Japan's Unkai Terrace, allows visitors to enjoy Unkai (Cloud Sea) experience at the closest distance ever as if walking inside the fluffy clouds.
Surrounded by ski slopes and hotels, the Tomamu mountain resort area is located near the center of Hokkaido. The most celebrated spot in this area is the Unkai Terrace of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu. From this vantage point, fortunate visitors can witness the spectacular cloud sea (called unkai in Japanese), which appears in the early morning under special atmospheric conditions. The cloud sea can be closely observed — and almost touched — because the Unkai Terrace elevation of 1088 meters is a perfect altitude to encounter this phenomenon. You’ll be astounded as the cloud sea rolls over the mountains of the region, like a panoramic Japanese scroll painting.
Unkai Terrace is only open from mid-May to the end of October. Ropeway gondolas run from around 4:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. allowing visitors to easily access Unkai Terrace on a nearby mountaintop. Not only hotel guests but also general visitors are admitted to the observation area. A café is located near the terrace, so you can have breakfast while enjoying incredible scenic views. Depending on the season, Unkai Terrace offers free yoga lessons and a trekking guide to the top of Mount Tomamu.
The cloud sea is not visible every day. But even if you can’t see this spectacle, the ever-changing cloud patterns on the landscape will reward your effort to go up to Unkai Terrace, and the panoramic view of the Hidaka Mountains alone is worth your visit. A ropeway gondola is available without reservation, but please note that this service may be canceled in bad weather. Phone confirmation in advance is recommended.