Japan Alpine Route (Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route) Questions

I have asked around my friend circle and it doesn't appear anyone I know has done this just yet. We're planning to go in 2 weeks to the Alpine Route.

Sources I have read so far, but not limited to:

https://iamaileen.com/tateyama-kurobe-alpine-route-snow-wall...

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7551.html?aFROM=2155_7550&fbc...

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7550.html

Handful of things I need to clarity.

There's a foreigner ticket we can buy in advance - 'Tateyama Kurobe Option Ticket' is a discount ticket available for 9800 yen we plan on purchasing a day in advance which apparently covers the entire trip one way.

There's a reservation service for the Cablecar and electric bus which are part of the route: https://tateyama-kurobe.alpen-route.com/ticket/en/

  1. I don't understand how this works because it's asking me to pay when I'm trying to select a time slot, even though the Option Ticket covers my entire route? I want to avoid getting there, and being stuck at one section because we haven't booked in advance. Can anyone clarify what I should do?

Adding more:

Comments

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    We recently got back from this route. I think if you purchase the 9800YEN ticket, you won't be able to make reservations online. I don't remember there being a line specifically for reserved bookings. It was more the case of lining up and just waiting for the next available time for each transport leg. Though we may have missed things since we dont speak Japanese.

    It does get pretty crowded and busy with the tour groups, and it seems like tour groups have their own line, which had priority sometimes.

    It was managed quite well considering the massive crowd, but the busiest part was where people are waiting to get on Tateyama Highland bus. I think we waited about an hour to get on a bus.

    I don't think you'll be stranded but just be mindful of the last bus that will arrive. They provide signs telling you at each stop, the last available time to get to your next destination. There's also a timetable online.

    Have a look at this guide too:

    =https://nerdnomads.com/alpine-route-japan

    They're quite detailed with their journey. They went in spring though - when we went it was filled with snow outside at Murodo, so if you're planning on doing some sightseeing to the viewing platform or climb the mountain, make sure you bring proper hiking gear!

    Hope that helps and happy to answer anything else specific if I can!

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      Thanks so much! So it sounds like we can just use our Option Ticket to jump from one leg to the next and onwards - Did you get the Option ticket as well?

      It just seems like thorough and complete info on this route is somewhat limited other than reviews by people who have completed it like you found.

      We unfortunately won't have any hiking gear (can't be bothered lugging gear all around Japan just for 1 day at the snow but we will have warm gear like skins/jacket/just no boots or big puffy jacket) - is there a place you can hire snow gear from one end and drop it at the other? Or is it possible to not walk on the snow for each checkpoint or in order to complete the journey you have to go over snow? I don't know if my runners could handle it.

      The more and more I'm reading the more likely we are to do this.

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        Just adding to this. The fare looks like weird to me because the Option Ticket Cost 9,800.

        But the fares per their website:

        Ogizawa to Dentetsu is 9,490.

        Making it cheaper to note take the Option ticket. [Option Ticket does not take into account Omachi-Spa to Ogizawa hence I didn't include it in that price up there. If I was going from Nagano then yes.

        Edit* That source you linked confirms the above that it's 9,490. The Option Ticket would only be worth it if I was going from Nagano which is not the case.

        I guess the question then is, did you buy your ticket on the day?

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          The lady at Narita said the cost of tickets went up this year to 9800 so the websites that states 9400 were based on previous year prices. Never tried looking at single tickets on its own, so not sure if it is cheaper or not..

          One thing was at the trolley, we had to show our Option ticket to the guys in the counter booth on the left. He gave us another ticket as well as a group number that we used for the Ropeway (they have group numbers next to times at the board at the front next to the shop, so you know what time you can come back to line up for the rope way).

          Sequence of events may be wrong as it all happened so fast…

          Basically, we lined up for the trolley bus (after Kurobe Dam) and then the guy ushered us to the booth on the left. We showed him our option ticket and he gave us another ticket and a number. So they are quite helpful if you do get lost..

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        Yep we used our option ticket to jump from one leg to another. We purchased our ticket from NARITA airport when we landed which was two days prior to use. We started off in Matsumoto. So it was all covered in OUR JR pass and the Option ticket.

        It does get pretty warm moving around so you dont need anything too warm. Its more if you wanted to do the walk up at Murodo. The map shows a viewing platform that's suppose to be 2 hours return but since it was covered in snow and up the hills, it got quite dangerous in just runners. My partner was wearing Nikes and we made it more than halfway before we figured it'd be too dangerous trying to get back down later. Otherwise if you just venture around the area, it's relatively flat. All the lakes were frozen when we went as well.

        For the main path, they have placed small mats as a pathway to help people walk. It's when you venture out of these mats, is probably when you need some sort of waterproof shoes, like what we tried. I'd bring spare socks in case.

        Some locals were skiing in the area too!

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