Riding the ropeway up to the summit station gives you an idea of how just much snow Hakkoda gets. The ropeway towers are thickly layered with shells of frost, and the trees as well, standing like formidable snow monsters. The windows of the ropeway car are constantly frosting over, and an attendant diligently scrapes away at the ice while pointing out landmarks left and right.
In contrast, the ropeway stations at the base and summit are downright toasty. Skiers and snowboarders sit huddled around the gas heaters as if they were campfires, warming up and drying out their equipment.
Walking out of the summit station onto the mountain is like stepping into a world of silver, especially beautiful on clear days. Dressing warm is a must, but braving the cold is worth it to see the looming snow monsters up close. The fallen snow is pure powder, perfect for skiing and boarding.
JR Bus, Bound for Lake Towada*, 60 minute ride(¥1,100)
Hakkoda Ropeway Base Station