Winter feeling so Imma blog about all things snow.
If you're staying in Takayama, other than the side trip to Shirakawago, do include Shinhotaka Ropeway in your itinerary.
Got myself an Okuhida Marugoto Value Ticket at Takayama Bus Terminal.
It's a 3-days bus pass, which include Shinhotaka Ropeway return ticket, free entrance to Hirayu Onsen, drink and snack, at a discounted price of 5250 yen. It was a really good offer cos roundtrip ticket for the ropeway from the bottom to the upper station is 2900 yen. Then, roundtrip bus fare from Takayama Station costs 4320 yen. I also use it to go to Hirayu Onsen, skiing at Honokidaira and Hida Daishonyudo limestone cave so it was super worth it. Note: My visit was a year ago in February 2019 so the price might be different now.
The bus ride from Takayama took about 90 minutes. It's a long journey but trust me, the view is gonna blow you away.
Shinhotaka Ropeway is actually made up of two ropeways. The first leg of the ropeway is a short 200 meter climb from the bus stop to Nabedaira Kogen. There's a Visitor Center, restaurants, a public bath and a gift shop. You can stop here for a while or just continue to the second ropeway. I explored here on my way down and excited to find a free foot bath.
From Nabedaira Kogen, the second ropeway is a double decker ropeway (first of its kind in Japan!) and it climbs over 800 meter to the upper station at an altitude of around 2150 meters.
Go out to the observation deck and marvel at the beauty of the surrounding mountains.
Alhamdulillah the weather was great! The sky was clear blue and I had the best view over the Northern Japan Alps.
From the observation deck, you can go down to the hiking trail (in summer you can hike further into the mountains) and build a snowman.
Access: Direct hourly bus from Takayama Station (90 minutes)
Operating hours: 8.30am ~ 4.45pm (April to November), 9am ~ 4.15pm (December to March)
Ropeway ticket price: 2900 roundtrip