Day-1 Preface: Trekking to Mt. Tsurugidake in the Northern Japan Alps 北アルプス 剱岳

Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳 Sightseeing
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳


The trip to Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳 is my best memory of mountain trekking in Japan. However, I have experienced more dangerous and longer routes than Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳 such as some high mountains around Japan Alps.

I will introduce you to the recommended plan of Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳 with a lot of photos. You will see superb views thorough a 2-night 3-day trek around the mountain.

About Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳:

  • It has another name Mt. Tsurugi in English but this blog only uses Mt. Tsurugidake as its name.
  • It is 2999m (9839ft) above sea level.
  • It is located in Toyama 富山 Prefecture, Japan.
  • Google Maps around Mt. Tsurugidake
  • It is a part of the Northern Japan Alps 北アルプス (Hida Mountains 飛騨山脈) and in the Chubu Sangaku National Park 中部山岳国立公園.
  • It is named one of the 100 best mountains in Japan.
  • It has two main trails, a southern trail starts from Murodo 室堂 and a northern trail starts from Banbajima 馬場島. Most of the hikers choose Murodo 室堂 because of convenient transportation, accommodation and beautiful sightseeing.
    This guidebook covers the southern trail only. Google Maps around Murodo 室堂
  • Trekking season: end of July - September
  • This mountain is for advanced trekkers only, as there are several steep ascents and descents, with long chains already installed.


Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Beautiful Pond
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Volcanic Zone
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Comfortable Lodge
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Snow Grouse
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Adventurous Trails
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Long Chain
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Great View
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Long Ladder
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳
Hot springs
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳


Around this mountain is a high accident area because the trails are not for beginner hikers. Sometimes people get injured or sick due to an accident, or they have accidentally slipped to the bottom.

In fact, every year a few people died around this mountainous area. If your stamina, skills and equipment such as crampons are not sufficient for this sort of challenge, you shouldn't go there. If you are a foreigner and are not used to trekking on that type of route in Japan, you should go there with an experienced person.

Access to an Entrance of Mt. Tsurugidake from Tokyo

This guidebook will introduce you to one of the most highly recommended entrances of Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳 called Murodo 室堂, and how to travel back and forth between Tokyo 東京 Metropolis and Murodo 室堂 in Toyama 富山 Prefecture by bus, train and cable car.


3-1-1: Tokyo 東京 Metropolis ⇒ Toyama 富山 Prefecture (by expressway bus or train)

3-1-2: Dentetsu Toyama 電鉄富山 Station ⇒ Tateyama 立山 Station (by train)

3-1-3: Tateyama 立山 Station ⇒ Bijodaira 美女平 Station (by cable car)

3-1-4: Bijodaira 美女平 Bus Stop ⇒ Murodo 室堂 Bus Stop (by bus)

Tokyo 東京 Metropolis ⇒ Toyama 富山 Prefecture

Choose from Train or Bus.
If you would like to save money, taking an Expressway Bus is much cheaper than taking the Bullet train, and you can get there without transfers. Taking the Night Expressway Bus would be a good idea for people who want to save money and get there in the early morning.

By Train

When you travel from Tokyo 東京 Station to Toyama 富山 Station by train, taking the Bullet Train (SHINKANSEN) is the fastest without transfers, but it is also the most expensive.
Total : Reserved seat 12960 yen or Non-reserved seat 12430 yen
Time : About 130 - 160 minutes
Line Name : Hokuriku Shinkansen (北陸新幹線)

JR-EAST - East Japan Railway Company
Official Web site of East Japan Railway Company (JR East)

However, if you have JAPAN RAIL PASS for the train that services international tourists visiting Japan from abroad for sightseeing, that is the best choice.

There are other types of cheaper trains available as well such as the Local Train, Limited Express and so on. Their fares and the number of transfers differ between the trains.

Timetable and Route Search HyperDia
Input two station names
From : TOKYO

HyperDia | Route Search in Japan.
HyperDia is a service which offers the route of the railway and the aviation within Japan. The route search corresponds to not only Japanese but also English and Chinese.

By Expressway Bus

Several bus companies seasonally offer expressway buses between Tokyo and Toyama. If you are looking for the bus, input two prefecture names to the search box Highway Bus Search on the website HyperDia above.

Origin : Kanto > Tokyo
Destination : Hokuriku / Koshinetsu > Toyama

You can also use the website JR Expressway Bus.
Please find the bus Tokyo ⇒ Toyama / Kanazawa


A Cheap Bus (Overnight Bus)

When I went to Toyama, I found one of the cheapest buses.

Overnight bus fare : 3000 - 6200 yen for one way (Check the latest fare.)
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are higher priced than the other days. Fridays and pre-holidays are the highest, at 6200 yen.
The early-booking discount is available.

The bus ride is about 7 hours.

Unfortunately, there were no English instructions for booking services on their website or their call center. If you have a concierge from a good hotel or friends who know Japanese, I would recommend that you have them help you make a reservation.

The cheap buses are usually operated for a limited period from the middle of July to September.

Check out this bus below.
杉崎高速バス Sugizaki-kousoku-bus

杉崎高速バス - 夜行バス、乗合バスはSUGIZAKI・トラベルサポートへ -

In Japan, each bus company has different rules regarding eating and drinking alcohol on a bus. This company has some rules below.

  • Drinking alcohol and smoking on the bus are prohibited.
  • A person who is completely drunk is restricted from boarding the bus by the drivers or company staff.
  • Please refrain from eating food that has a strong flavor.

Tokyo Station 東京駅
Go to Yaesu South Side (Yaesu South Entrance) 八重洲南口 Yaesu-minamiguchi of Tokyo 東京 Station.
Find Yaesu South Entrance 八重洲南口 Yaesu-minamiguchi.
Tokyo Station 東京駅
First Avenue Tokyo Station 東京駅一番街 Tokyo-eki-ichibangai

There are many ramen shops and Japanese food restaurants on the B1F near Yaesu South Entrance 八重洲南口 Yaesu-minamiguchi.
It would be good idea to have a meal before you take the highway bus, if you have time.

First Avenue Tokyo Station
First Avenue Tokyo Station is a wonderland of Japanese culture directly connected to Tokyo Station. You’ll find great areas such as Tokyo Character Street, which features shops filled with popular Japanese characters; Tokyo Ramen Street, with ramen shops t...
Tokyo Station 東京駅
Turn left at the end of the way. You will see McDonald’s there.
Tokyo Station 東京駅
Pass through 高速バスのりば Pass through / JR Expressway Bus.

This is a JR ticket office and bus terminal. JR is the largest railway and bus company in Japan, but this guidebook introduces another bus company SUGIZAKI HIGHWAY BUS. They offer cheaper tickets than JR, even though they travel to the same destinations. The SUGIZAKI HIGHWAY BUS station is a 6 minute walk from here.

Tokyo Station 東京駅
Follow the street.
Marunouchi Kajibashi Parking Lot 丸ノ内鍛冶橋駐車場
Walk straight.
Marunouchi Kajibashi Parking Lot 丸ノ内鍛冶橋駐車場

Get into Marunouchi Kajibashi Parking Lot 丸ノ内鍛冶橋駐車場 Marunouchi-kajibashi-chushajo.
* There is no food service in and around this parking lot. You can buy or have food at Tokyo Station.

Marunouchi Kajibashi Parking Lot 丸ノ内鍛冶橋駐車場

Many buses often come and go from the bus stops. Please check out a departure board in the waiting room about your destination and bus stop number.
* Destination: 富山 Toyama


The bus does not have a toilet facility. Instead, the bus will stop a few times at the rest areas of highway to have a break on the way to Toyama. At that time, you can use the bathroom. The break time is usually 10 - 15 minutes. You should definitely be back on the bus by the announced departure time, because the bus company is strict with their time schedule.

The departure time is displayed around the dashboard of the bus.

There are many buses that have a similar-looking design around the parking lot of the rest areas. When you get off the bus, please make sure you know which bus you used and its location.

On the bus, built-in outlets (AC 100V) are available at every seat to charge smartphones, but it is not advisable to charge a laptop, etc, due to its power consumption.

Dentetsu Toyama 電鉄富山 Station ⇒ Tateyama 立山 Station

Toyama Station 富山駅

After you take the overnight bus, you will transfer to a train. Right after you leave the bus stop, you will see Toyama Station 富山駅 - that is not the one you should go. Do not go into this building.
It is a little confusing but, there are two railway company stations near the bus stop.
The station you are looking for is on the other side of the building in front of the bus stop.
From the bus stop, look for an underpass to get to the other side of the building and find the correct train station.

Toyama Station 富山駅

Walk to Toyama Chiho Railway 富山地方鉄道. The correct train station is right on the other side of the underpass.

JR Toyama Station 富山駅
This is the other side of the building but you don't use JR Toyama Station 富山駅.
Dentetsu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
You will find the right train station next to JR Toyama Station.
Dentetsu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
Toyama Chiho Railroad 富山地方鉄道

When you travel in the overnight bus early in the morning, you must be hungry but food stores in the station aren't opened yet.
I recommend buying some food at a 24 hour convenience store LAWSON beside Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅.
Google Maps

If you are transferring from the bus to the train, then please keep in mind you will only have 20 - 30 minuets to transfer, so you have to move quickly. I would suggest that you jog part of the way to get there on time.

Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
Ticket office


Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅

When you are traveling from Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅 to Murodo 室堂, first you take a train, then a cable car, and finally a bus. When purchasing your ticket at the first station, you can buy a ticket bundle, which includes all the transportation you need for the trip. Please hold on to this ticket until you get to your final destination.
* One-way ticket costs 3630 3700 yen in total.
* Credit cards are accepted.

Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅

Please check out a departure board. You will travel…

Dentetsu Toyama 電鉄富山 Station → Tateyama 立山 Station
* This train directly takes you to Tateyama 立山 Station without transferring.
Dentetsu Toyama 電鉄富山 Station → Iwakuraji 岩峅寺 Station (via Terada 寺田経由) → Tateyama 立山 Station
* You need to transfer at Iwakuraji 岩峅寺 Station.

Line Map (Please find Tateyama Line 立山線 on the map.)

Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
Ticket gate
Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
Many students go to school by train on weekdays.
Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
View from the train in the end of July
Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
Non-reserved seat
Dentestu Toyama Station 電鉄富山駅
You will see nice scenery from the train.
Tateyama Station of Cable Car ケーブルカー 立山駅
Next, you will take a cable car.

Tateyama 立山 Station ⇒ Bijodaira 美女平 Station

Tateyama Station of Cable Car ケーブルカー 立山駅
Tateyama Station 立山駅 of Tateyama Cable Car 立山ケーブルカー
Tateyama Station of Cable Car ケーブルカー 立山駅
You can take a free guidebook. English edition is available.
Tateyama Station of Cable Car ケーブルカー 立山駅
Tateyama Station 立山駅 →
Bijodaira Station of Cable Car ケーブルカー 美女平(びじょだいら)駅
→ Bijodaira 美女平 (びじょだいら) Station of Tateyama Cable Car 立山ケーブルカー

Bijodaira 美女平 Bus Stop ⇒ Murodo 室堂 Bus Stop

Bijodaira 美女平 Bus Stop
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
You will see a waterfall from the bus.
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
This bus goes through mountain area.
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
Tateyama Highland Bus 立山高原バス
This place is Otani 大谷.

Snow Corridor (Wall) Festival is usually held from mid-April to mid-June around Otani 大谷 area.

Tateyama Kurobe Snow Corridor (Wall) in Toyama Japan 富山 立山黒部 雪の大谷
Snow Corridor (Wall) Festival is held from April 15 to June 22, 2021 in Toyama 富山 Prefecture.It is located in the Northern Japan Alps.
Murodo 室堂
Some eating places are available at Murodo 室堂.
Murodo 室堂

Restaurant Tateyama レストラン立山 in Murodo 室堂
This restaurant is a good place to rest after the train, cable car and bus ride. You can freshen up a bit before the long hike.
If you have a large backpack, a restaurant staff member will guide you to a space to keep it. Please bring your valuables with you.

Restaurant and Food|Murodo Terminal | Hotel Tateyama
  • No service fee / No cover charge
  • English picture menu is available. Prices are including tax.
  • Water and hot tea are free of charge and self-service.
  • Order food at your table. Pay the bill at the cash desk.
  • Clean flush toilets are available for customers in this restaurant.
Murodo 室堂
Fried White Shrimp on Rice Set Meal
白海老から揚げ丼定食 Shiroebi-karaage-don-teishoku
1800 yen (Beer on the picture is extra of charge 1000 yen.)
Murodo 室堂
White shrimp is local specialty of Toyama 富山 prefecture. Give it a try!
Murodo 室堂
Toyama Fried Pork Curry
とやまポークカツカレー Toyama-pork-katsu-curry
1700 yen (includes salad)
It is Toyama-grown pork.
Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳

This pork cutlet looks like Mt. Tsurugidake 剱岳.
Don't you think so?

Murodo 室堂

Day-2 Into the Wild: Trekking to Mt. Tsurugidake in the Northern Japan Alps 北アルプス 剱岳
Let's go into the adventurous wilderness!