Monday, November 5, 2012

Gondola Lift and Silver Grass Field in Hakone


Distant view of Mt. Fuji over Sengokubara near Ubako Station on the Hakone Ropeway

Now is the time when we are getting deeper into autumn in the Tokyo metropolitan area. I visited the Hakone Mountains on a bright and clear weekend, since I have begun to long for sunny spots.

As I mentioned in my blog on July 11th, 2011, Hakone is a famous mountain resort in the western suburb of Tokyo. By taking a commuter train, a mountain railway, a funicular and a gondola lift, we can reach a beautiful highland easily from downtown Tokyo.

One of the recommended spots in this season is a vast silver grass field in Sengokubara. This area is located in the northern part of the Hakone Mountains. It's a relatively flat land because of a crater floor of the caldera, which is surrounded by steep outer rim mountains. In this season, we can see an awful lot of rabbit ears of silver grass. They change color from green to gold on exposure to the sun. The breeze blowing against them also creates a refreshing sound.

To get to this gorgeous spot, I took the Hakone Ropeway from Sounzan Station. This gondola lift was opened in 1959. There are 4 stations over a total operating length of 4.05km. Currently, it is officially recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for "the busiest aerial tramway", since a total of 2 million passengers per year are on board.

The busy aerial tramway and a beautiful silver grass field, there are still many attractive spots unknown to visitors in Hakone.

Silver grass field in Sengokubara near Ubako Station on the Hakone Ropeway
 
More informaton about Hakone Ropeway: http://www.hakoneropeway.co.jp/foreign/en/index.html