Tourists hankering to view the majestic "Yuki no Otani" (great gorge of snow) have another option this season, a glass-roofed tour bus that will ply the scenic route.Dubbed the E-Sora Tateyama Panorama Bus, the service will open on April 16. It negotiates the treacherous road in Tateyama, Toyama Prefecture, that can pile more than 10 meters high with snow.
The section is part of the approximately 90-kilometer Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that cuts across the Northern Japanese Alps and connects Toyama and Nagano prefectures.The operator of the service, Tateyama Kurobe Kanko Co., gave media representatives a sneak preview of the bus on April 9. They were taken on a tour along the cherry tree-lined Matsukawa river.
The most notable feature of the 37-seat passenger bus is the ceiling made of hardened glass that blocks out ultraviolet radiation. The roof was inspired by the Swiss Glacier Express train and will give passengers a spectacular view of the towering snow walls.