Mountains and Treetops Display Winter’s Finery

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

 –Robert Burns

Happy New Year everyone!  The dawning of each year brings both the promise great things to come and the return of old certainties and winter to Kamikochi is loss less wondrous because it it familiar.  The mountains tower majestically over a calm, quiet landscape in wintery repose, populated these days mostly by animals.  The trees, once made to look lonely when late autumn had divested them of their leaves are now resplendent with winter finery.


In keeping with the theme of silence, this week’s update features little in the way of text instead focusing on images captured by local bloggers in the mid winter season.  Enjoy!


If you’re at all familiar with Kamikochi, you will certainly recognize the above picture as Mount Yakedake reflected in Taisho Pond.  If you’ve read up on local history, you’ll also know that Yakedake essentially created the pond when it erupted back in 1915, interrupting the flow of the Azusa River (bonus points for knowing that in Japan, 1915 is known as Taisho 4).  Ever since, Taisho has served as nature’s mirror, providing some wonderful views of the surrounding mountains.


Here’s how the Hotaka Mountain Range looked from the Taisho Pond area on Christmas day:



And here we see some close-ups of snow-covered trees:



As mentioned on our Facebook page ( earlier today, roads leading to Kamikochi are expected to reopen on or around April 20th, with the official opening ceremony happening a week later on Sunday the 27th.


So, with almost two months passed since the official closing in November, we’re about a third of the way through our wait till the new season starts.  Let’s do our best to keep warm and fit for what promises to be an amazing year.


I myself got up early on the morning of January 1st for my first run of the year around Lake Suwa.  Almost totally by chance, I saw Mount Fuji in the distance with the pre-dawn light creating an alternately pink and orange glow behind it.  An awesome spectacle that was swallowed up in the morning mist almost as soon as it had appeared.  It’s not Kamikochi or even Nagano, but I thought I’d share this picture with you anyway as I believe it’s a sign of great things to come in 2014:


Once again, a very happy New Year to all.  We wish you all the best in the coming year and can’t wait to see you here in the spring. Remember to follow us on Facebook for regular updates on Kamikochi and the 2014 season.


Sources of Information:


Kamikochi Taishoike Hotel website:


Kamikochi Gosenjaku Group website: