I went to Mt. Norikura to see the snow walls with my family on June 6th.
Norikura Echo Line, which is the highest road in Japan at 2,700m, opens in June every year. I drove to Norikura Kogen and from there I caught a special bus for skiers and climbers and walked down the road for an hour.
The highest snow wall along the road is around 10 meters high and is really an interesting experience. It was as if I were dreaming of walking in a huge refrigerator!
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is famous for its higher snow walls in April and May. Norikura in June is cheaper (the bus is Y2,400 round trip) and an easier place to experience snow walls.
On next Sunday, June 21, “Heavenly Marathon in Norikura” will be held. It is a marathon event that is getting popular among runners all over Japan since it is a unique summer marathon. Runners run the road between the snow walls up to an altitude of 2,700m halfway up Mt. Norikura.
In Norikura, the snow remains even in August and some skiiers enjoy skiing in May to August.