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Kamikochi

Kamikochi has one of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Japan and is open from mid/late April till mid-November.

Kamikochi

Kamikochi is a popular mountain resort area in the Northern Japan Alps of Nagano Prefecture. It has one of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Japan. The attractive hiking and walking trails of Kamikochi are only open from mid/late April to mid-November. Kamikochi has a plateau that stretches along 15 kilometers in the Azusa Valley. The valley is 1500 meters above sea level and is surrounded by mountains. It is situated in the Hide Mountains nestled between Mt. Hodokadake and Mt. Yakedake. Private cars are banned from accessing Kamikochi, but there are buses and taxis available as a means of transportation. At the center of Kamikochi is the Kappabashi (Kappa Bridge) where many of the hiking trails can be reached. The trails along Azusa River going from Taisho Pond to Myojin Bridge are one of the best ways to enjoy Kamikochi especially during the autumn season.

Back in the day the Kamikochi area was used by the logging industry until the mid-19th century. It was at this time Reverend Walter Weston advocated for the preservation of the area. He is credited for introducing Western style hiking and mountaineering to the Japanese people to emphasize the beauty of Kamikochi. He is also known for popularizing the term “Japanese Alps” and there is a monument of Weston and a festival called the Weston Festival to celebrate the start of the climbing and hiking season. Since Kamikochi is considered part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park, overdevelopment is prohibited in the area, but there are a few hotels, ryokans, hostels, souvenir shops, cabins, and trails available.