Sunday, September 1, 2019

Riding the Longest Ropeway in Japan

-- Susan, every other Sunday

In Japan, the term "ropeway" includes both chairlifts and gondola-style lifts, and the country has more than 170 of them, scattered across the length and breadth of the country's four major islands.

A gondola car from the Gozaisho ropeway

Most of these ropeways carry passengers part or all of the way up various mountains, and I've ridden more than two dozen of them during my time in Japan, including the one that carries passengers farther than any other in Japan.

Gozaisho Ropeway lower station

The distinction belongs to the Gozaisho Ropeway, which takes almost fifteen minutes to carry passengers to the upper station, which sits just below the summit of Mt. Gozaisho (御在所岳)(1,212m).

Going up . . .

The sixth of the ropeway's seven supporting towers is painted white (to increase its visibility) and is the tallest ropeway support tower in Japan. It stands 61 meters high and can be seen from over 40 kilometers away. (At the time of its construction during the 1960s, it was the highest ropeway tower in the world, though that honor now belongs to a 180-meter ropeway tower in Austria.)

The famed White Tower

Each gondola carries up to ten passengers, though the day I visited, the one I rode up the mountain had only five--and I had a gondola to myself on the way back down.

Another view en route to the top

The summit area of Mt. Gozaisho features several ski runs and a sledding area, though most of the snow had melted the day I visited. (By design . . . I went to hike.)

Last day of the sledding season on Mt. Gozaisho

There's also a restaurant with tasty food and fantastic views.

I'm a sucker for a good hamburger steak

From the upper station, an open chairlift carries passengers to the top of the ski runs, which begin at the summit of Mt. Gozaisho.

Chairlift number 2

A number of hiking trails also begin at this point, and lead to the summits of neighboring mountains.

Hiking on Gozaisho

After finishing my hike, I took the gondola back down.

Views of Gifu and Aichi Prefectures

While the views are not for the faint of heart (acrophobes may want to skip this particular sightseeing trip) I enjoyed them immensely.


The city in the distance is Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture, which sits between Tokyo and Kyoto, in central Honshu. Although Gozaisho is actually in neighboring Gifu Prefecture, the ropeway is only about an hour from Nagoya Station, which is also the easiest access point.

Now that you've seen the pictures . . . would you ride? Or is Gozaisho a big Gozai-no for you?

1 comment:

  1. Having been raised on the inclines of Pittsburgh, what is there to fear from a ropeeway? BANZAI!!!