Updated： February 19, 2018
Yuki No Otani: Where Not To Build A Road
Leave it to the Japanese to build a road in the middle of one of the snowiest places on the planet called Yuki no Otani. It is such a surreal place that you might want to visit if you go to Japan at the end of winter or early spring!
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Yuki no Otani
Leave it to the Japanese to build a road in the middle of one of the snowiest places on the planet called Yuki no Otani (雪の大谷). The Japanese word literally means "large valley of snow". It is such a surreal place that you might want to visit it if you go to Japan at the end of winter or early spring! If your dream has always been to see snow, then saying that you'll be served by going to Yuki no Otani is a huge understatement.
We all know that Japanese are hard workers, but the effort they put in clearing the road to the Tateyama Murodo Plain is pure insanity.
It requires constant snow removal efforts to keep the road open to the plain located at an altitude of over 2,000 meters. At the end of winter, or in early spring, when the snow accumulation reaches its peak, snow walls of around 20 meters tower over the road. There is so much so that it takes until early summer for all of it to melt.
Until then, the area draws many tourists that can freely walk along the famous snow-walled road of the Yuki no Otani.
One side of it is reserved for pedestrians, so it's completely safe. Perhaps the best time to visit is in May because the temperature is milder (around 5 degrees Celsius) and the snow wall is still near its peak.
Yuki no Otani is located in the Chubu-Sangaku National Park of Toyama Prefecture, a rural mountainous prefecture on the Sea of Japan (western, middle part of Honshu). If you want more information about Yuki no Otani, please consult Toyama Prefecture's official tourism website.
How To Get To Toyama From Tokyo?
Since 2015, there is a new Shinkansen line called the Hokuriku Shinkansen that goes directly from Tokyo to Toyama, so access to the region has never been easier. It takes just a little over 2h to get there from Tokyo.
- Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.
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