2019 Opening Ceremony for theUnkai Terrace

2019 Opening Ceremony for theUnkai Terrace

An opening ceremony will be held on the first business day in 2019 for "Unkai Terrace" on May 11. This is a ceremony where we release the balloons and open the champagne with the guests. The balloon release is for sending out our wish that "may many guests this year also meet the unkai (sea of clouds)". The champagne opening is to wish for "Rich Clouds", meaning lots of unkai would occur again this year, just like the bubbles oozing from the champagne. In addition, this year is also the grand opening of the new "Cloud Gondola" with the design of clouds, which takes you on a ride to reach the Unkai Terrace.

* Image taken from the 2018 opening ceremony.

What is Unkai Terrace?

Unkai Terrace is an overlook facility for watching unkai (sea of clouds) closely when the weather conditions are in favor, and the clouds are flowing in dynamically. During the operating season, the unkai occurrence is at 40% chance. The Terrace is located at 1088 meters high on Mt. Tomamu, and can be accessed by an about 13-min single way gondola ride.

Before the opening of Unkai Terrace, the ski field staff were looking at the unkai daily during summer time while working on the gondola maintenance. So they thought it would be nice for the guests to also see all the different expressions of this majestic scenery, and that eventually led to the opening of Unkai Terrace in 2006. Since its opening, the number of guests visiting keeps increasing every year. In the fall of 2018, the accumulated number of guest visits since its opening reached 1 million. In wish to share this magnificent view with more guests, we have been holding the ceremony every year on the first business day of Unkai Terrace.

3 Main Points of the Opening Ceremony

"Balloon Release" - sending balloons into the sky with our wishes

Together with the guests, we release 2019 balloons into the sky, sending the "wish that many people will meet the unkai this year also". We will also distribute them for the guests to write their own wishes. The color theme of the balloons are chosen as "white" for the unkai and "blue" for the sky, in 2 colors. The balloons we use are environmentally friendly.

* Latex balloons, which are biodegradable into the earth, are used.

"Champagne Opening" - wishing for "Rich Clouds"

We are having a champagne opening with the guests as a metaphor of opening up the future. We put our wish for a frequent occurrence of unkai, "Rich Clouds", also arise this year just like the bubbles oozing out from the champagne. The opened champagne is to be offered to the ceremony-participating guests for free.

Grand Opening of "Cloud Gondola" with Clouds Design

The first appearance of the "Cloud Gondola" with clouds design. The blue part represents the sky, and the silver and white parts represent the clouds. As the silver part is made of material like mirror, it reflects the surrounding scenery. A great feature of it is that you may enjoy the feeling of floating on the clouds within this majestic view as if taking a walk in the air up to the Unkai Terrace.

Plans for the Unkai Terrace and Its Future Vision

At Unkai Terrace, we are working on proposing 9 ways of spending time here to make the most out of the magnificent view in the clouds, and it is called "Cloud9 Project". Till now, we have established 6 overlook spots such as "Cloud Walk" where one can have the experience just like walking on clouds. The name Cloud9 Project was taken from the English saying "I am on cloud nine", which means "I cannot be happier". It embodies our wish for the guests to enjoy the nature in 9 ways and experience the true meaning of "I cannot be happier". In order for the guests to enjoy Unkai Terrace from various perspectives, not just looking at the majestic unkai, we are planning to employ further new proposals.

"Opening Ceremony" Outline

* The ceremony is subject to cancellation according to weather conditions.
Balloons for release, champagne, and participation at the ceremony are free of charge. Gondola round trip fees are separate.
* Champagne is limited in supply.
Hotel guests and day trip visitors both can enjoy


You will see before you a vast panorama of the ever-changing Unkai (Sea of Clouds) and the mountains of Hidaka and Tokachi. Come during the early morning hours to see the Unkai!