The Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway takes you up the Yatsugatake Mountains to Tsubo-niwa Nature Park, going from 1771m to 2237m elevation in about 7min. The ropeway runs every 20min and each gondola can transport 100 people.
Once at the top, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the three ranges of the Japanese Alps and Kurumayama Kirigamine Plateau. From the summit station you can explore Tsubo-Niwa park or trek to the peaks of nearby Mt. Shimagare-yama and Mt. Kita-Yokodake.
Many hiking trails wind through Tsubo-niwa Park, an enchanting natural garden of igneous rocks and windswept pines originated from a volcanic eruption. One circuit of the park takes about 40min.
From the park you can observe an intriguing natural phenomenon called Shimagare, which can be roughly translated as “stripes of dead trees”. The mountainside in this area shows an unusual pattern, an alternation of ebony stripes of withered trees and green stripes of saplings. The order of these stripes changes over the years, as old trees die and new trees are born in their place in an endless cycle of regeneration.
The ropeway can be enjoyed year-round. In spring, admire the new greenery making its way out of the melting last snow. From June to September, marvel at the vivid colors of Alpine flowers. From late September to mid-October, enjoy the warm autumn colors. From late December to March, hike through frozen trees the snow-covered mountain or ski/snowboard down the 4-kilometer course.