A Stunning View Atop Japan's Highest-Elevation Ropeway

Admire the mountain majesty of the Senjojiki Cirque in all four seasons

The Central Alps in Nagano make an alluring destination for alpinists and nature lovers of all stripes. Hop aboard the Komagatake Ropeway, and you'll climb a full 950 meters in just over seven minutes, the highest elevation gain in Japan. From Senjojiki Station at 2,612m above sea level, you'll gaze out over the Senjojiki Cirque, a vast basin forged by glaciers some 20,000 years ago, with the Southern Alps and Mt. Fuji rising up in the distance.

From the remaining snow in spring to vividly hued alpine flowers in summer, and a tapestry of autumn foliage in fall, the Senjojiki Cirque offers beauty year-round. Unusual for a mountain of this height, the site remains open through the winter, offering visitors unique views of frozen trees and snow-swept slopes from the warmth and comfort of the Senjojiki Hotel. A wide variety of mountain climbing courses cater to beginners and veteran outdoor adventurers alike. If you've worked up an appetite, the hotel restaurant can serve up any number of local delicacies.

4 hours by train from Tokyo, another 45 minutes by bus, and 7 minutes and 30 seconds by Komagatake Ropeway, the Senjojiki Cirque, where you can start climbing Kiso Komagatake, is more than worth the trip for photographers looking to capture alpine scenery not to be found elsewhere.

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