March 6, 2010, we went to Mt Hakkoda Ropeway and Winter View Tour with ITT ( Information, Tickets and Travel) Tour bus. Since my husband is now deployed somewhere in Middle East we have the privilege of getting a "free" local tour with ITT, one free tour from Feb to April, I picked this tour. Our trip would cost $120 for 3 of us (if I have to pay it), adult is $45 (my 17 yr old daughter and myself) and my son is 9 yrs old which is only $30 for him (from 4 to 11 yrs old), not bad though. I don't have to drive up to the mountain (for 2 1/2 hours), I can relax myself to watch a movie on the bus and the best thing is, it's free! Unfortunately our trip to Mt Hakkoda was a wrong timing (dang!), we didn't see the beautiful view of the mountain and the snow. It was too foggy and hazy, didn't enjoy the ride on the ropeway, it's too crowded. We were inside with other skiers and snowboarders and we can't hardly move, I smelled something fishy LOL and I didn't know where it was coming from hehehe but definitely from those skiers/snowboarders hehehe. At least the trip was not only in Mt Hakkoda but we got to see the ASPAM tourist center after the ropeway (gondola) tour.
We just spent 1 hour and 15 minutes in Mt Hakkoda ski resort and we headed straight to downtown where the ASPAM is located. From Mt. Hakkoda to downtown Aomori is approximately 45 minutes.
ASPAM (Aomori Prefectural Center for Tourism and Industry) is a 14 story triangular building, prominent in downtown Aomori because of its architectural shape besides being the tourist center for Aomori prefecture. It has an observation deck at the 13th floor, we paid 900 yen for 3 of us. Note: Please do not ask me how they came up with the acronym ASPAM ;-)
The pictures above were taken last Sept 2009 when we were trying to look for the ASPAM building but we got lost and ended up going to the harbor and saw the beautiful view there and took that shot. We passed the ASPAM and took the road heading to the bay bridge (2nd picture). We didn't get the chance to see and visit it that time. I gave up looking for the right road towards its direction and chose to go to Auga Mall and the downtown stores where we accidentally reached that area.
By the way, Mt. Hakkoda is one of the most popular ski areas in Northern Japan, and this ski resort is not for beginners like me ;-)
Below are the recent pictures I took last Saturday. It was cloudy and drizzled a bit but it didn't snow.
Since we didn't get to see the scenic view of Mt Hakkoda, I found this link for you to enjoy the view and beauty of it. Click here.