And now for something completely different…
This week’s blog will take us beyond even the highest points in the Northern Alps into what is unfamiliar territory for most. The folks at the Tokusawa-en website were kind enough to share some aerial photos of Kamikochi, taken during a recent helicopter flight over the area. Boarding a Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport helicopter, they passed over some of Kamikochi’s most famous locales snapping photos of the still-frozen peaks of the Hotaka Range in the process.
Within about 10 minutes of taking off from Matsumoto airport, the chopper was flying over Kamikochi (for comparison, this trip would take about 90 minutes by car!)
Here we see what Mount Yakedake looks like from directly above. The crater is clearly visible, reminding us one of the mountain’s special characteristics: it’s an active volcano.
And looking down at the famous Kappa Bridge area, it becomes clear that the level ground along the Azusa River is, in fact, a very small portion of the area.
Interestingly, when viewed from above, the mighty peaks of Mount Yari and the Hotaka Range lose some of their prominence and look more like a single continuous mountain.
It is quite humbling to see how tiny human endeavor can seem against the enormous backdrop of the Northern Alps. Still, when looking at the Hotaka-dake Lodge (flanked by Mounts Karasawa and Oku-Hodaka), and the Yarigatake Lodge, one can’t help but be impressed that civilazation has staked a small place amid these forbidding peaks:
Closer to the ground, we find the Tokusawa campsite, barely recognizable to someone who has only seen it in the warmer months. In case you were wondering, that red rooftop is the Tokusawa Lodge:
Thanks again to the people at Tokusawa-en for sharing these images and to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport for making this unique look at the Northern Alps a possiblity. We all feel a sense of pride in our connection to Kamikochi and we hope our visitors feel some of that as well.
Just in case you haven’t heard yet, the Kama Tunnel is set to open on the 20th of April, granting access to the park, and the formal opening will take place the following week on the 27th. As always, were very excited to be welcoming in a a new season at Kamikochi and would love to have you join us.
Please visit our Facebook page with any comments or questions you might have: https://www.facebook.com/kamikochi
Source of Information
Tokusawa-en Website: http://www.tokusawaen.com/