At the Asahidake Onsen ropeway station I bought a roundtrip ticket and boarded the next gondola heading up to the heart of Daisetsuzan. Thankfully the ropeway wasn’t overly busy that morning and I’d have enough room to move around the gondola as it carried me to the upper station.
The ride on the ropeway took about ten minutes and even with the clouds it was still a very scenic trip through the wilds of Hokkaido. Daisetsuzan is the first place in Japan each year to see autumn colors and below me I could see that some of the trees were turning yellow and orange. As the gondola went higher into the mountains it briefly passed through some clouds that obstructed the view but very soon I could see the upper ropeway station. Through the clouds and in the distance was Mt Asahidake, my ultimate goal for that day’s expedition.