Japan: Rope Way to Owakudani Valley | Simply Me / Karen Jardeleza

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Japan: Rope Way to Owakudani Valley

Togendai, the terminal for the Hakone Ropeway
Owakudani, one of the stations along the way, offers magnificent views of Mount Fuji and hot springs (onsen) in what is still an active volcanic region.The Hakone Ropeway gondola and station facilities offer barrier-free access.

Owakudani is the area around a crater created during the last eruption of Mount Hakone some 3000 years ago. Today, much of the area is an active volcanic zone where sulfurous fumes, hot springs and hot rivers can be experienced. Additionally, Owakudani has good views of Mount Fuji on clear days.

The Hakone Ropeway, covering a distance of 4,035 m between Sounzan and Togendai, is the longest in Japan and the second-longest in the world after the Kriens Bahn in Switzerland. Gondolas carrying 13 passengers rise up into the sky once every minute. Enjoy sweeping panoramas all the way over the sea of trees from Sounzan to Togendai near Lake Ashi, via Owakudani and Ubako. At its highest point, between Sounzan and Owakudani, the ropeway is 130 meters above the ground. The large crater visible below is impressive in its overwhelming energy. Proceeding to Ubako and Togendai, the ropeway offers grand views of Lake Ashi and Mount Fuji behind Mount Kami, with the scenery reflecting the changes of the seasons. The journey between Sounzan and Togendai takes approximately 28 minutes.

A short walking trail (about ten minutes one way) leads from the ropeway station into the volcanic zone to a number of steam vents and bubbling pools. Here you can purchase eggs, cooked in the naturally hot water, whose shells are blackened by the sulfur and which are said to prolong one's life by seven years.

Previous..... Japan: Hakone Sightseeing Cruise
Next..... Japan: Mount Fuji

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