| Centrip Editorial Board

Discover the Delights of Gozaisho Ropeway and Nearby Attractions in Mie Prefecture in Just a Day

In Mie Prefecture's Mount Gozaisho, the Gozaisho Ropeway stands out with its record-breaking height among Japanese ropeways. It captivates visitors with its breathtaking views of autumn leaves and winter's rime ice. Just an hour's drive from either Nagoya Station or Chubu Centrair International Airport, the area is brimming with not just natural beauty but also historic sites, trendy spots, and mesmerizing night views. Let's dive into the classic attractions around Mount Gozaisho that you can enjoy in a day.

Gozaisho Ropeway: Experience Nature’s Wonders Through the Seasons

Marvel at the rime ice in winter
Witness the stunning colors of autumn leaves

Mount Gozaisho, rising to approximately 1,212 meters, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. It's a place where each season brings its own charm: vibrant mountain azaleas in spring, verdant foliage in summer, a spectacular display of autumn colors, and breathtaking rime ice formations in winter. This mountain is a favorite destination for those in Japan who love to immerse themselves in natural beauty.

If you're not keen on hiking, the Gozaisho Ropeway is a great alternative. It offers a 15-minute ride, soaring up to 780 meters in elevation difference, giving the sensation of a sky-high stroll. As you ascend, the changing landscapes offer a visual treat — from lush greenery at the foothills to vibrant fall foliage near the mountaintop, all in a matter of minutes.

The Summit Lift
On a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji from the Fujimi-iwa Observatory at the summit.

Once you reach the top by the ropeway, a pleasant 30-minute hike leads you to this panoramic observatory. For a more relaxed journey, opt for the lift that takes you straight to the summit, allowing you to soak in the picturesque landscape at your own pace.

Observation Restaurant: Nature
Gozaisho Curry Udon

For a relaxing pause after exploring, visit the 'Observation Restaurant, Nature'. This spot offers the chance to savor Mie Prefecture's culinary delights while admiring scenic views through its windows. A must-try is the 'Gozaisho Curry Udon', featuring Ise Udon - a Mie Prefecture specialty known for its tender noodles. This dish is uniquely served in a curry broth, providing a satisfying meal, especially after a day of activity.

AQUAIGNIS: A Trendy Hot Spring and Culinary Destination

The exterior of AQUAIGNIS

Just a short 10-minute drive from the Gozaisho Ropeway, the fashionable 'AQUAIGNIS' hot spring resort beckons. This multifunctional facility features not only hot springs and a hotel but also various dining options and the delightful experience of strawberry picking.

Signature Dish: Tai (Sea bream) Chazuke
A single dish that offers a trio of tasting experiences

Every dining establishment within AQUAIGNIS is curated by celebrated chefs from Japan. Take, for example, the Japanese restaurant 'Kasaan Sanpiryoron'. It's a creation of Masahiro Kasahara, the culinary force behind the sought-after 'Sanpi Ryoron' in Tokyo's Ebisu. This spot makes fine dining accessible, with lunch offerings priced between ¥1,000 and ¥3,000, ensuring both quality and value.

"ConfitureH's Signature Cakes 'C'est la vie' and 'Rikyu' Matcha Cake
Artisanal Jams Available at the Confectionery
'Mariage de farine' Bakery
Freshly Baked Croissants at the Bakery

The acclaimed pastry chef Hironobu Tsujiguchi runs the dessert shop 'ConfitureH' and the bakery 'Mariage de farine.' These establishments are not just about visually stunning cakes; they are also committed to using authentic ingredients. Their cakes, often selling out before the day's end, are a testament to their popularity.

Bamboo-Inspired Kataoka Onsen

Kataoka Onsen, located within the premises, offers a wonderful bathing experience. Its 100% natural hot spring water, complete with a subtle sulfur scent, leaves your skin feeling wonderfully smooth. The open-air bath at AQUAIGNIS Kataoka Onsen is exceptionally spacious, a rarity for Japanese onsen, where space constraints often limit the size of outdoor baths. Here, surrounded by bamboo and open skies, you can immerse yourself in nature’s embrace. And it's an affordable luxury too, with entry priced at just ¥600 on weekdays and ¥800 on weekends.

Strawberry Picking at AQUAIGNIS

Strawberry picking is a delightful activity you can partake in at 'Tsujiguchi Farm' from December through early June. Grown using organic fertilizers, these strawberries are available for unlimited picking for a 40-minute duration. These same fresh, early-morning picked strawberries are also a key ingredient in the cakes at 'ConfitureH', indicating the premium quality of the produce.

Rokkaen: A Nationally Recognized Cultural Site Where Western and Japanese Architectural Styles Are Seamlessly Blended.

Rokkaen, a unique estate where Western and Japanese architectural elements are interconnected.
The expansive gardens of Rokkaen

After a 30-minute drive from AQUAIGNIS, we reach our next stop: Rokkaen Constructed in 1913, Rokkaen served as the new home of the esteemed businessman Moroto Seiroku II, often referred to as the 'King of the Mountains and Forests'. The Western portion of the estate was designed by Josiah Conder, a British architect celebrated as the 'Father of Modern Japanese Architecture'. In an era where Japan was just beginning to embrace Western influences during the Meiji and Taisho periods, Rokkaen stands as a testament to this cultural fusion, uniquely joining a Western-style building with traditional Japanese architecture.

The view of the garden from the traditional Japanese building
The elegant hallway in the Western-style building

With respect to the Japanese preference for tatami-matted traditional architecture, the architect included a Japanese-style building alongside the Western one. Uniquely, they are connected by just one wall, creating a rare architectural design. It appears that the Moroto Seiroku family predominantly resided in the Japanese section. Rokkaen was remarkably advanced for its era, boasting installed water pipes in a time when well water was common. Its floor tiles and curved glass, not yet produced in Japan, were imported, highlighting the extraordinary wealth of its owners.

Rokkaen is a delight even for those unfamiliar with its history, with its exquisite and unique buildings and Japanese gardens. It’s frequently chosen for pre-wedding and coming-of-age ceremony photoshoots and serves as a favored filming site for various movies and dramas.

Rokkaen offers the experience of participating in a traditional matcha tea ceremony
Enjoy a set of matcha tea and traditional Japanese sweets for ¥500.

In Rokkaen, there is a tea room with a view of the Japanese garden, where for ¥500, visitors can enjoy the simple pleasure of preparing matcha (a process of mixing hot water with matcha powder using a bamboo whisk).

The Yokkaichi Factory Nightscape: A Mesmerizing Display of Lights After Dark

The industrial night skyline of Yokkaichi

Just a 20-minute drive from Rokkaen brings you to Yokkaichi, famous for its distinctive industrial night view. Yokkaichi City in Mie Prefecture stands as a bustling industrial hub, home to numerous industrial and chemical plants. The factories, often operational through the night, illuminate the sky with a dreamlike blend of white smoke and radiant lights, transforming the 'Yokkaichi Factory Night View' into a sought-after tourist destination.

The Yokkaichi Port Building

While there are numerous spots to enjoy the factory nightscape in Yokkaichi, the Yokkaichi Port Building stands out. Its 14th-floor observation room offers a sweeping view of the night lights. Photographers will be pleased to know tripod use is permitted, allowing for extensive photography opportunities (keep in mind that the building's night operations are limited to weekends and holidays).

The factories in Yokkaichi that operate at night

There is a 60-minute cruise that tours around Yokkaichi Port, offering a close view of the night scenery.


While the Gozaisho Ropeway and nearby attractions might be lesser-known to international visitors, they are popular weekend destinations for the Japanese. Consider spending a day in Mie Prefecture during your trip to savor its natural beauty, rich history, and delicious cuisine. Renting a vehicle from the rental services at Chubu Centrair International Airport upon arrival is highly recommended for a smooth and enjoyable journey.

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