Sunday, 14 June 2020

Aerial Tramway to the Granite Mountain

Gondola No.1, "Fukuchan", Shosenkyo Ropeway (June, 2020)

On May 25th, the state of emergency declaration caused by the new coronavirus was lifted nationwide by the Japanese government. The long-awaited day has come. I visited Shosenkyo in Yamanashi Prefecture for sightseeing with my family for the first time in seven years.

Shosenkyo is a gorgeous valley, where tourists can enjoy walking along the fresh stream and in the open air in the forest. It's located about 130 kilometers west of Tokyo. My favorite landscape is giant granite rocks along the Arakawa river. The granite body was generated deep underground about 15 to 12 million years ago. It was then uplifted later due to the collision of three plates. The highest topographic point is Mt. Yasaburo-dake, which is 1,058 meters above sea level. It's known as a gorgeous view point and a place of worship.

To get to the summit of Mt. Yasaburo-dake, an aerial tramway named "Shosenkyo Ropeway" is convenient. Shosenkyo Ropeway was opened in 1964. Connecting Sengataki and Panorama-dai stations, the route length is 1,015 meters. The height difference between the highest and lowest points of the route is 300 meters. Currently, the second generation gondolas are operated on the route. They are Fuku-chan (number 1) and Yume-chan (number 2), which were built by CWA in Switzerland in 1988. Each gondola can accommodate up to 45 passengers. The gondola is operated every 20 minutes with an operating speed of 5 meters per second. It takes about 5 minutes to go one way.

We'll go back to our normal lives.

A granite rock and a view from Mt. Yasaburo-dake (March, 2013)

Official information, Shosenkyo Ropeway (including promotion movie):