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Alpine route vs jigokudani

6 posts
Alpine route vs jigokudani

Hi all

I realise this is very subjective but

We have one day tomorrow where we planned to go from kanazawa to matsumoto via alpine route. Wanted to see the dam and walk snow wall. We have been to hakone and miyajima on the 2 week trip so the modes of transport aren't that exciting.

However the official website says expect big delays this weekend. There was a bit saying 2 hour wait for cable car at 10 am this morn! ALSO it is set to rain most of the day... snow walk could close.

We also have big luggage so need to try and arrange luggage forwarding and have to make it the by 6pm or else it will close!

The alternate option we thought was maybe to go see the snow monkeys getting bus and leaving luggage at nagano.

Any tips and advice? Is this a good time of year for jigokudani? Nice walks views and def see monkeys?

I fear I'll regret queuing all day for the alpine route, miserable in rain, rushing for luggage other side, and snow wall may close!

3 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
676 posts
201 reviews
1. Re: Alpine route vs jigokudani

I myself would not attempt the alpine route with those types of crowds and unfavourable weather.In bad weather visibility may be very poor at Murodo and you might not see mountains.I went in July in excellent weather and the cablecars/ropeways were crowded (tighly packed) although there weren't long delays.Views at Murodo in perfect weather were quite nice but overall I was underwhelmed.Recently went on Shin-Hotaka rope way and views were much more impressive.

I have seen the snow monkeys in February in the snow.Dont know what it would be like in May.The walk is about a kilometre through forest.Similar to other forest walks in Japan (although they don't have monkeys).

In bad weather I try to find a museum.Maybe there is one that interests you in Kanazawa before moving on?

Level Contributor
676 posts
201 reviews
2. Re: Alpine route vs jigokudani

The idea you suggested in the other post of heading back to Tokyo would give you a number of options there.

Level Contributor
4,493 posts
149 reviews
3. Re: Alpine route vs jigokudani

Big luggage lockers at Nagano station so that is not a problem. And, the monkeys are nice this time of year - the new babies were born at the end of April.

Getting stuck in big queues doesn't sound like much fun.

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