The Joy of Japanese Cable Cars and Ropeways

Many Japanese mountains have ropeways (in the U.S., we call them gondolas) or cable cars that carry visitors part way to the summit. The distance between the upper cable car or ropeway station and the peak varies widely, so check the facts before you go. The Hakone carries visitors all the way across the top of Owakudani, a live volcano that provides the hot volcanic water for the onsen (hot spring baths) in the Hakone region:   However, the ropeway in Gifu Park stops about 20 minutes’ uphill walk from Gifu Castle, and several portions of the hike require climbing stairs. That said, the ropeway also offers a spectacular view

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