Storm Clouds and Silver Linings

Yes, it’s that time again.  The rainy season, or “tsuyu” as it’s called in Japanese, has stopped through for its yearly visit bringing storm clouds and almost daily rain in its wake.  While this does mean that things will be a good deal wetter for a while, the rains bring treasures as well as travails: heavy rainfall will sometimes be lead to beautiful sunsets, the Azusa River grows deep and clear; and everyone’s favorite seasonal flower, the rhododendron, is in full bloom.




After heavy rainfall the previous night, waterfalls were seen on the slopes of Dakesawa and elsewhere streams of accumulated rain water descended snake-like toward the river:


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Meanwhile, at Taisho Pond, the famously mirror-like sheen of the water took on an otherworldy atmosphere when a heavy mist rolled in:



The overall effect is said to resemble “suiboku-ga,” or traditional Asian ink wash painting, described in this Wikpedia article:


Since the subject of such paintings is usually imaginary or fanciful in nature, it follows that Kamikochi has taken on a certain dreamlike quality.  And like the bright purple sunsets that follow heavy rain, the sights can often feel quite unreal.


As mentioned above, the rhododendron are in full bloom now and ad a welcome splash of color to the subdued scenery:




As you can see, the absence of blue skies during the rainy season doesn’t take away all of Kamikochi’s appeal.  Instead, the park takes on an atmosphere that is unique to this time of year.  The sight of mists rolling in over Taisho Pond in the early morning is one that will stay with you well after you have left.


Whether you choose to brave the elements this rainy season or wait a week or two for the blue skies to return, we hope you’re planning to visit Kamikochi in the near future.  Remember to check this site for helpful updates and also to visit our Facebook page with any comments or questions you might have (


 Sources of Information:


Kamikochi Shimizuya Hotel website:

Shirakaba-so Hotel website:

Taishoike Hotel website: