Mt. Usu Ropeway - Hokkaido

Mt. Usu Ropeway (有珠山ロープウェイ), also called Uzusan Ropeway, is a cable car system that operates on Mt. Usu. It is located at 184-5 Showashinzan in the town of Sobetsu in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.

Mt. Usu Ropeway

Mt. Usu Ropeway details

The Mt. Usu Ropeway's history dates back to the 1930s when a group of investors decided to develop a system to offer visitors access to the volcano's peak.

Mt. Usu Ropeway - Sobetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture

The original Mt. Usu Ropeway was built in 1937 and opened to the public in July 1938. The ropeway was divided into two parts, each around 800 meters long, and operated with two cabins that could carry up to 36 passengers each.

Welcome to Mt. Usu Ropeway

Showashinzan Station (昭和新山駅)

Usuzan Ropeway Ticket Office

Inside Showashinzan Station

Welcome to Mt. Usu stamp

Some Mt. Usu souvenirs 

The Mt. Usu Ropeway immediately became a well-known tourist attraction, providing tourists with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the active volcano. Nevertheless, during World War II, the system was forced to shut down when Japanese officials ordered the evacuation of the region owing to the fear of a volcanic eruption.

Mt. Usu Ropeway 

The Mt. Usu Ropeway was restored after the war, and the new system opened in 1948. The new ropeway was longer than the previous, with three parts that were each around one kilometer long. It also had more contemporary equipment and could carry up to 55 passengers per cabin.

The view from Mt. Usu Terrace

Mt. Usu Summit Station

Inside Mt. Usu Summit Station

The Mt. Usu Ropeway has undergone various modifications and improvements since then to increase its safety and capacity. The system was modified in 1983 to accommodate gondola cabins that could carry up to 101 passengers each, making it one of Japan's largest ropeway systems.

Inside the Mt. Usu Ropeway

My family and I used the Mt. Usu Ropeway last August 21, 2022, which was the 3rd day of our "From Osaka with Love" Road Trip with our Japanese family. We were lucky as it was a beautiful clear day during our visit hence, we were blessed with a wonderful view of Lake Toya and Showashinzan.

Overall, our visit to Mt. Usu was a very memorable trip thanks to the Mt. Usu Ropeway. It brought us to and from Mt. Usu safely. We were also able to conserve energy which allowed us to go up to the Mt. Usu Crater Observatory.

Mt. Usu Ropeway fare

Adult (Junior high school students and older) 1,800 yen
Children (elementary school students) 900 yen

Mt. Usu Ropeway fare

There are group discounts for groups with 15 or more members. There is also a discount for the fare of PWDs.

Mt. Usu Ropeway Operating Hours

Mt. Usu Ropeway operates from 8 AM to 6 PM but operating times vary depending on the season so please check the official website for updates about its operating hours (LINK).

Why ride the Mt. Usu Ropeway?

The Mt. Usu Ropeway continues to be a famous tourist attraction today, providing tourists with stunning views of the surrounding area as well as access to the active volcano's peak. The ropeway system is open all year, giving guests a one-of-a-kind experience regardless of the season.

Getting to Mt. Usu Ropeway


 To travel from New Chitose Airport to Showashinzan Station, follow these steps:

1. Upon arriving at New Chitose Airport, proceed to the Air Cargo Mae bus stop.

2. Board the Ku 5 Shinsei Kuko Sen bus operated by the Chuo Bus Company.

3. Alight at the Minami Chitose Eki bus stop.

4. From the Minami Chitose Eki bus stop, make your way to the nearby Hokuto 14 Limited Express Hakodate train platform.

5. Take the Hokuto 14 Limited Express Hakodate train towards Datemombetsu Station.

6. Disembark at Datemombetsu Station.

7. Once you exit the station, walk for approximately two minutes to reach the Date Eki Mae bus stop.

8. Board the Toyako Onsen (via Sobetsu Office) bus, which is operated by the Donan Bus Company.

9. Alight at the Sobetsu Onsen bus stop.

10. From Sobetsu Onsen, you will need to walk for about 2.6 kilometers to reach Showashinzan Station.

Travel time: 3 hours
Fare: 5,510 yen

If you are not a fan of walking, then from Datemombetsu Station, hail a taxi that will bring you directly to Showashinzan Station. 




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