Beautiful Hakkoda!

8 11 2012

Fall is here, and it is simply beautiful. To get a full picture of the foliage, we drove to the Hakkoda Mountains for a little leaf viewing. Hakkoda is about 2 hours away, but it is worth the drive in any season. Well, almost.

Our goal was a trip on the Hakkoda Ropeway, an aerial tram that spans several peaks and provides a great view from the top. But here’s the thing, that tram doesn’t run when the wind gets too high. We drove all the way out there last weekend, only to find that the winds were 25 m/s (which is pretty serious). We waited for an hour to see if the winds would die down, but we had no luck.

Once we got home, we discovered that the ropeway website actually lists the wind speed. We started monitoring the winds and biding our time. On Wednesday, the winds and weather were looking good, so R took a half-day off and we hit the road again.

B had a fantastic time on the tram.

The views are spectacular. Here is a picture of the tram operator. Just check out the blazing red leaves behind her!

The tram takes about 10 minutes and goes up to about 4,000 feet. At the top, icicles were shimmering in the trees and there was a dusting of snow here and there. It was spectacular.

At the top of the mountain, there were two short trails (one 30 minutes, the other 60), and we opted for the 30 minute trail, since B was walking by herself. It took a little longer than 30 minutes, but she was such a brave hiker!

After our hike, it was time for lunch at the restaurant at the top tram station. It was another of the ticket vending machine type restaurant. As I usually do, I attempted to read the options and had a look at the few that were illustrated. I chose what I thought was katsu pork but turned out to be panko-crusted fried hamburger. Not at all what we were expecting, but R was happy enough to eat it, and I went with some sort of noodles. Warming and tasty!