A sightseeing route that runs through the Tateyama mountain range in central Japan featuring tall snow walls opened Monday for this year's tourist season.

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, typically closed during winter, connects the town of Tateyama in Toyama Prefecture and the city of Omachi in Nagano Prefecture in the Northern Alps via bus and cable car. The route is open until the end of November.

Tourists walk in an area surrounded by tall snow walls on April 15, 2024, in Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture, as the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route opened for this year's sightseeing season. (Kyodo)

This year, the snow walls created by snow removal work reached 14 meters. The 500-meter pathway, named "Yuki no Otani," is located near the Murodo plateau at an altitude of 2,450 meters.

Takeshi Nishizawa, a 62-year-old company employee from Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, who visited the snow corridor with his wife for the first time, was impressed.

"The snow walls are higher than I imagined. I've seen pictures before, but seeing them in person is truly moving," he said.

This year will mark the end of a 3.7-kilometer trolley bus service that runs inside a tunnel piercing through part of the mountain range.

The trolley bus service, the only one of its kind in Japan, is scheduled to end on Nov. 30.

An official of the operating company said, "We hope visitors will enjoy the final journeys of the trolley bus as much as they have cherished their past experiences here."

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