Talking about Takayama, I believe many will think about the hida beef, sake, amazing onsen and Shirakawa-go, the UNESCO world heritage site which is very scenic and well known for its fairy tale-liked scene; but many people actually doesn’t notice this place – Shinhotaka Ropeway which is fairly astonishing.
Shinhotaka Ropeway 新穂高ロープウェイ
Shin-Hotaka Ropeway is one of the most unique ropeways in Japan. It features the only double decker gondola ropeway in Japan, very special where it is very picturesque and WOW!
This place is easily accessible from Takayama. It is about 90 minute’s bus journey from Takayama. Just board the bus at Takayama Nohi Bus Center which is located just next to JR Takayama Station.
I came across this place from Cheeserland, I told myself I must visit here during the spring when I had my trip in Chubu region. During spring, this is also the place to catch the last bit of snow before summer arrives.
We bought the Takayama-Shinhotaka 3 Days Free Bus Ticket that is priced at ¥ 6,690 from the bus Center. This ticket covers the unlimited rides for three days between Takayama and Shin-Hotaka, the round trip ticket on Shinhotaka Ropeway and a set of onsen and meal coupon at Hirayu Bus Terminal.
It is quite a deal because the one-way bus ticket is already costing ¥ 2,160 (per way ya); and the round trip tickets for ropeway already cost ¥ 2,900. If you are able to fully utilize it for 3 days and manage to claim the onsen bath and meal deal in Hirayu Bus Terminal, it would be perfect!
For our case, we were only able to have a short day trip to Shinhotaka Ropeway. So we only managed to utilize the ticket for the bus trips and round trips ropeway.
Quick breakfast from the station. I would never miss out any dairy products in Japan.
We boarded the bus at 7.40am and reached Shinhotaka Onsen Station at 9.15am; we then exchanged our ropeway ticket with the Takayama-Shinhotaka 3 Days Free Bus Ticket and headed off to board the No. 1 Ropeway, which took about 4 minutes’ ride to Nabedairakogen Station.
Kamitakara-no-yu the outdoor natural hot spring is located after the first ropeway, and before the second double gondola ropeway. Fancy a dip?
Next, we hopped on the No. 2 Ropeway, which is the only double-decker gondola in Japan. From Shirakabadaira Station at altitude 1,308 m towards the Nishihotakaguchi Station at altitude 2,156m.
Way up and up.
Observation deck at the upper station
The weather was 10 degree and I wore the wrong coat over. It was pretty hot here, given the time at around noon with the direct sunlight. Remember to apply a thicker layer of sunblock if you are planning to come here.
I noticed that there weren’t many tourists here except the local Japanese tourists and a tour group from Malaysia! This is a place to consider if you wished to be away from the crowded tourist spot.
Marvelous snowy mountainous view that captured my heart. This was somewhere around end of April, in spring.
Took numerous photos of the gondola like those on the postcards. This scene was too heart-capturing (at least me), double decker gondola with backdrop snowy mountain as backdrop!
Japan’s highest point postbox! How could I not pose and send greetings from here? You may purchase the postcards from the souvenir shop.
Postbox-freak-me can never get enough with just one photo of the post box.
There was this mini “Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route” here too.
If you are interested in walking through the real and majestic Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route someday later, feel free to read up my experience.
For full itinerary, check out Japan Trip 2018: 10D9N Nagoya, Matsumoto, Toyama, Takayama & Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
We had a quick lunch here in Mount View Café which is located in Nishihotakaguchi Station, overlooking the Nature Park.
We spared a short while doing some mind-wondering (aka dreaming) during out quite meal before heading back to Takayama.
Way down way back.
Souvenir shops and café are also located in Shinhotakaonsen Station. Bring home some goods especially sake!
Also, If you have extra spare time, do pamper yourself on the natural hot spring foot bath located at the Shinhotakaonsen Station, just right at the entrance!