Friday, May 31, 2013

Stations in the Mountains

I think this was the Murodo Station (maybe it was Kurobedaira Station, sorry we passed through so many stations!) if I remember correctly. We had some time to wait for our number to be called.

We decided to spend some of that time on the roof of the station.

The many other travelers taking in the mountain ranges while waiting for their turn.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When Nature and Man Made Creations Work Together

These were taken with my GoPro Hero3. It's interesting to see how the architects of this dam tried to blend the dam into the surroundings. It blends and yet it's easy to spot where they divide. The lines are too clean compared to nature's unpredictability.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

From Kurobe Dam Observatory

I took this one with my GoPro Hero3. I will share a few other photos that I took with it in my next post. It can be a challenge to take a photograph without seeing the outcome right away, but then that's how we used to take photos isn't it?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Tallest Dam In Japan

 Kurobe Dam. Construction begin in 1956 and was opened in 1965.

 Looking at the Toyama Side.

The tunnels, the  ropeway stations and the cable car stations took 3 years to build with one small portion of a tunnel taking 13 months to blast through. That is dedication to bringing hydroelectric power to Japan.

 This dam is famous in Japan for its size, location and for how long it took to build it. About 170 people lost their lives while building this dam. This dam is often compared to the Hoover Dam in the U.S.A.

 During the warmer seasons you can access the observatory by climbing the stairs on the right. There was too much snow covering the stairs, so we climbed from the inside. There were over 100 (150? I can't remember exactly, I just remember that there were so many I thought it would never end!) steps to climb with an employee instructing you to rest at the halfway point.

 But, the view was worth the climb! Just make sure to take a break halfway up and then continue.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Surrounded By Mountains

 At Kurobe Dam you will find mountains in all directions.

 I was here in the beginning of May, but there was still plenty of snow to make you believe it was the middle of winter. 

 There were some heavy looking clouds in the area to make us worry about snow.

Luckily, we there was some wind in the area to help keep the clouds moving along without releasing any snow on us.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

An Angled Cable Car

These are a few more views from the Ropeway. The sun helped cast great shadows on the snow.

After the ropeway we rode a cable car that was angled. It was a little disorienting when I got on the cable car at first. You kind of feel like you are about to fall forward even though you are standing straight up. 

 Of course, after riding one earlier to go up the mountain this wasn't a big deal. Especially, since this one was all tunnel and no view. I didn't have a chance for photographs in the first one, because there were so many people and I was on the side facing the rock wall. (Just my luck)

The people who work here constantly tell people not to run. People tend to hurry to get to the next transportation as quickly as possible. It's to get on the first available car or wait in line for 20 minutes. But, when the stairs are steep and you are carrying packs like in the photo above, people can hurt themselves. So, even if you don't like lines no matter how fast you move you will have to wait in line. (In other words just take it easy and enjoy the experience, how often do you ride something like this?)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tateyama Ropeway

 After the bus ride we rode the ropeway. We weren't at the peak yet, but already the views were breathtaking. Everyone in the ropeway car was pressing their faces against the glass or trying to get close to the glass. Hikers, skiers, photographers, everyone had the same reaction when our ropeway car left the station, "Wow!"

 A view of the ropeway station. Our travels were not done with this ride either. We still had other transportation to use.

For now, I will just leave you with these images.

Again, our fun on Tateyama wasn't over yet.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May = Snow

You probably noticed that the trees are blurred. That would be because I was on a bus going up a mountain to play in snow. The city below already felt so far away. 

 This bus ride took only 20 minutes, but this was just the beginning.

 The mountains are so far away compared to where we ended up.

I promise the photographs will get more interesting in the following posts to come! As I mentioned, this was only the beginning.

Friday, May 10, 2013


"What's going on here?"

"Got any fish?"