Translated by Sandy Lau
Mt. Moiwa, Sapporo - A Stunning, Must-See Night View
Written by Ryosuke Ise
The 531-meter high view from Sapporo's Mt. Moiwa is designated as one of Japan’s Three Major Night Views is stunning and exceptional. We introduce the night view from Mt. Moiwa’s observation deck and how to get there!
The Spectacular Night View from Mt. Moiwa
Mt. Moiwa is roughly located in the center of Sapporo in Hokkaido. On its summit of 531 meters is an observation deck with a panoramic view of the city of Sapporo. It is a nighttime lookout spot representative of Hokkaido.
The mountain is easily accessed from the city’s center and is a very popular night view spot visited by locals and travelers.
All About Mt. Moiwa
Mt. Moiwa, located 30 minutes by train from the center of the city, attracts many people year-round for mountain climbing and hiking in the summer, and skiing in the winter.
The night view seen from the observation deck on the mountain’s summit is so exceptional that it was chosen as one of Hokkaido’s Top Three Night Views together with Mt. Hakodate in Hakodate and Mt. Tengu in Otaru.
At the observation deck on the mountain summit, where one of Japan’s best night views can be seen, you’ll find the popular photo spot of the Bell of Happiness along with a restaurant and planetarium. There are many different ways to enjoy the views from Mt. Moiwa!
A 360° Night View of Sapporo
A stunning and expansive night landscape greets visitors at the observation deck. You can gaze out onto the city from all directions from the deck. You’ll also be able to see the city lights of Sapporo, home to approximately two million people, and the mountains that extend across the opposite way.
Seeing the cityscape at night of high-rise buildings together with rich nature is a view that can only be found in Sapporo.
You can also gaze out at the TV Tower and JR Tower (a tower attached to the JR Sapporo Station), the landmarks of Sapporo, from a distance.
Mt. Moiwa has been known for its gorgeous views for many years, but captured more attention when Sapporo was chosen as one of Japan’s New Top Three Night Views. It has become a lookout spot essential to sightseeing in this area.
The Bell of Happiness and Love Padlocks
The Bell of Happiness found on the summit’s observation deck is a popular photo spot for couples and families. It has been said that couples who ring the bell while gazing out at the view will become happy. Be sure to ring the bell together if you’ll be visiting with your significant other!
If you look closely at the handrails surrounding the Bell of Happiness and you’ll find several padlocks secured onto them.
These are called Love Padlocks. It is thought that when a couple writes their names on the padlock and secures it onto the handrails, that couple will stay together forever. Padlocks are not only popular with couples, but also with families and friends. Definitely try it out with whoever you're traveling with! You can purchase a padlock at the souvenir shop at Chufuku Station (1000 yen plus tax).
Another reason that Mt. Moiwa is popular is because of the planetarium on its summit. After gazing at the night view, visitors can experience an even more romantic atmosphere here. Please see Mt. Moiwa’s official website (Japanese) for show times and other information.
How to get to the Observation Deck
You will travel to the observation deck at the summit by taking the ropeway and cable car. First, let’s head to Sanroku Station where the ropeway platform is located.
If you are traveling to the mountain from the center of the city, taking the Sapporo Streetcar is the most convenient. First, take the streetcar from the Nishi-4 terminal next to Odori Park at the center of the city, and exit at Ropeway Iriguchi Station (200 yen) (*1).
From Ropeway Iriguchi Station, take the free shuttle bus and head towards Sanroku Station. You will arrive at Sanroku Station in about five minutes by bus, but you can also get there in about ten minutes by walking.
*1: If traveling from Sapporo Station, walk for 15 minutes to the Nishi-4 streetcar terminal. You can also get to the terminal by taking the Namboku Line from Sapporo Station, exiting at Odori Station, then walking for one minute until you reach the Nishi-4 terminal.
Take the Free Shuttle Bus
The free shuttle bus terminal is located a minute walk from the Sapporo Streetcar Ropeway Iriguchi Station. You’ll see it to your left when you continue east at the intersection after alighting the train. You can also travel to Sanroku Station by going past the bus terminal and simply walking. Use the free shuttle bus if traveling on foot is inconvenient.
The shuttle bus comes every fifteen minutes between 10:15 and 21:15. You’ll arrive at Sanroku Station in approximately five minutes by bus, or in ten minutes by foot.
Take the Ropeway and go to Chufuku Station
Take the ropeway from Sanroku Station towards Chufuku Station. Be sure to purchase a ticket at the passenger ticket machine located on the fourth floor of Sanroku Station.
The roundtrip ticket set for the ropeway and cable car is a great bargain, at 1700 yen for adults and 850 yen for children. The price list also has English printed on it. The ropeway runs every fifteen minutes. It takes about five minutes to arrive at Chufuku Station.
To the Summit by Morris Cable Car
From Chufuku Station, you will transfer to the Morris Cable Car to head towards the summit of Mt. Moiwa. Follow the guidance from the staff after exiting the ropeway, and head to the Morris Car platform. The Love Padlocks previously mentioned are sold at the souvenir shop located along the way.
Morris Car, like the ropeway, runs every fifteen minutes and takes about two minutes to reach the summit.
Precautions Before Visiting the Observation Deck
The summit observation deck is open all year round, but it will heavily snow during the winter in Sapporo. When visiting during the winter, be sure to dress as warmly as you can.
The ropeway may also suspend its services during bad weather. The status of the ropeway service is available on Mt. Moiwa’s official website (Japanese), so it will be safe to visit once you’ve checked the website.
Mt. Moiwa will be very crowded with people going to see the night view after the sun sets. Both the ropeway and Morris Car have a capacity of approximately 60 people, so you may have to wait for the next car if everyone is unable to be loaded into one car.
Also, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to visit as it is possible you may not make it in time to your next destination.
A Night View You Can't Miss in Sapporo
Mt. Moiwa has great access from the center of Sapporo and can be visited in approximately 30 minutes by streetcar.
Mt. Moiwa is a location that has been cherished for many years by locals of Sapporo, known as a “Lover’s Sanctuary.” Now with the designation as one of Japan’s New Top Three Night Views, it is a very popular night view spot with both locals and tourists.
When you come to Sapporo, be sure to observe night landscape of the city from Mt. Moiwa to share the memorable and picturesque view with whoever you are traveling with.
Made in cooperation with Sapporo Mt. Moiwa Ropeway Sanroku Office