February 22, 2014

1010 JAPAN (Chūbu) - Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, known also as the "Roof of Japan", is a famous mountain sightseeing route between the cities Tateyama and Ōmachi, in the center of the island of Honshu. The route, opened in 1971, is just 37km in length, but the vertical interval is as large as 1,975m. The route is carefully built so that the surrounding environment is not damaged. Consequently, three lines go entirely under tunnels. Among them, two are trolleybus lines, the only ones in use in Japan. The route goes through Tateyama in the Hida Mountains with a lot of scenic sites, including Kurobe dam. Currently, the route is purely a sightseeing one, only used by tourists, especially that the Tateyama Kurobe area is a national park with protected flora and fauna.

People have believed that a god resides on Mount Tateyama, but the unique volcanic landscape has also prompted comparisons with hell. Many areas have names that conjure hellish images. Examples include "Gakinoda" or "Rice Paddy of Preta", "Jigokudani" or "Hell Valley" and "Chinoike" or "Blood Pond". In the 17th-19th centuries, Tateyama became one of Japan’s three holy mountains, along with Mount Fuji and Mount Hakusan. When spring comes, the route is literally carved through the snow, as can be seen on the postcard. Many people from all over the world are deeply impressed by the 18 meter high snow wall. Blue skies can be seen above the bus and white snowcapped peaks are visible between the walls of snow.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting even Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, is part of the Travel Scenes series No. 17 - Toyama, Tateyama Kurobe area, issued on April 16, 2013, and comprising 10 stamps  with the same face value (80 JPY):
• Midagahara Plateau (2 stamps)
• Rock Ptarmigan
• Snow Valley - it's on the postcard
• Shomyo Fall
• Gentiana thunbergii
• Murodou-Daira
• Stoat
• Aleutian avens
• Daikanbō Station

The second stamp is part of a first series about the japanese castles, issued on december 10, 2013, designed by Maruyama Satoru, and comprising five stamps with the same face value (80 JPY):
• Wakamatsu Castle
• Odawara Castle - it's on the postcard
• Hikone Castle
• Nijo Castle
• Okayama Castle

Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route - Wikipedia
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route - Official website

sender: Akiko Watanabe (direct swap)
sent from Kitakyūshū (Kyūshū / Japan), on 06.02.2014


  1. I love Japan and I would like received this postcard. I have it in my favourite ;)