Latest News in Brief:
As some of our readers may be aware, Japan lifted its state of emergency last week. As of May 16th, the mountains are “open” to visitors. However, most facilities, businesses, and modes of transit serving Kamikochi have not resumed operations at this time.
To begin with, most hotels and other accommodations remain closed at time of writing (5/18). Please consult the homepages of each business for specific details and to ensure whether they are operating.
Due to safety issues regarding hiking including those related to the coronavirus crisis, recreational hiking and climbing in the mountains are now strictly forbidden and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Mountains huts will be closed until mid-July at the earliest. Similarly, campgrounds are off limits, making camping impossible at this time.
Please be aware that the direct bus service to Kamikochi (or Sawayaka Shinshu bus described here: https://www.kamikochi.org/plan/access#transport ) will be suspending service until 2020/07/21, resuming the following day, Wednesday 2020/07/22.
Also regarding buses serving Kamikochi, Alpico Bus-lines have announced a change from the previous numbered ticket (“seiri-ken”) system to a reserved ticket system. Detailed information may be viewed here in Japanese, though an English translation is also planned for the near future: https://www.alpico.co.jp/traffic/news/154/
From April 16th onward, you may reserve tickets either at the ticket window, on arriving at Kamikochi, or online at the following site: https://japanbusonline.com/en
Thank you for time time. We’ll be back with further updates as they become known to us.
(Photo courtesy of Nature Guide: Five Sense, Kamikochi blog).