Shinhotaka ropeway has two separate gondola ropeways connecting Shinhotaka Onsen to the observation deck at Nishi-Hotakaguchi (2156 masl). Besides the observation deck, Nishi-Hotakaguchi also serves as an access to the hiking routes around the Japanese Northern Alps.
Ropeway no.1 is a simple single-decker gondola, yet no.2 is a nice and beautiful double-decker one. You can see it in the pictures here. Visiting Shin-hotaka in mid-October, I saw the autumn colour — lots of red leaves in the level between ropeway no.1 and no.2. However, at Nishi-Hotakaguchi, the upper station of ropeway no.2, all red leaves were fallen.
If you plan to see red leaves in Hida region, you should come to Shin-hotaka ropeway as you have high chance seeing them. The ropeway takes you across different altitudes and so different “climate”. If you come way too early, you can find red leaves at the top. If you come slightly earlier than the season, you might see it in the mid-level. Of course, if you find all levels across the ropeway have finished the red-leaf season, you should probably try other nearby regions with lower altitude.
Have fun spotting red leaves in Japan!