You’ll be on cloud nine at the Unkai Terrace in Hokkaido – literally. An extension of Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, the Unkai Terrace is centred around the concept of enjoying unkai (sea of clouds) views in nine different ways.
The facility features seven unique vantage points which can be accessed by taking a gondola from the bottom of Mt Tomamu and riding to an elevation of 1,088 metres. From here, you’ll get an ethereal view of the seasonal phenomenon where soft white clouds appear to form an ocean with the peaks of surrounding mountains poking out like islands.
The main observation deck, located right next to the gondola station, is currently under renovation. However, it will reopen this summer in August with an extended deck that’ll protrude even farther from the mountain, bringing you closer to the clouds.
The additional lookout points aren’t your typical viewing platforms, either. There’s the Cloud Walk, which is shaped like a cloud and structured like a suspension bridge to provide a 210-degree view, as well as the Cloud Bed, made of elastic cushions for people to lie down or lean back on as they look up at the sky above.
The mesh Cloud Pool looks a bit like a hammock, and a relaxing one at that, as you can look over the side of it or lounge on it as the cloud formations shift around you. A newer feature that opened in 2019 is the Cloud Bar. With the right camera angle, the tall chairs here will make it look as though you’re sitting miles above the ground.
With travel restrictions still in place, this dreamy attraction may not be feasible for everyone just yet, but the good news is that Unkai Terrace will be open until the end of October, which will mark the beginning of an exciting ski season.
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