A shrine, a restaurant and a museum of masks are among the unexpected delights awaiting you at the top of this forested mountain.
One of the natural highlights of Hokkaidō Island, Mount Tengu is a scenic peak adorned with a restaurant and an observatory. Iconic red cable cars take visitors up to its peak in the outskirts of Sapporo, providing mesmerizing views of the surrounding forests. Get to the peak of the mountain, 1,745 feet (532 meters) above sea level, for inspiring views of the water and the city of Otaru.
Bring your camera and snap photos of the snow-capped mountains across the Sea of Japan. Watch the sunset from the mountain’s observatory and stay into the evening to see the city lights spread across the hilly terrain.
Enjoy a meal in this scenic setting in the mountain’s restaurant. Recover from a hike along the nature trails with a hot beverage in the coffee shop. Let your kids play on the downhill sled ride in winter and laugh at the cute, furry animals of the squirrel enclosure in summer.
Browse the exhibits of the Otaru Winter Museum and see the masks on display in Tengu Hall, outside which stands the giant Nausea’s Tengu mask. It’s said if you touch its nose, all your dreams will come true.
The cable car opens daily from morning until evening, running every 12 minutes. Pay a fee for a round trip and ask for discounts for kids. You can also purchase combination tickets that include a meal. Leave your possessions in a locker at the summit for the day, but don’t forget them before you ride back down.
Mount Tengu is on the southern side of Otaru, a small city west of Sapporo. Drive northwest from the center of Sapporo for 25 miles (40 kilometers) to reach the ropeway in less than 1 hour. You can also take the train to one of the stations in Otaru.
While in this part of Hokkaidō Island, stop at nearby highlights such as Mount Yoichi, the Otaru Canal and the Otaru Aquarium.