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Beppu Ropeway - Enjoy a Beautiful View of Beppu from the Mountains!

Beppu Ropeway - Enjoy a Beautiful View of Beppu from the Mountains!

Oita 2016.10.31 Bookmark

Beppu city in Oita prefecture is famous for its unique hot springs, but today we'd like to introduce another side of this city. The Beppu Ropeway is the perfect way to take in all of the city and offers stunning views all year long.

Translated by Allie

Written by Norihisa Hasegawa

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Beppu is well-known for its onsen and unique springs, but this region also offers superb landscapes that have gained recognition worldwide. Today we will be introducing the Beppu Ropeway, an ideal place for those wanting to try something a little different to see the beautiful natural scenery of Oita prefecture.

A Ropeway for 101 Passengers?

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The Beppu Ropeway operates between the top and the base of Mount Tsurumi (elevation: 1375 m), where a one way ride takes about 10 minutes. It accommodates a maximum of 101 passengers, making it the biggest ropeway found in the western part of Japan. User-friendly, visitors in wheelchairs can easily get on and off this ropeway.

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There are two types of ropeway cabins, the Tsurumi and Yufu, available, which run every 20 minutes (every 15 during busy seasons) between Kogen Station, located at the base of the mountain, and Tsurumi Sanjo Station, located at the peak. This ropeway runs in most weather, though it will shut down during times of strong winds regardless of whether it is sunny out or not. If you are not sure of the conditions, the status of the ropeway is updated via their official website (Japanese) in advance.

Amazing View from the Ropeway

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The ropeway climbs up a vertical interval of about 800 meters in 10 minutes. During this journey you will feel the speed with which it climbs as the ground moves away from you, but the spectacular viewing platform and the sights all around you are well-worth the journey.

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

Beppu Ropeway was selected as one of the Japan’s 31 most beautiful places and were even reported by CNN news in 2015. From this ropeway you can enjoy views of Beppu Bay and Beppu city itself. In addition, the landscape changes dramatically every season, meaning that there is always something new to see here whenever you visit.

The Mountaintop Where Many Deities are Enshrined

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Once you arrive at Tsurumi Sanjo station, the brilliant red torii gates will definitely catch your eyes. People believed for a long time that gods lived in Mount Tsurumi. So even now numerous deities are enshrined on the mountaintop and are visited by a steady stream of travelers making the pilgrimage to worship them.

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One of the gods enshrined on the mountaintop: Fukurokuju, the god of happiness, wealth and long life.

A trip to visit the various gods will take roughly one hour to complete. Make this short pilgrimage and you just might find that your wishes come true.

Observation Deck Overlooking Beppu Bay

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One of the most recommended spots on the mountain top is the observation deck overlooking Beppu Bay. Unfortunately on the day we visited there was a heavy fog, so we couldn’t see the bay very clearly at all.

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

The weather on the foot and top of the mountain is completely different, so it is a good idea to check what the conditions are going to be like on the mountaintop before getting on the ropeway. If you are lucky and the weather is really clear, you will be able to see the steam rising from the hot spring resorts in Beppu and even see the ferries as they travel in and out of Beppu Port.

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

The night views of Beppu Bay as seen from the mountaintop are magnificent. In fact, many come and stay here specifically to see this sight from the mountain. This night view is only possible during the summer months, and depends on the weather however. Please double-check the ropeway hours and conditions before traveling here again via their official website.

What to See in Each Season

Mount Tsurumi shows various faces depending on the season. As we visited in summer this time, we would love to show you what to see in other seasons.

Beautiful Flowers in Spring

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

Cherry blossoms start blooming from the beginning of April which means that it is possible to have an incredible cherry blossom viewing picnic from the ropeway.

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

Cute pink rhododendrons can be seen from the middle of May. The largest growing area of this flower is near the mountaintop which is really amazing to see.

Colorful Foliage in Autumn

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

The bold colors of the autumn begin to appear in early to mid October.

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

The contrast of the red and yellow leaves against the blues of the sea and sky make for a striking, beautiful view.

Snow World in Winter

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

From the beginning of December the mountaintop may be covered in snow.

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Photo courtesy of Beppu Ropeway

Thanks to the combination of the climate and wind, hoarfrost, a sight very rare for Japan and Kyushu in particular, occurs every winter on the mountaintop, turning it into a beautiful, silvery world in the winter.

Kyushu Shochu Hall

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After spending a wonderful time on the Beppu Ropeway, a trip to the Kyushu Shochu Hall is a great idea.

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The Kyushu Shochu Hall sells 300 different types of shochu that have all been produced in the Kyushu region.

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Hita Geta, Hita city's traditional craft

The Kyushu Shochu Hall also sells traditional crafts from Hita city, such as their Ontayaki (Onta ware), and Hita geta, and overall is a wonderful place to find souvenirs unique to Oita prefecture.

In Conclusion

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Ms. Ito, one of the ropeway staff, standing in front of the Yufu cabin.

When we visited in summer, the ten degree drop in temperature on Mount Tsurumi made this a wonderfully refreshing place to be. While you visit Beppu and enjoy their incredible hot springs, why not make a point of heading to the Beppu Ropeway and taking in these amazing views for yourself?

Beppu Ropeway

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The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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