The Komagatake Ropeway

7 minutes ride to the peak of Hakone

Hakone is an area of natural beauty, history and scenic vistas. There are mountains, lakes, and views to be enjoyed throughout your visit. Mt. Komagatake is the central dormant volcanic cone of the Hakone mountains and the Komagatake Ropeway takes you up the sacred peak for spectacular views of Hakone and the surroundings.

Hakone is a mountainous area just south of Tokyo and is famous for it’s hot springs, history, and as the cultural and transportation crossroads of the Japan. A quasi-national park covers and protects most of the area giving visitors the perfect balance to the days spent in the neon streets of Tokyo. Riding the ropeway is a calming experience that gives you insight and opportunity to appreciate the beauty of Japanese culture, nature, and even history.

Riding the Ropeway

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The comfortable 7 minute ropeway ride from the shores of Lake Ashi to the 1357m (4500ft) top of Mt. Komagatake gives you wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and lake below. This 1.8km (1.1mile) ride gives you the opportunity to appreciate the geological forces that created the Hakone area. Hakone is the product of volcanic forces that erupted thousands of years ago and the peaks surrounding Mt. Komagatake are the crater walls of volcanoes that erupted about 50,000 years ago.

Mt. Komagatake itself is the remnants of a volcanic dome that would have been at the center of the volcanic activity that made the Hakone mountains.

The Top of the Mountain

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When you reach the top of the mountain the image of the vermilion red shrine gates contrasting with the deep blue background of the sky is breathtaking. The only structure at the top of the mountain is the Mototsumiya Shrine. The shrine is associated with the famed Hakone Shrine at the base of the mountain and was built in dedication to the spirituality and reverence that this peak played in Japan’s Shinto history.

It is said that the reverence for this mountain, which would have been the manifestation of a Shinto god spirit was one of the main reasons for the founding of the popular Hakone Shrine. Shinto gods, called “kami,” take the forms of natural things and concepts in life like a river, tree, and a mountain. This was and still is considered a sacred spot by many.

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From the top you will be able to look down on the shores of Sagami bay, Odawara City, and have a splendid view of the majestic Mt. Fuji. On clear days you can see as far as the towering buildings of Yokohama in the distance. There are no trees on the peak and the low grass covering the area affords wonderful vista.

Around the Ropeway

The start of the Komagatake Ropeway is on the shores of Hakone’s Lake Ashi. The area around the lower station is full of interesting activities and dining options for visitors as well.

  • The Prince Hotel, designed by the famous Japanese architect Murano Togo.

  • A nice family-friendly aquarium.

  • The Hakone-en port for the Hakone Sightseeing Cruise.

Helpful Information

  • The Komagatake ropeway has one of the highest degree vertical ascents in Japan. This altitude change also means the weather is a bit colder at the top. Make sure you bring an extra layer, especially in winter when temperatures can drop below freezing.

  • For the safety of visitors, the ropeway may be temporary closed due to high winds.

  • Morning is the best time to see the views before the clouds come in later in the day.

You can join Explore Hakone’s private tour in Hakone for this great experience. 


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