On hindsight perhaps not include breakfast as we were trying to catch the 0740 train and their breakfast only starts at 0700hrs.
If you like Japanese breakfast, it has pretty decent spread with curry rice and miso soup. But it was quite a rush for us as we needed to get to the station by 0730hrs.
If you have more time, visit the morning market which opens at 6am.
Our journey to the Snow Wall
1) 0740hrs train from Takayama Station to Toyama Station. We took two connecting trains instead of JR. It was quite easy. Just hop off and cross over. 2 hr 30min
2) Arrived at Toyama station at 1005hrs. Get out and go next door to Dentetsu-Toyama Station.
Toyama is a much bigger city than Takayama and has a shopping centre. At the station, we chilled for coffee for 20 mins. This is a good place to load on your picnic bento for Murodo so you dont waste time queuing for food.
3) Showed my JR Alpine pass and got a Alpine route entry ticket for the Tateyama Cable car/ trolley.
Take the 1056hrs Chitetsu Line to Tateyama station.
4) Arrived at 1159hrs at Tateyama station, go to level 2 for the 1220hrs Cable Car (Tateyama Station to Bijodaira Station).
If you got the 5 days JR Alpine Pass, there is no need to buy or exchange tickets. Just show your pass to the station master.
5) At Bijodaira we took the bus to Murodo ( mid-April to late-June) to experience the snow wall @130pm. I could not get a room at Hotel Tateyama at Murodo, the highest point which was a blessing on hindsight because its quite crowded. Tateyama Highland Bus / 30 mins. There is a restaurant, cafe at Bijodaira 美人平. We brought our own bento and snacks with hot chocolate so did not buy anything.
Option 2 is to take another bus to Midagahara. In summer, you can probably take a stroll through the wetlands. But now in May, everything is covered in snow.
6) Left Murodo @ 3pm to take Tateyama Highland Bus 2 to Midahahara. The wait was quite long but the journey short. Press the overhead buzzer to inform the driver you are getting off.
The snow wall closes at 3pm while the last bus leaves Murodo at 5pm. So if there is a normal queue you may make it back to Toyama or even Matsumoto for the night.
But I cant bear the thought of travelling another 2hrs.
So its off to the onsen and nap before dinner at 6pm.
Initially I thought there were many activities such as trekking and star gazing at Midagahara. But in reality, for the non Japanese speaker, there is none. Even the slideshow at 815pm by nature enthusiasts. Although we dont understand Japanese, the talk was interesting as we could understand a few things about Mt Tateyama. It is one of 3 holy mountains in Japan. It has a hell valley of volcanic activity. There are mountain worshippers or climbers. It is beautiful in autumn, leaves of red, orange and gold with alpine wild flowers and little pools of water forming, gitaka.
Unfortunately it was raining when we were there, so no star gazing. I may return to Hotel Migadara in autumn one day. Cant believe all that snow will melt into this beautiful grassland on the website.