Part of Japan’s alpine route reopens

Part of a scenic mountain route through central Japan's Northern Alps has reopened after being closed for the winter.

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The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route connects Omachi City in Nagano Prefecture with Tateyama Town in Toyama Prefecture with a ropeway, cable cars and buses.

A 16-kilometer section on the Toyama side of the 37-kilometer route became passable on Monday after snow plows cleared the road.

A priest performed a Shinto ritual at the cable car and bus transit station at an altitude of about 1,000 meters, to pray for safe operation this season.

After the ritual, about 10 tourists aboard the first bus enjoyed the spectacle of the snow-covered mountains.

Workers are clearing snow from the route’s highest point, which is not yet open to tourists.
The entire route is scheduled to open on Saturday.

The operator expects about one million tourists to travel the route this year, up around 80,000 from last year.

Source and image: NHK
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