TGIF Autumn in Japan

It’s TGIF, again! Looking for something to do… well not this weekend, but sometime this month Gozaisho in Mie will look like this, and you’ll be able to either hike or stroll around there. This photo, and others like it are available on my agent’s website.

A gondola at a popular mountain hiking destination, Gozaisho, during autumn, Japan.

A gondola at a popular mountain hiking destination, Gozaisho, during autumn, Japan.

For travellers

The following is some information I posted on one of my old websites many years ago.

This is a great day trip that you can take by train. All you need is a good camera, good footwear (no heels or flip-flops / thongs), some money (of course), some energy snacks, and some mates. You’ll be 1,212m above sea level, so expect it to be a little cool and breezy.

For Japanese signs and maps:

Yunoyama: 湯の山, Gozaisho dake: 御在所岳, Yunoyama-Onsen: 湯の山温泉.

What you can see and do there:

The autumn leaves there are spectacular. Before this, I never understood the Japanese love of autumn leaves, and especially thought it odd that men got excited about these. For me, it was a good Japanese experience, and a great photographic one, too. In the off season, it’ll be great mountain hiking, skiing in winter, and just great views of unusual rock formations (see photos on my agent’s website).

How to get there:

From Nagoya, take the Kintetsu express to Yokkaichi, and then change to a branch line to the Yunoyama-Onsen station. There is a bus available from spring to late autumn, but not in winter. If you drive, be warned, that it’s really popular and you’ll have to wait hours for one of the 300 or so car parking spaces available. So, try to get there before 9am to have a hope of getting a parking spot. Car parking for us was 800yen for the day. From the Yunoyama bus stop or car park, it’s a 5-10min walk to the cable car (or ropeway / ロープウエイ), just walk up the hill. Then take the “ropeway” up to the top of the mountain. The mountain top is called Gozaisho-dake. It cost us ¥1,890 for a return ticket.

Suggested things to do:

1. Take the cable car up, take pictures on the way up, and from up there. Have lunch at the cafeteria. Don’t expect anything gourmet, it’s just regular cafeteria food. Lunch there is mostly ramen or stew with rice.

2. Cable car up, then walk / scramble over rocks and around trees for that real mountain hiking adventure. You’ll see more fantastic views than just from the top of the mountain.

3. In winter, from the mountain top, take the ski lift (with ski gear or snowboard) to the ski slope and have a ball over there. It’s a great place to go with a few friends, and it’ll be a great experience that you can write home about, and have some great pictures to brag about, too.

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