These photos are part of a larger trip to Gero Hot Springs, where my husband and I were staying for our anniversary. From Gero we took a bus deep into the Okuhida region of the Japanese Alps for a day trip. The mountain roads were windy with no traffic. Luckily the weather was sunny, and the roads were clear. In the snowy scenery on the side of the road, I spotted some animals that I had never seen before. They were dark grey and looked like a mix between a deer and a dog. I later found out it was the Japanese Serow, which is endemic to Japan.

At the Shinhotaka ropeway, there are two gondolas. A short one that takes you to a gift shop, small cafeteria, and a foot spa. And a the main ropeway that takes you to to the top of the mountain and the observation deck. The cost of the ropeway was included in the price the tourist ticket we bough from the train station.

The ride up the mountain was breathtaking. The silent snowy mountains all around us. At the top we walked around the observation area outside. There is a path that has been cleared, and the snow reached over our heads. Although it was -6 on the deck, walking through the snow maze did not feel so cold. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it warm, but it was definitely bearable. Snow is great insulator.

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Want to read more about Gero? Check out these posts:

Shirakawago in March (coming soon)

Shirakawago in May (coming soon)

Author

Jennifer has lived in Japan for a total of seven years. She has travelled, taught English, studied Japanese, completed a Master's Degree, and travelled some more. She currently calls Nagoya her home, where she lives with her Japanese husband.

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