Wordwise 126 A2854

The makeover of Mount Moiwa

  • 2012.12.20

As many residents of Sapporo, I hold the view of Sapporo from the top of Mount Moiwa as my favorite. I inevitably take first-time travelers to Sapporo there for them to admire our city. So, when my sister and her friend came to visit last month, we got on the streetcar and headed for the ropeway. Little did I know that a few surprises awaited me there.

It all started when, after unsuccessfully looking for the entrance for a couple of minutes at the side of the building where it had always been, it finally hit me that the whole place looked like it had been renovated. And, sure enough, we found the entrance at the front. We entered and got on brand new elevators that took us to a brand new lobby. A giant stuffed Morris (モーリス), the mascot of Mount Moiwa, was proudly standing there.

When we got the top of the ropeway, the doors opened, much to my surprise, onto a vast hall almost entirely occupied by a gift shop. As I took a closer look at the merchandise, I realized that we had just walked into Morris-land. There wasn’t one souvenir that didn’t have Morris on it, except maybe for the unavoidable Shiroi Koibito. I don’t even remember seeing any Mari Mokkori key-rings. Sigh…

Suddenly, an announcement tells us the Morris-cars are about to leave and to, please, proceed towards the departure area. The Morris-cars? What happened to the one-person ski-lift that used to take visitors to the viewing point? To me, that was half the fun of going there. And it was free. Riding the Morris-cars, on the other hand, will cost you an extra 600 yen. And then it occurred to me that the advent of the Morris-cars probably also meant that I’d never get to ride again the funky snowcat-powered sleigh that carried visitors to the summit in the winter.

The makeover isn’t, of course, all bad. For one thing, the whole Moiwa facility now looks a lot more attractive and is more in keeping with what foreign travelers may expect to find in a city like Sapporo. Besides, the takeout foods at the summit are quite tasty – that’s not unimportant! After all, it’s like everything else: It’ll just take a little getting used to.





そうしているうちに、モーリスカーが出発するので乗車口までお急ぎくださいとのアナウンスが流れました。モーリスカー? 展望場所まで連れて行ってくれたあの1人乗りのリフトはどうしたのだろう?実はあのリフトをとても楽しみにしていました。無料ですし。