Tenjo-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway, Japan
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Review of "Tenjo-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway, Japan"
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Tenjo-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway, Japan
Earlier this year we spent two weeks or so in Japan and did tour with a company called Rivera travel. Friends of ours did the same trip the previous year and recommended it to us as it offered great value for money and you got to see so much in the time you are in Japan. We did only go to Honshu and only saw a portion of that island but we did feel we got good feel for the place while there. The main cities we visited were Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto but they also made sure that we would get to see the famous Mt Fuji while we were there as they gave us a number of sighting opportunities and this was one and our first chance to see the mountain.
Despite the name this is not a zipline but I actually an ariel lift , a bit like a ski lift is in an area popular with Japanese tourists as there are a number of lakes and it is quit scenic as well as offering views of Mt Fuji. It is known in Japan as the Tenjo-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway or Kawaguchiko Mt. Tenjo Ropeway. It takes you from a lift station at the edge of Kawaguchiko Lake up to an observatory in Tenjo-Yama Park on Mt Kachi Kachi.
We had to join quite a lengthy queue even though had I been paying individually for this and had I the chance to try again on a better day I would not have bothered as it was very overcast. We didn't hold great hopes for a view of Mt Fuji but as this was our only opportunity and the tour was tightly scheduled we all went on up with thousands, it seemed, of Japanese who were both excited and loud. The queue and packing of the cable cars was managed with the usual Japanese efficiency and very few smiles as most faces were hidden behind masks which seemed to be very popular in Japan.
This was built in 1959 and is a 3 cables Aerial tramway. Each cable is 460 m or 1,509 ft long. There are supports along the way and each climb is 219 m or 719 ft with the steepest gradient being
~~~~~~~~~SOME FACTS ABOUT THE ROPEWAY ~~~~~~~
There are only two cabins, while one is going up the other is coming down and there are just the two stops or stations as well. Each cabin holds 36 people and thy made quite sure they got ful loads each time.
The cabins travel at 3.4 m/s and the trip from bottom to top or vice versa takes just three minutes. The Ropeway climbs a total of 400 meters to the observation deck near the peak of Mount Tenjo which is over 1000 meters above sea level.Most people do as we did go up and down using the ropeway but there is a hiking trail ow if you fancy a walk down and they say that takes around 30 minutes to walk down.
HOURS 9:00 to 17:00 (March through November)
~~~~~~ HOURS OF OPENING AND COSTS ~~~~~~~
Taken from the official site:
9:30 to 16:40 (December through February)
Departures every five to ten minutes
CLOSED No closing days
FEES 720 yen (roundtrip), 410 yen (one way) that is about £5 return so not that expensive really.
Although it is officially not ever closed it does close when very windy for safety reasons and if you are at the top when it closes you will be forced to walk down so be aware if it is a bit windy!!
The trip up in the cable car could have been quite nice had we been able to see anything out of the windows but we were rammed in like sardines and all I could see was the shoulder of the person who was tightly packed next to me.
~~~~~~ OUR EXPERIENCE ~~~~~
In the area where the station is a pretty basic and not that exciting snack bar, a small shop, and as you will find everywhere in Japan there are vending machines. There is also a sweet dumpling stand which smelled delicious but the queue was enough to put us. All around there were shrines where you could pray and leave offerings should you feel inclined.
The top station gives you access to a good viewing area for views of Mt Fuji but the actual observatory requires you to walk up a pathway which is not that far and worth the walk if it is not too crowded.
Apart from Mt Fuji if the weather is clear you can also see , Fujiyoshida, Fuji-Q Highland and the Aokigahara forest as well as Kawaguchiko Lake on the way up in the cabin of the ropeway. The mountain that this is on is called ‘Mt Kachi Kachi’ and this name comes from Dazai Osamu's folk story "Kachi Kachi Yama" which is set on this mountain.
The folk tale tells the story whch starts with an elderly couple who had sown some seeds on the mountain. A tanuki,a Japanese raccoon came and ate the seeds. The couple set a trap and caught the tanuki, but then forgave him when he apologised . The story takes a turn for the worst as the tanuki ended up killing the wife. A rabbit friend of the elderly couple promised to avenge them.The rabbit joined the tanuki up the mountain to gather firewood, and on the way back he set fire to the wood in the tanuki’s backpack, burning his back. The rabbit initially told the tanuki that the sound that he could hear, “kachi kachi” which was actually the sound of the firewood burning was coming from Mount Kachi Kachi.
The next day the two animals went to the river. The rabbit’s boat was made of wood and the tanuki’s boat was made of mud and sank, drowning the tanuki.To celebrate the story there are cute Japanese style cartoon characters of the animals in the story decorate the ropeway cars and models of these animals cartoon style are set around the area where the ropeway cabins arrive at the top station. Somehow the cutesy characters don't really seem to fit with the rather gruesome story but then a lot of fairy tales are also pretty gruesome if you think about them! Anyway there is not blood or nastiness on the models so children won't be horrified .
We did watch some Japanese people doing Kawarake throwing. It seems that you buy these small clay discs at 100 yen for two pieces and then you throw these through a rope under a wooden gate and this is believed to help ward off evil spirits.Also up at the top is the Bell of Tenjo, a large bell hanging in a heart-shaped frame. It is said that if you ring the bell it will bring you good health or love fulfilled. We were also told that if we rang the bell whilst watching Mt Fuji, our wish would come true but as we couldn't see her there was no chance of that.
Once at the top I thought I had a rather shabby look to it and certainly we were not tempted to queue for a coffee in a plastic cup or use the vending machines. There was a surprising amount of litter too which was unusual in Japan.
I was rather underwhelmed by this visit as I was cloudy, damp and chilly so we didn't see Mt Fuji at all. The ride in the cabins up and down was pretty unpleasant as it was stuffy and crowded and you couldn't see anything at all.
I wouldn't bother unless it is a clear day personally as there is nothing at the top worth seeing and doing apart from the view in my opinion. It isn't that expensive compared to many of the things on offer in Japan so I can see why I is popular. We were there in April so heaven only knows what the crows are like in Summer as it was pretty busy in April on a miserable cloudy drizzly day.
~~~~~~~ RECOMMENDED ? ~~~~~~
Thanks for reading
24th November 2016
Product Information : Tenjo-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway, Japan
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Listed on Ciao since: 23/04/2016