Kamikōchi 上高地, Upper Highlands) is one of the last remaining secluded regions in Japan.
The plateau, about 1500m above sea level, is not unlike a miniature garden: here you can find peaks and active volcanoes, glaciers and corries, beautiful wetlands, transparent rivers and lakes of the Japanese Alps - all in such a confined space.
There are a number of theories where the name Kamikōchi comes from. One of the most popular ones is that this is the place (chi) where the gods (kami) descended (kō) to the Earth. True to the name, a Shintō shrine was erected here and the place was closed to most people for a long time. Without a doubt, much of that divine atmosphere of Japan still lingers around here.
Kamikōchi, now a national park, is also a biological treasure trove. You can find a suprisingly wide selection of animals here, many of them native only to Japan: trout and other fish in the cold waters, the Japanese serow, or the socially active nihonzaru, the Japanese macaque.
We - many of us Japanese but foreigners as well - are fans of Kamikōchi living in Japan, attracted to this beautiful spot of Nature. Kamikōchi is somewhat well-known in Japan - after all, the area is one of Japan's National Cultural Assets -, but with this site we hope that we can introduce it to many others abroad, and share our feelings. This is not the official multilingual website of Kamikōchi. Here we would like to show you not just what you can find in Kamikōchi but why we think you should include it in your itinerary if you are in Japan.
So, have a look around, read our stories, visit our Facebook fansite... or what is even better, come and visit us!
|A few words about us, who maintain this site.||Some useful advice on the best ways to come to Kamikōchi.|
|Kamikōchi offers a lot more than just beautiful scenery. Learn more about the history and the events here.||Kamikōchi may not be as famous abroad as, say, Kyōto, but we have a few festivals around here, too.|
|Come and see some animals and plants indigenous only in Japan.||We collected a short list of the sights and most famous places in Kamikōchi for you.|
|Kamikōchi is an official national park.||You won't be lost and there is plenty to discover in Kamikōchi even without careful planning, but here are some recommended courses.|