Spring Bulletin, 2016

Despite occasional spells of rain, Kamikochi is now experiencing an amazing run of warm spring weather, with birds and flowers aplenty and melting snow making mountain paths accessible to intrepid hikers.  It’s a perfect time to come and enjoy pleasant walks and stunning alpine scenery before the rainy season descends in June.  Mornings and nights remain chilly, but on a clear, warm day you’d swear you had strayed into paradise.


Thanks once again to the good folks at the National Park Guide website for the use of their pictures and associated blog content.  You’re the best!



A nice pair: two parus minors enjoy the spring weather


As we announced earlier this week on our Facebook page (to a chorus of positive response from our readers), the route linking Kamikochi to the Yakedake hut has opened to hikers.  While we are reliably informed that there is much less snow than usual, authorites have called for crampons to be equipped in snowy areas.  Please note that the crampons available within the park, at least as of my last visit)  are lightweight  2 point models.  I would recommend at least eight points for traversing spring snow.  For further information on this route, hit us up on out Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kamikochi/


One further note about Yakedake for anyone who doesn’t know: it is an active volcano that last blew its top about one hundred years ago.  The area around the crater spouts toxic sulfurous gas and should be treated with respect.  If you head up this way, please be aware that, despite the mountain’s recent good behaviour, erruption is a possibility.



Yakedake shows familiar signs of volcanic activity.

And, for an equally famous mountain view, look no further than the glorious Hotaka Range:



Being at a higher elevation, the Hotaka Mountains have naturally retained more snow.  The Karasawa huts as well as those serving the Hotaka peaks are up and running.  Anyone heading up this way should be aware that eight point crampons are need to reach Karasawa and twelve points for anything higher up.


Lastly, for anyone more interested in the subtler pleasures to be enjoyed in the main area of Kamikochi, the sunny weather makes for very nice strolls and there are plenty of wildflowers to be seen.


That’s all for now.  For more up to date info on the goings on in Kamikochi and surrounding areas, please stay tuned to this blog as well as the Kamikochi and Matsumoto Facebook page.


Sources of Information:


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