To all our loyal readers, a warm hello from the snowbound heart of Nagano! Actually, we’ve been enjoying slightly warmer weather over the past few days, but it’s still the dead of winter in Kamikochi and an abundance of heavy snowfall has ensured that the whole area remains a (very quiet) winter wonderland. The scenic Tokusawa area, familiar to many as a popular camping spot, has been thoroughly blanketed in snow. Despite great views of the snow-capped Hotaka Mountain Range, it’s a little out of reach for most would be-visitors as the snow is piled up meters high in some areas.
A big thanks to our friends at the Tokusawaen website for sharing these recent pictures with us (though we suspect the snow has piled up even higher in the intervening weeks!)
With accumulated snow being reportedly even greater than last year, there is now no trace of the camping activities of the warmer seasons:
And walking out past the Myojin Pond area, the snow gets even deeper. This becomes even more of an issue when navigating inclines (hot tip: DON’T DO IT), due to the high risk of avalanches. We’re reliably informed that there have already been many this year.
And, of course, no piece on Kamikochi in the winter would be complete without at least one picture of the Hotaka Range:
While human visitors to Kamikochi are few these days, all the usual suspects from the animal world have been leaving there mark…along with one or two less common ones.
Could this be the imprint of a Japanese Flying Squirrel!?!:
Looking at the calendar, I’m struck by the fact that, with Kamikochi set to open to the public in late April, we are now more than halfway through our long wait for winter to end. Come spring, there will be ample opportunity to enjoy the park’s still-snowy mountain vistas at a warmer, lielier time of year. We look forward to reconnecting with visitors when that time arrives once more!
Source of Information:
Tokusawaen Hotel website: http://www.tokusawaen.com