If you’re visiting the world-class hot spring and ski resort Zao Onsen, you’ll need a way to navigate around all the adventure the snowy mountain retreat has to offer. How about hopping on the scenic Zao Ropeway?
The Sanroku Line runs from the main street of Zao Onsen around 500m further up the mountain to Juyokogen Station, from where you can take the Sancho Line to Zao Jizo Sancho Station at the summit. A full journey to the summit takes around 15-20 minutes in total, and costs 2600 for a round trip or 1500 one-way.
You’ll want to get as close to the window as possible to enjoy the trip to its fullest, as there are some really fantastic views in store. In winter you'll be able to catch sight of the famous Zao Snow Monsters below: thousands of first trees completely caked in ice and snow by cold Siberian winds from the northwest, making formations which look less like trees and more like an army of giant snowmen!
Even during the warmer months, the ropeway still unlocks some excellent chances for adventure, with hiking trails leading away from each of the stations.