Japan 2014 – 44 Taking the Komagatake Ropeway to ascend Mount Komagatake in Komagane (2014-10-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 26 DEC 2015

Our two week long Japanese sightseeing trip was rapidly coming to an end now. With one day to go to the big day of Yuko and Terrance’s wedding, Ryan and I decided to spend our last day as tourists by taking the Komagatake Ropeway up the local mountain and see a bit of the famous Chuo Alps.

IMG_20141011_111031 craig lotter on mount komagatake of the chuo alps, komagane, japan

To get there we first needed to navigate from Ina to Komagane via train, slightly trickier than in the big cities because out here no English language signage is available.

Nevertheless, we managed easily enough (really, it’s essential to hire a data modem for the duration of your trip – an invaluable tool in this day and age!), and once in Komagane, we made our way up to the bus station where we were able to procure our tickets (an expensive outing mind you) up to the cableway station without too many hiccups.

DSC07894 taking the komagatake ropeway up mount komagatake of the chuo alps, komagane, japan

First opened in 1967 (refurbished in 2014 – lucky us, best timing ever!), the Komagatake Ropeway was Japan’s first ever mountain ropeway, and climbs Mount Kisokoma, running up to the Senjojiki Cirque which is directly below Mount Hokendake.

Its summit station is noted as being the highest in terms of altitude cableway station in the country, coming in at an altitude of 2,611.5 m.

(In other words, the views of the Chuo Alps are simply beyond spectacular!)

DSC07899 the komagatake ropeway up mount komagatake of the chuo alps, komagane, japan

Autumn was starting to hit its stride, meaning that the scenic forests on the way up were all starting to turn various shades of orange and red, making for a fiery spectacle on the way up, whilst at the top the landscape was a lot more barren, with loads of beautifully fragile Japanese mountain foliage on display.

DSC07909 vegetation on mount komagatake of the chuo alps, komagane, japan

Of course, that high up the air was pretty crisp and very cold – not that it bothered us South African blokes mind you – shorts and t-shirts all the way! (Much to the amusement of the other mountain travelers in case you were wondering!)

DSC07914 walking up mount komagatake of the chuo alps, komagane, japan

An absolute treat of an excursion and definitely a recommended pit-stop if you ever find yourself travelling through the Kiso Valley and Komagane in particular!

Oh, and of course, Ryan’s stuffed pig got his photo taken as well:

IMG_20141011_102640 ryan lotter on mount komagatake of the chuo alps, komagane, japan

Related Link: Komagatake Ropeway

About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.