Updated: Dec 2, 2019
The Kurobe Gorge is a beautiful, forested ravine in the rugged mountains of the Northern Japan Alps. Cut by the Kurobe River, it is one of the deepest gorges in Japan. The steep nearly vertical cliffs, untouched virgin forests, and outdoor hot springs make this a fabulous destination to see natural scenic beauty.
The main attraction of the gorge is the Kurobe Gorge Railway, a sightseeing train originally built to aid the construction of the Kurobe Dam. Today the two small basic trains operate along a winding, 20 kilometre stretch between Unazuki and Keyakidaira Stations. There are no windows, so be sure to choose a day of good weather to embark on this adventure. The exciting 80-minute journey leads across more than 20 bridges and through over 40 tunnels and offers visitors panoramic views of the gorge below. The trains stop at a few stations along the way where visitors can get off and explore if they so wish, then continue their journey, or return. The entire route doesn't take more than an hour's train ride from one end to the other.
The trains operate seasonally from mid-April through November and are most popular during autumn when the forested slopes along the railroad turn bright orange and red with beautiful fall colours. Since the mountains cover a large elevation range, the Kurobe Gorge enjoys a long fall colour season which usually runs from mid-October to mid-November.
For the best views, sit on the right side of the train when heading into the gorge.
If using one of our campers, you can stay at one of several free car parks in the dam's vicinity, with beautiful views of the water where it's peaceful at night with beautiful moonlit reflections too.