Shinhotaka Ropeway: A Cloud 9 Experience in Takayama City, Japan
It was heavily snowing on the day we were supposed to go to Shinhotaka Ropeway. I drew the curtains open in my bedroom at Hotel Hotaka, and there I saw what I think is the most fabulous morning view I’ve ever seen in my lifetime: a breathtaking snowy view of the mountains of the Northern Alps.
The Shinhotaka Ropeway
After prepping, I joined my tour mates for breakfast. We had a hearty breakfast meal at the restaurant with a scenic backdrop of that day’s snowfall. Our tour guide was thinking if we could still do the ropeway since it may be too windy to push through. It was about 4°C down here and it may fall as low as -7°C once we get up there.
Make sure to buy a roundtrip ticket!
Fortunately, despite the snowfall, we carried on with our Shinhotaka Ropeway adventure. It’s just a stone’s throw away from Hotel Hotaka, the ideal place to stay if you’re planning to go to the ropeway.
Tourists flock over to the side of the gondola where the view is better
There are two available ropeway options in Shinhotaka. The first one traverses for five minutes, while the Ropeway No. 2 is a double-decker cable car which can accommodate 121 passengers at once and travels for 7 minutes. There were only about 8 of us who rode the first gondola including a Japanese staff. The gondola has limited seats but guests can just stand to enjoy the scenic 360-degree view.
Clear view of the Shinhotaka Ropeway
It was a smooth 200-meter steep climb towards the Nabedaira Kogen where the restaurants and souvenir shops are found. Ropeway No. 2, which goes all the way to Shirakabadaira Station and the Roof Observation Deck, gives the visitors a view of the Okuhida Region.
During our ascent, we are greeted by an exquisite snowscape, with pine trees almost invisible because of the fog and a blanket of snow covering the scenery.
Want to take some rest? Head on to Nabedaira Kogen.
We arrived at the Nabedaira Kogen, where you can find the Visitor Center, Theater, an Exhibition Corner, and even an open-air public bath. We stayed here for about 30 minutes to enjoy the snow-covered outdoors. It was about -7 degrees when we went to the ropeway, and describing it as cold is an understatement. It was freezing with the occasional wind chills while we were busy taking photos and enjoying the snow. Good thing was, there is a well filled with hot water where you can wash your hands to alleviate numbness. Make sure to bring proper winter attire when you go here. It was winter when we went to Japan but they say it’s just as beautiful when you go here during the start of summer where you’ll see flower fields and alpine trees in full bloom.
Right after some minutes of playing in the snow. We’re kids again!
Right after enjoying some time in the freezing outdoors, we went back inside and saw that they have other attractions. The Shinhotaka Ropeway houses must-see attractions all for the family to enjoy. It’s truly a must-visit in Central Japan for a breathtaking view of Japan’s scenery.
Address: Shinhotaka Onsen, Okuhida Onsen-go, Takayama City
Operating Hours: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm (this may change depending on the season)
Price: ¥2,900 (Roundtrip)
How to get here: From Takayama Nohi Bus Center, take a Nohi bus bound for Shinhotaka Ropeway for about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Get off at the final stop.
Written by Jastine Valeriano