The ropeway with the superb 360-degree panoramic view
This splendid scenic ropeway provides an enjoyable 10-minute walk through the sky from the 503m point on Mt. Tsurumi in Aso-Kuju National Park to its peak. It is also a ropeway which has been selected as one of the Top 31 Beautiful Scenes of Japan by CNN. Once you board the largest gondola in Western Japan which can hold 101 passengers and travel up about a steep 800m along a 1,816m line, you can get a full view of the city of Beppu, Beppu Bay, Mt. Yufu, the Kuju Mountains, and if there is good weather, even the entire Chugoku region up to the island of Shikoku. Nature and scenery from all 4 seasons can be appreciated including the cherry blossoms and rhododendrons of spring, the resorts in summer, the autumn colors and the frost of winter, and from the observation point located at Tsurumi Sancho (Mountaintop) Station at 1300m, you can get that amazing 360-degree scenic view. For a period of just several days between April and November, the ropeway operates at night and you can enjoy that romantic and panoramic night view from the top of Mt. Tsurumi.
Recommending the walk at the mountaintop
Mt. Tsurumi has long been known as a mountain worshiped for its many gods residing there, and in front of the station, there is the Tsurumi Yamagami Gongen Ichinomiya Shrine. Everywhere along the walking trail on the mountaintop, there are various gods enshrined and you can enjoy either the Pilgrimage Tour or the Seven Lucky Gods Tour. It takes 15 minutes on foot to head from Tsurumi Sancho Station to the very top of the mountain with the trail taking around 40 minutes to traverse its full extent. Since there are 4 observation points along the way, you will want to take your time walking. Also, in front of the large parking area for the Kogen Station Ropeway, there is the Kyushu Shochu-kan which brings together about a wide variety of 300 different brands of shochu liquor including some of the most famous brands from Kyushu and some very rare brands which can all be purchased. There is also a popular souvenir shop which deals in items such as the handicrafts of Oita Prefecture. The natural park on Mt. Tsurumi next to Kogen Station, Shiki-no-Sato, is well known for its cherry blossoms and autumn leaves and is a rest stop which can be enjoyed for its scenery all throughout the four seasons.