket to Kuronagi Station



Unazuki Station
The trail starts at Unazuki Station which is 20 minutes-drive from Kurobe city. From the station, you can witness the newly built dam from the station. Highly recommend you to stay one night at the station so that that you can spend more time exploring Kurobe Gorge or even beat the crowd. If there is one thing you don’t know about Japanese is that they are early birds.

Kuronagi Station
As we do not have the whole day in Kurobe, we didn’t visit all the station. Instead, we visited Kuronagi Station and took a walk along the river. H & I took our time to explore this area and we almost had the place to ourselves. With most tourist visiting other station, it made our experience there very memorable. After 500m, you can witness the limpid water gushing out towards the river. There is even a small guesthouse located next to the river. Plus, visitors and guest can enjoy the hot spring at a fee.  Do note that you need to purchase a return ticket because Kuonagi station does not have a service counter

Oyster seafood restaurant かき処

If you are a huge fan of oyster, do head over to the Oyster restaurant and try the deep-sea fresh oyster. The oyster is fresh and juicy. They even have the Oyster buffet for those who want unlimited supplies. The staff in the restaurant is very friendly and helpful. Knowing that we are not familiar with grilling oyster, she helped u to prepare instead!

Address: Japan, 929-2241 Ishikawa, Nanao, Nakajimamachi Hamada, 21
Opening hours: Daily 11am – 3pm (Mon – Thurs), 11am – 5pm (Fri - Sun)

Despite spending little time at Kurobe, H & I had so much fun! The only regret was not spending enough time there. The next time when we visit Kurobe, we will definitely want to explore other station and taking a trip to Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route. 

Other attractions near Kurobe

Murodo
Credit: Common Wikimedia 
Although not in the same area, I would want to visit this place during the summer! Not only one can see the scenery of Tateyama Mountain Range, one can visit the snow corridor  (Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine route)that is open to the public during Summer! It is said that the snow wall can reach a height of up to 16M. 

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