Snow has begun to fall and collect in the mountains. The snow-covered peaks and ice-encrusted trees of this time give visitors a special chance to see Kamikochi's winter. Kamikochi is scheduled to close for winter on November 15th, so this your last chance to experience the charm and beauty of winter here.
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Written by: William Habington
After weeks of talking about how autumn is gradually coming to Kamikochi and the peak period of colorful foliage is just around the corner, we're finally seeing some significant changes in color at higher elevations. Eager to document these new developments for himself, staff writer William Habington joined a friend for a day hike to Mount Yake, a centerpiece of Kamikochi's landscape and one of the many famous peaks which are easily accessible from the park. Being an active volcano, Yake seems to have a special charm for western visitors.
What they saw up top surpassed all expectations. Under an intensely blue sky lay a rich pallette of red, yellow, and orange leaves that marked the arrival of "kouyou" season in Kamikochi. We hope you enjoy this photo-packed report on their trip.
Written by: William Habington
What's better than spending a whole day in Kamikochi? Spending a whole day AND a whole night there (as well as at least part of the following day). Staff writer, William Habington, provides essential details on how to settle in for the night in Japan's favorite Alpine retreat, including where to stay, how much money to bring, and even a few helpful points of mountain hut etiquette. So pack your toothbrush and join us for an elightening look at Kamikochi's "nightlife."
Photo: Tammy Crichton
Written by: Tammy Crichton
Our friend, long-term Nagano resident Tammy Crichton has graciously agreed to share this account of a September visit to the Karasawa Col along with some wonderful pictures. As we enjoy the precious final weeks of Kamikochi's autumn 2012 season, we look forward to hearing more about Tammy's adventures in the Northern Alps!
On Saturday May 19th, I had the pleasure of taking part in an event called the "Mizu Walk" along the Asuza River.
In addition to much needed exercise, it gave me occasion to think about the significance of rivers in general and the Azusa in particular. Like all rivers, the Asuza is an invigorating presence in the communities through which it flows and to which it gives a sense of connection. But it is also more than that. A survey of local history reveals both a deep religious significance and a connection to ancient culture as fascinating as it is mysterious.
Written by: Sodai Taira
Although Kamikochi is one of the most famous tourist spots in Japan with visitors coming from all over the world, there are still relatively unknown things about Kamikochi.
One of the most interesting and intriguing points of Kamikochi's history is the story of an aged man who was amazingly able to live alone in the untouched and harsh natural conditions of Kamikochi over 100 years ago. Making a living through fishing and hunting, this man built a hut alongside Myojin-ike Pond.
Earning high praise from the English Missionary Walter Weston (the man who introduced the greatness of Kamikochi to the world), this legend's name is Kamijo Kamonji.