Imagine a surreal view where you feel like you are walking on the clouds. Welcome to the famous “Sea of Clouds” (unkai), located on Mount Tomamu in Hokkaido!
Such a magnificent view is usually the privilege of hikers, but for the past 10 years, this resort located in the heart of the island of Hokkaido has offered it to you in just 13 minutes of climbing.
The terrace is part of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu station located in Yufutsu district. A family resort open all year round, famous for its slopes and powder snow.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, vacationers can enjoy a multitude of “off-season” activities, such as horseback riding and hot air ballooning. But the highlight of the show remains this grandiose natural phenomenon.
By using the chairlifts intended for skiers during winter, nature lovers will have to climb quietly for 13 minutes, in order to reach the top and enjoy this atypical place.
Last fall, the terrace welcomed its 100,000th visitor since it opened in 2006.
Although the terrace is located at the top of the chairlift (1088 meters above sea level), it is located approximately 150 meters below the summit.
This “sea of clouds” is a phenomenon which depends both on the terrain and on climatic conditions. Tomamu means “wetlands” or “bogs” in the Ainu language.
Your chances of seeing the unkai are around 30 to 40% during the period when the terrace is open. Fortunately, the time and probability of the phenomenon appearing are indicated on the official website available in English.
While you’re at it, why not grab a hot drink or snack in the adjacent café to warm up, or join a yoga class?
Another funny anecdote: the entrance ticket is actually a postcard, and you can send it from the terrace for free.
The terrace is open every morning from 4 to 8 a.m., from May 14 to October 17 and around noon from July 23 to August 31. Count ¥ 2200 (€ 18.80) for admission.