Japan Opens Snow Corridor in the Northern Alps

Japanese snow road opens 1 photo
Last week, the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route in Japan opened to the public, presenting visitors, just as it did since 1971, with a unique sight of a road walled in in snow.
The spectacular snow road is opened to the public this year from April 15 to June 22, according to Japan Guide. For the entire period, it can be travelled by both vehicles and pedestrians.

When the route first opened on Monday, the walls of snow to either side stood 17 meters tall (55 feet), presenting visitors with a spectacular, yet frightening sight.

The snow corridor is part of a larger stretch of road, spanning for several tens of miles between the town of Tateyama in Toyama Prefecture and the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefecture. This year, authorities expect more than 1 million people will be visiting the region.

The walled-in road itself is 1 km-long (0.6 miles), and can be visited on foot for about half its length. When summer hits in June, the walls of snow would have melted, so pedestrians will probably take the usual means of transportation to their next destination.

“Originally, removing the snow was just to be able to bring people and supplies to the Tateyama Kokusai Hotel,” Yoshihide Tanikawa, from the Toyama Prefectural Road Public Corporation, told Atlas Obscura last year.

“But then we realized that we have something fairly exceptional, and why not bring people to see the walls.”

According to CNN, making the road look like it does starting this week took no less than tree months-worth of snowplow work.

What is amazing, and somewhat unclear, is how the drivers operating the snowplows know where to find the road which lies tens of feet of snow below them. But that should not come as a surprise, considering the fact that the Japanese have been at the forefront of technologies in this field for decades.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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