Seemingly all anyone asks me these days is when exactly the “peak” of Kamikochi’s autumn foliage is expected to happen so they can be there at that precise moment. The Chunichi Newspaper have announced that the best time for koyo will be from October 10th to 25th, a long period which allow many people to enjoy the leaves at various stages. While it won’t be the tenth until this coming Saturday, the next few days would also be a great time for a visit. The forecasts cagily promise good weather (zero chance of rain today!) and the Myojin Shrine’s famous Boat Festival will be held on Thursday. Anyone bemoaning the fact that they won’t be in time for the real autumn colors, can certainly get in a few great days in the lead-up to the peak.
And now an unsolicited and largely unnecessary top five list of reasons to visit Kamikochi this week:
5. The weather is really good at the moment:
The current weather reports display a more than comfortable 18 degrees Celsius, with sun and scattered clouds. You’re not likely to experience much better before the end of the season.
4. It’s less crowded at the moment:
Make no mistake, for every foreigner poised to invade Kamikochi for the autumn colors period, there are over 100 Japanese visitors with the same idea. Currently, it’s just a bit quieter.
3. The warm weather won’t last forever:
With frost falling in the early hours these days, mornings are already chilly, hovering around the 2-3 degree mark. Wintery weather is a little over a month away, so warm days between now and then are precious. Enjoy them while you can!
2. The night skies have been beautiful of late.
I don’t have the pictures to prove it, but reports from the front line tell of spectacular starry skies. so throw on a poncho and step outside for a proper look.
1. The Boat Festival is on Thursday:
Myojin Pond will be the site of an ancient ritual called omizugaeshi in which water from the Hotaka Shrine in Azumino City is returned to its source in the hills of Kamikochi. Read all about it here: http://www.kamikochi.org/blogs/311-the-boat-festival-ancient-ritual-and-autumn-splendor.html
Not to put too fine a point on it, but autumn is already in full swing at Japan’s favorite alpine resort. There will be plenty to enjoy from now until the end of the season in mid-November and we hope to see you there!
Source of Information:
Shirakabaso Hotel website: http://shirakabaso.com