On Friday November 15th, Kamikochi closed for the season. The occasion was marked by the Heizanshiki ceremony which offers thanks to the gods for safe passage through the mountains at the close of each season.
As you can see from the photo above, the ceremony was well attended by folks attired for chilly weather.
The Hotaka peaks, already decked out in a rich mantle of snow, provided an ideal backdrop for the scene, superbly accented by clear blue skies. And if you look carefully, there are still traces of autumn color on the trees.
The ceremony itself provided a solemn tribute to a place revered in Shinto belief for its bountiful nature and connection to divinity. Those is attendance watched on in respectful silence before setting out to enjoy the precious last few hours in the park before the Kama Tunnel closed early that evening.
For everyone at Kamikochi’s official English language website, the past two and a half months have been a busy but rewarding time. We’ve corresponded with hundreds of readers seeking information on various topics and posted updates on important news items like the effects of Typhoon 19 on access. Thanks to all of our readers for being a part of this season. Rain or shine, it’s been an unforgettable one.
Thanks also to the bloggers at Five Sense who have worked tirelessly to bring up to date info to their own readership (and by extension, ours) with almost daily updates to their site’s Kamikochi blog. There is simply no better online resource for Kamikochi available.
As we look toward the next five months of silence and inactivity in Kamikochi, it feels like a long wait. Those of you who absolutely can’t wait for spring may wish to look into a snowshoe tour like the one offered here. For the rest of us, it’s just about time to bunker down for the winter season, while looking forward longingly to next spring.
See you next year!
Sources of Information:
Nature Guide: Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: https://fivesense.guide/blog/today/25955/
Chubu Sangaku National Park, Northern Region website: https://alpinewonderland.com/