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Release | Takako Chiba

Don’t miss “Kouyou (Autumn Color Viewing) Gondola” in autumn Sapporo!

* This article was originally written in 2014.

Refer the official website for the latest information:

Sapporo Kokusai is a ski resort popular within and outside Hokkaido. However, this season is a great spot to get a view of autumn colors! Why don’t you get on “Kouyou Gondola” limitedly operated in this season and take a walk in the air? Very Hokkaido-like autumn clear blue sky, Otaru Bay in the distance, and autumn colors under. The view of Sapporo-like this is limited only to this season! 

Sapporo citizens are proud of this sight of view autumn colors

There are still some hot days outside of Hokkaido, but Hokkaido already turned to autumn. We are enjoying a short autumn, as feeling the shadow of winter and screaming “winter, do not come yet!” in the heart. There are many spots to view autumn colors in Sapporo City, but I would like to introduce “Kouyou (Autumn Color Viewing) Gondola” at Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort today. 
札幌国際スキー場 紅葉ゴンドラ
▲Heading to the summit with “Sky Cabin Eight”
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort is about 1 hour from the downtown of Sapporo using the National Route 230 and Hokkaido Road 1. It’s on the mountain but the address is Jozankei 937, Minami-ku, Sapporo, so it’s definitely located in Sapporo City. I am from Sapporo City, but I never knew the autumn colors here was this much beautiful. (I have to reflect up to this) I personally feel that we could be proud of “Kouyou Gondola” and can recommend to people in all Hokkaido, all Japan, and even to the world! 

Not only red, but also yellow, lime color, and orange

Let me introduce the attractions of “Kouyou Gondola”. 
It only takes six to seven minutes to the summit usually when the ski resort is in operation, but Kouyou Gondola goes slowly and takes about 15 minutes to the summit. Under the Gondola, you will get the view of the leaves colored not only in red. The colors are various; yellow, lime color, orange, and sometimes red as an accent. This is really beautiful! 
札幌国際スキー場 紅葉ゴンドラ
札幌国際スキー場 紅葉ゴンドラ
“After three to four minutes on Gondola, you will see a huge rock face on the right of the summit. There are colorful leaves, too.” Hiroko Ueno from Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort answered. 
札幌国際スキー場 紅葉ゴンドラ
▲The rock face on the right of the summit.
Branches of Betula ermanii are wild which is likely to happen in ski mountains. They seem to have been suffered from harsh wind and snow. From the summit, you get to see Otaru Bay, Ishikari Bay, Mashike mountain range, and Mount Yubari in the distance if the weather is good.
札幌国際スキー場 紅葉ゴンドラ
▲The fourth lift station.
札幌国際スキー場 紅葉ゴンドラ
▲Otaku Bay viewed from the promenade in the summit.
There is a cafe at the summit so take a rest. The back of this cafe is also a must-see. You can enjoy the view of the mountain surface of Mount Asari. 
札幌国際スキー場 紅葉ゴンドラ
▲Mount Asari from the back of the cafe.
“The Gondola on the way back is also enjoyable. The right side of the foot of the mountain is recommended.” Ms. Ueno told us. 
Kouyou Gondola operated only 17 days from 24 September (Sat) to 10 October (Mon). It is available only for a short period, so do not miss it! Depending on the weather, the colors may not turn enough.

Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort Kouyou Gondola

Operation period / 24 September (Sat) to 10 October (Mon)
Business Hour / 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM (The last gondola leaves 3:00 PM)
Fee / Adult 1,100 yen, Elementary School Students 550 yen, Seniors (65+ years old, bring something to show your age) 990 yen, under elementary school children are free
Access / About 60 minutes drive from Sapporo downtown, about 40 minutes drive from Otaru downtown, and about 100 minutes drive from Shin-Chitose Airport.

  • Don’t miss “Kouyou (Autumn Color Viewing) Gondola” in autumn Sapporo!

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Takako Chiba