A Welcome Chill

…and the welcome chill steals through the halls, at last

the master moves among the shadows of his house, fulfilled.

 –Aeschylus, Agamemnon II 973-4


Happy Thursday everyone, and welcome to our-mid week mini-blog!  The phrase すっかりと秋になった has been on the lips of people all around Nagano of late, despite a spell of warm and sunny weather during the daytime.  Nights and mornings have gone from breezy to chilly and this is, of course, more true of places at higfh altitudes.  Yesterday’s morning temperature in Kamikochi (1,200m above sea level) was around 4 degrees Celsius and it seems likely it will only get cooler from here.



So what does this mean for the crowds of visitors soon to be gathering at Kappa Bridge?  Two things, mainly: 1) cooler weather will accelerate the changing colors, 2) dressing warmly is now even more essential for the safety and comfort of anyone visiting Kamikochi, and especially for those venturing up to higher ground.


I’ve said this in many prior posts, but for the benefit of our new readers, I’ll say it again.  When hiking at altitude, you must prepare not only for the current season’s conditions but also for those of the season before and the season after.  This advice comes from my father, a grizzled veteran of foreign wars.  Take it to heart.



Those who know anything about hiking know the importance of preparing multiple layers of clothing suitable to the season.  For autumn, you generally do not need a heavy jacket, but multiple layers including a synthetic or merino wool thermal, an activewear shirt, a polar fleece, and a waterproof outer shell will help ensure you stay warm and dry.  To be sure, it’s not as important around Kappa Bridge as up in Karasawa and the Hotaka peaks, but overpreparing is better than underpreparing in my humble opinion.


As you might have noticed from the up to date photos above, there’s not a huge amount of color on display around Kamikochi proper at the moment.  That will be changing soon though.  Expect the leaves to be at or nearing their peak by mid-month.  We’ll be bringing you regular updates in the leadup to that time.  Oh, and as I’ve said before, Karasawa is already looking very nice indeed! This tweet from #kamikochi_npg shows the conditions well: https://twitter.com/npg_kamikouchi/status/649365797874171904/photo/1


That’s all for today.  Expect regular updates over the following weeks and have a great visit!


Source of Information:


National Park Guide website: http://npg-alps.net/