UNKAI Sea of Clouds in Hokkaido
The unkai sea of clouds is an mystical event of nature.
Unkai Terrace is located in the resort town of Tomamu in Hokkaido Japan, about a 2.5 hour drive from Sapporo. The word "Unkai" in Japanese means "sea of clouds" and the natural phenomena only occurs occasionally, typically on summer mornings. Resort Tomamu located in Shimukappu village has the unkai terrace tour everyday and it is a new hot tourist attraction. As tour may be cancelled due to bad weather, in the Tomamu hotel, they have unkai forecasting board at the front desk and each hotel room has online TV so that those who are interested in the tour can check whether it's go or No-go anytime.
The observatory terrace is open from 4:30 in the morning until 7 or 8am depending on the season of the year. You will take a gondola to go up in the 1100m high mountain top terrace and the fee is 1,900 yen per person for a round-trip (around 10 minutes).
When you pay admission, they will give you a postcard which you can mail to someone special anywhere in the world from the terrace for free. They will mark their original stamp when they send them out from the summit.
When we visited there, we were not lucky enough to see it. (But it's okay as we actually did not know about this special attraction until we got there, hehe) Even through it was a bit unfortunate, the scenery from the mountaintop was superb. We had a good coffee time, writing postcards in the clear calm air.
Here is some Youtube on Unkai Terrace & Cable Car at Tomamu in Hokkaido Japan. (The reporter was not sucessful to see the unkai either, but it's an good video to feel the experience of going up to the mountaintop. Save the stunning unkai sea view until your future visit!)