Gozaishodake Ropeway(御在所岳 ロープウェイ)

During the last weekend of October 2018, we went to Gozaishodake. It was a long drive of about two hours from Tajimi to the bus station near Gosaisho. The parking area near the mountain was already full when we reached there at around 12 pm. So we were asked to park our car near the bus station 2 km away from the Ropeway station.

The bus tickets were available as coupons worth 700yen, for the round trip. One way cost 350yen, which is the same. But if we buy these coupon tickets, they offer a discount for ropeway tickets, a free souvenir towel, and a small discount for the entrance ticket for the Gozaisho hot spring. The bus took us to the ropeway station at the foot of Mt. Gozaisho. Unexpectedly, it was really crowded over there. We have been to several other mountains and ropeways in Japan but never experienced such a long queue with more than one hour wait for the tickets and another one hour to board the gondolas. From the foot, we could see the red gondolas moving up through the steep ropeway, one behind the other.
At last, after two hours we boarded a red gondola. It started moving up to the mountain. The trees at the foot of the mountains were all greenish, and hence we thought that we were too early that we couldn’t watch the autumn colors there. But as the gondola moved up, autumn colors appeared around us. We moved over rocks, thick trees, coulourful autumn trees, and finally, reached the top station. Obviously, it was crowded there as well.
Visitors can hike the rest of the mountain or there is a lift to take you all the way up to the mountain. I really wanted to try the lift, which can accommodate only one person. Accompanied by a small kid, I couldn’t try that. We walked through the curvy roads of the valley enjoying the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the autumn colors which had already fallen off in lots.

There was a beautiful lawn of mountain right aside the path of the lift. After that, the way up to the peak was really troublesome for us with a baby stroller. We walked up, lifting the baby stroller, and for our luck, our toddler enjoyed climbing the rock stairs and unpaved paths. We could enjoy the autumn beauty of the surrounding valleys from the peak of Mt. Gozaisho. After spending some three hours there, we walked back to the ropeway station, which again surprised us with a long queue of people waiting there. While standing in the queue, we enjoyed the surroundings and the beautiful sunset.

It took another one and a half hours when we boarded our gondola to the foot of the mountain. There were buses waiting at the foot so that we reached near our car soon and drove back to Tajimi after having our dinner from a gorgeous parking station along the Tokai Expressway Road.