Japanese ski area Happo One will unveil several grounded gondola cabins designed to be used as saunas later this month.

The sauna-gondola-cabins are part of a new ‘Mountain beach’ wellness facility being created 1400 metres above sea level at the Hakuna Valley ski area in the Nagano Olympic Prefecture.  It is set to open on July 26th as a the resort’s latest year round attraction, with the saunas due to remain operational through the winter season too.

So far it is unclear whether the saunas are in converted gondola cabins or sauna cabins designed to look like gondola cabins.

Sauna above the slopes in Yllas

Happo One is not, however, the first ski area to put a sauna in a gondola cabin.  Several years ago the Finnish ski resort of Yllas did the same, although in their case the sauna gondola was still on the wire and you can ride it up and down the mountain.

The Mountain Beach above Happo One will also feature hot tubs and other wellness facilities.  It follows on from two new facilities added last autumn; Hakuba Tsukaike Wow! where visitors, “can experience more than 50 types of play,” and the new Hakuba Mountain Harbor terrace that overlooks the Northern Alps.