Nagano Ski Lifts in the Green Season

August 24th, 2009 by
Category: Outdoor Activities, Seasonal Topics, Sightseeing

What do ski lifts do in the Green Season?  Just sit around waiting for the snow to fall to bring skiiers?  Not here in Nagano.  Many snow resorts operate lifts in the summer, too, providing access to alpine wonderlands usually not easily reached.  The lifts can give you a break from the stifling summer heat by taking you up to mountain tops where it’s several degrees cooler than down below.

Some mountain resorts attract guests by planting fields of flowers on the ski runs, such as lilies in Hakuba’s Iwatake, and cosmos flowers at Kurohime (in bloom from mid-July to mid-October).

Lilies at the top of Hakuba's Iwatake lift -- Even prettier on a sunny day

Lilies at the top of Hakuba's Iwatake lift -- Even prettier on a sunny day

Our family recently rode the lift at Hijiri Kogen.  There the attraction wasn’t the flowers, it was the 360-degree panorama view (as well as the slider ride on the way back down).  Hijiri Kogen is best reached by car (approx. 25 min.) from Omi IC on the Nagano Expressway.

Panorama View from Top of Hijiri Kogen Lift

Panorama View from Top of Hijiri Kogen Lift

Riding the Lift Up

Riding the Lift Up

Riding the Slider Down

Riding the Slider Down

 

Shiga Kogen Heights offer alpine trekking easily reached by a series of lifts and even escalators (at Yokoteyama).  One such route is described here.

As Nagano transitions from summer to fall, the greens are replaced by golden yellows, browns and reds as the fall foliage comes on.  Even more reason to ride Nagano’s ski lifts in skiing’s off-season!

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