With the very first celebration of Japan’s newest holiday just around the corner, nature lovers everywhere are getting exited for August 11th. For us, this is cause for both great joy and a degree of apprehension, since the anticipated record-breaking crowds bring with them the likelihood of congested roads and over-bookings everywhere.
(photo: National Park Guide website)
The main ceremony will take place on the morning of August 11th from 9am to 10:45am at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal, an event of great significance for Kamikochi, which has been given the honor of representing mountains across Japan for the first iteration of an important new holiday. Clearly, there is no better place to celebrate the alpine tradition of Japan than in the heart of the Northern Japan Alps.
But more on that later…
We need to remind everyone of the potential difficulties of visiting during a time when large numbers of people are expected to be doing the same. As a bare minimum, all prospective visitors should be aware that The roads between Matsumoto and Kamikochi will be VERY crowded
Next, you should be aware of expected changes to the way buses linking Kamikochi with Sawando and Hirayu will run on that day:
–Buses going from Sawando and Hirayu to Kamikochi will run as usual, but may arrive later than scheduled.
–Buses departing Kamikochi for Sawando and Hirayu will not run from 9-11am, roughly the time when the ceremony will be taking place
During the Mountain Day ceremonies, the boarding area for buses will be temporarily moved to a different place. Please follow the directions of the staff.
There can be no doubt that Kamikochi will be crowded on the 11th, so once again we must remind prospective visitors to be aware of this. It is a momentous day for the park, but the crowds may affect your enjoyment of what is normally a retreat from urban bustle.
On a slightly different topic, Mountain Day festivities will also be held at these times and places:
–Wednesday, August 10th
11am-6pm Kamikochi, Konashidaira Campground
10am-4:30pm Matsumoto Castle Grounds
–Thursday, August 11th
11:30am-3:30pm Kamikochi, Konashidaira Campground
9am-4:30pm Matsumoto Castle Grounds
The exact details of these festivities has yet to be determined, but you should be able to read about them here in the coming days: http://811yamanohi.org/en/
We’ll be posting more one the historic first celebration of Mountain day over the next week. No doubt, there will be a lot of news to pass on both before and after the event. In the meantime, why not have a look at our brand new (not yet complete) homepage here: https://www.kamikochi.org/ . And as always, we encourage you to visit our Facebook Page with any questions you might have: https://www.facebook.com/kamikochi/
Have a great day!