Grand Hirafu Summer Gondola
On Saturday, the Grand Hirafu Summer Gondola began operation for 2017 green season! Located just a short walk away from Hotel Alpen and the Hirafu Welcome Center, the summer gondola utilises the same lines used by the Ace Quad Lift in the winter to carry visitors upwards into the Niseko Annupuri mountain range.
Riders of the gondola can enjoy stunning views from inside of their cabins — which look out over thick forests and steep hillside trails. After ascending over 500m in altitude, guests are greeted at the gondola station by even more dazzling panoramas of nearby towns and the surrounding mountains, including the ever-recognisable Mt. Yotei.
There are several fantastic hiking options available from the gondola station for those who want to explore the mountain for themselves, including the summit trail, which begins at 820m altitude and winds up the remainder of Mt. Annupuri’s face to its peak. Another favourite is the Kagami-numa trail, which descends along winding roads and half-hidden paths towards a lake whose “mirrored” surface clearly reflects the surrounding landscape and sky on a perfectly calm day.
For those looking for a more restful excursion, enjoy relaxing in one of the many Niseko Siesta lounge chairs located by the Grand Hirafu Thermometer, or find out more about Grand Hirafu and its inhabiting flora and fauna at the Ecol Ecology Center, located in the Ace Hill building. Food and drink is available, and Ace Hill provides an excellent place to take a break or take cover if the weather turns.
With downhill mountain biking becoming more and more popular in recent years, many riders take to the famous winter slopes for a new perspective in the green season. Local providers like Rhythm Cycles provide bike rental services for visitors to the area, and each summer gondola car is fully equipped with fixtures that allow it to carry bikes on the back, making repeat runs a quick, easy, and immensely exhilarating experience.
9:00 to 16:00
9:00 to 17:00 (August 5th/19th/26th)
8:30 to 17:00 (August 10th to 15th)
Return trip: Adult 1,100 yen, Child 550 yen (preschoolers go free)
Single trip: Adult 700 yen, Child 350 yen (preschoolers go free)
The summer gondola will operate from July 15th to September 24th, 2017.
To find out more about the summer gondola and trips and activities available during the green season, please don't hesitate to contact a member of the AYA Niseko team.