Hakkoda Ropeway can be extremely busy – get there early. I felt my soul shrinking into oblivion as I waited with the throngs of punters in the lift line. But, as mentioned above, the 1.5 hour wait was, in the end, much more palatable than a 3 hour skin up the mountain.
We were doing the bread-and-butter route today. For documentation purposes, we’d stick with the locals’ insight (or, more specifically, the insight from the two or three guidebooks I had with us). And over all, it was a nice route. Had we had better weather, it would have been mind-splittingly amazing vistas, surrounded with snow-monster trees.
As it was, we had to make do with ‘mind-bending’ – even in the murky haze, the snow and the snow-covered trees were gorgeous.
The first few kilometers of the route involve short ups and downs, and it’s not until we got to the proper downhill that we were able to open things up and let loose. It was just hopelessly photogenic.
Possibly the best thing about this route was that we were able to ski directly back to our accommodation – the gorgeous minshuku we’d been staying at for the past few nights. Once again, we were treated to a huuuuge dinner of local seafood and produce.