One the way up the mountain, the bus passes through Yuki no Otani, the Great Valley of Snow. Huge annual snowdrifts are some of the biggest in the world. This year's wall of snow was 17 meters high!
I stayed in a lodge near the top of Tateyama in Murodo. A quick walk led to amazing views of the snowy mountains. Here you can see a hiker's camp at the base of the peaks.
The next morning, I continued down the other side of the mountain to the Kurobe Dam. At 186 meters in height, it is the largest dam in Japan.
From there, I continued on to Matsumoto, a quiet mountain city in Nagano Prefecture which is famous for having the oldest standing castle in Japan.
The following morning, I awoke early and headed up to Kamikochi, an mountain valley with spectacular views. I was confronted by magnificent alpine scenery, marshlands, and even wild monkeys...
That evening, I called up Toshi from Sunset Drive and joined him and his family at his home in Shizuoka.