Encounter a ptarmigan, designated as a Natural Monument
On terrace plateau with rich nature facing 3,000-meter high mountains
At 2450 meters above sea level, Murododaira is a lava plateau consisting of lava that flowed from the former Tateyama crater. This plateau which faces 3,000-meter mountains such as the Three Tateyama Mountains, Mt. Tsurugidake and the Dainichi Mountain Range, serves as the base of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.
"Murodo" means a building in which practitioners of austerities stay and pray. The place is so named because a murodo was built in the area where mountains were worshiped during the Edo Period (1603-1868). The building is now called "Shitsudo-goya", and was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.
The hiking trail around the place has many spots worth seeing such as the beautiful Mikurigaike pond with a mirror-smooth surface and Jikogudani, with its smell of sulfur. There is also Murodo garden, a memorial tower dedicated to victims of mountaineering accidents; Tamadono cave, Kokuzo cave, stone Buddhist images and stone pagodas, indicating that this is a sacred place that has been worshiped by many practitioners.
The area is also a rich habitat of rare wild animals including the ptarmigan, which is a Natural Monument. In summer you can see Japan's endemic species such as the Gentiana thunbergii var. minor and Veratrum stamineum as well as other beautiful alpine plants including avens (Geum pentapetala). This is a sacred place where you can feel the history of faith in Japan in beautiful landscape and affluent nature.
Address: Murodo, Iwakuraji, Tateyama-machi, Toyama
Phone: 076-432-2819 (Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Official Website)
Directions: (From the Toyama side) 2 hours through Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route from JR Toyama Station (3 hours and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka and Nagoya Station; 1 hour and 30 minutes by air from Tokyo via Toyama Airport) to Murodo, the terminal of Tateyama Kogen Bus. (From the Nagano side) one hour and 30 minutes from JR Shinano Omachi Station (4 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo Station) through Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route to Murodo, the terminal of Tateyama Tunnel trolleybus followed by a short walk.