So you’re thinking about making a day trip to the Shinhotaka ropeway during your winter visit to the Japanese Alps!
And… you’ve checked the weather forecast to see that there’s a chance that it’s going to be cloudy at the top.
Now, while weather forecast aren’t always accurate, especially with mountain weather as things can change quickly, if you’re looking for some sort of clue, it might be able to tell you your chances.
The live camera might be another clue to check right before you leave for the ropeway! (If the live cam is pitch black when you look at it, consider what time it is right now in Japan!)
A day trip to Shinhotaka from Takayama is a perfect part of a winter trip to Japan! See more of how to spend 10 days in Japan in the winter.
If there’s bad weather in the forecast at Shinhotaka ropeway, or if there’s no visibility on the live cam… Is it worth making the trip?!
The ropeway up to the main observatory is actually 2 rides.
Then once you get to the top of the second ropeway, there’s an observatory platform.
And it’s as you get closer to the top that bad weather can REALLY make a difference.
If there’s no visibility… well, there’s NO visibility! You can’t see snow-capped mountains in the distance.
So the REAL question is…
If the observatory is a disappointment, is the whole trip going to be a disappointment?!
It depends. 😉
I know, how annoying.
But it really depends on what makes it worth it to you.
What is there to do that CAN make it worth it?!
Things to do on a trip to Shinhotaka ropeway on a cloudy day
Winter scenes from the ropeway
You’ll see winter landscape as you take both of the ropeways up. Even if it’s cloudy, you’ll see snow-covered trees.
Foot onsen hot springs bath
You can spend some time soaking your feet in the foot onsen hot springs bath. That can be done no matter the weather. (Bring a towel to wipe your feet dry if you plan on doing this!)
You’ll come across this when you make the “transfer” between the 2 ropeway rides.
Eat with winter views
You can also spend some time at the restaurant at the top level, and enjoy a meal (and a beer) with the winter landscape in front of you.
Short winter hike
You can also go for a short winter hike!
There are many people who are fully decked out in winter hiking gear before embarking upon the winter hiking trails from the top level.
But if you want to experience a winter hike without the full commitment of all the winter hiking gear, then you can also walk on one of the trails for like 15 minutes and then turn around, going back the same way you came.
So if it’s cloudy weather, while you won’t get the snow-covered mountain landscape at the observatory, and while that might be disappointing, these other things could possibly still make it worth it for some people… including you!
It can be a low key fun winter day if these things sound good to you!
More photos from a cloudy day to Shinhotaka ropeway!
So that’s a bit of what a cloudy day in the Japanese Alps might look like!
What’s it like when it’s sunny?!
HAPPY CLOUDY DAY AT THE SHINHOTAKA ROPEWAY!