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Take the Kurobe Gorge Railway ride

The most beautiful train ride in Japan!

Kurobe Gorge Railway is considered the most beautiful train ride in Japan by many. This train ride takes you through one of Japan's top 3 gorge and one of Japan's 100 hidden beauty. The ride is around 80 minutes, and will take you 20 km, passing over 40 tunnels and 20 bridges, taking you to the middle of Kurobe Gorge.

These tracks are originally laid for building dams in this area, but they are now used mainly as scenic train ride tracks. Aside from the beautiful scenery, you can also enjoy free onsen in the river amidst natural beauty or if you're lucky, meet wild animals in the area. There are many stops along the way where you can get off and explore. The key stations of recommendations are

1. Unazuki: this is the boarding station, here you can walk over to Shin Tamabita (the longest bridge on the ride) observation deck

2. Kurobagi: this is the 4th station, from the train you can take a picture of Atobiki bridge, the bridge over the steepest and deepest part of the gorge

3. Kanetsuri: this is the 8th station, here you can make a quick stop to see the permanent snow (which is now melted) and explore the hot sand

4. Keyakidaira: this is the last station, here I highly recommend you to walk over to Babadani Onsen, the natural river onsen where you can enjoy onsen amidst nature for free. Along the way you will walk pass the beautiful Okukane bridge and man eating rock. In the opposite direction is the narrowest part of the gorge, where they say money can jump across the gorge

The best time to take Kurobe Gorge Railway is during autumn (mid October to November). However, I think it is beautiful and has great weather year round. Note that due to heavy snow, they close during December to mid April. The one way trip is 1710 Yen or slightly cheaper if you make stops along the way. In early 2015, there will be a Shinkansen running closer to the area, so it would make visiting Kurobe Gorge Railway easier, no more excuses!

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