A natural monument, the awesome Moiwa Virgin Forest stands out on the mountain. The beautiful night views are spectacular.
The 531-meter-high Mt. Moiwa-yama has wide foothills that stretch into the southwest of Sapporo. It is known for its fine night view, and is popular among the local people as a place for a romantic date, or just to go and admire the scenery. To get to the summit, take the Moiwa-yama Ropeway from Sanroku (foot of the mountain) Station for 5 minutes. Then get on a lift that takes you to the summit in 3 minutes. There are attractive coffee shops near the entrance to the ropeway.
From the peak you can of course see the grid shape of the city of Sapporo. You can also see the Ishikari Plain, and all the way from Ishikari Bay to the Yubari Mountain Range and Mt. Eniwa-dake near Lake Shikotsu-ko. What is especially beautiful is the night scene of Sapporo shining like a sea of light, and the entertainment district, Susukino, glimmering with its red and yellow neon lights.
The northeastern side of Mt. Moiwa-yama is covered in thick vegetation. There are 160 types of trees and plants, including varieties of linden, oak, 'katsura' (Japanese Judas trees) and wild cherry, and Moiwa Virgin Forest has been designated as a natural monument. Also on the mountainside are a museum with information about the virgin forest and a farm dedicated to the forest. In winter, the south side of the mountain becomes a bustling ski resort.
Notice: Moiwa-yama facilities are currently closed for renovation, and reopen 2011, autumn. (Planned)
From Tokyo:[Air]1h 30 min from Haneda to Shin-Chitose Airport. 35 min from the airport to Sapporo Station by JR Chitose Line (rapid train). 20 min from Nishi 4-chome (near the subway Odori Station) to Ropeway Iriguchi (entrance) station by streetcar. The ropeway Sanroku Station is an 8-minute walk from the streetcar station.[Rail]17h from Tokyo to Sapporo by sleeping car.
From Osaka:[Air]2h 10 min from Itami, or 1h 55 min from Kansai International Airport to Shin-Chitose Airport.