We’re back! After a long winter break, we’re now rushing to fill the info gap left by a long absence. Not a moment too soon either: with less than three weeks left till the Kama Tunnel opens to public transportation, we’ve had a glut of questions from our readers about the whens, wheres, and hows of visiting this spring. You can expect posts on those very topics in the coming weeks, but first, we thought we’d whet your appetites with some scenic recommendations from our friends at NPG. Here are some of their picks for the best places to snap pictures in central Kamikochi.
As you can see from the map below, the key spots for scenic pics at Kamikochi are Taisho Pond (大正池), the Tashiro (田代) area, Kappa Bridge (河童橋), and Myojin Pond (明神池).
Often overlooked by visitors rushing to the bus terminal, the Taisho Pond area is one of the park’s most scenic spots. It’s most famous for the view of the Hotaka Range, mirrored in the surface of the pond, but as you head out on the path toward the Tashiro marsh, you should pause to admire this view through the trees:
Of course, you’ll want to take your time to admire the shimmering surface of the pond itself, with stunning views throughout the daylight hours and an array of rare waterfowl floating around.
As you continue upriver, be sure to take some pictures of the Azusa River. The powerful and picturesque waters of the Azusa define the geography of central Kamikochi. Add a mountain backdrop for extra points.
Moving into more familiar territory, your hike will at length bring you to the Kappa Bridge area. A lot of people miss a trick by taking their pictures of the area only after approaching the bridge. If you remember to snap a few before as well, you can get a more integrated view of the surrounding landscape.
A short distance from Kappa Bridge as you head east, you’ll find Shimizu River. It may not be as overwhelming a sight as some others, but it’s a great place to get up close to the water and snap a tranquil shot away from the crowds of Kappabashi.
Continuing east, there’s a sport where the main path forks off into the Dakesawa hiking path. The water takes on various delicate hues from the sediment rising from beneath. Another great example of a pristine and often overlooked spot.
Lastly, as you near one of Kamikochi’s most popular destinations, Myojin Pond, be sure to snap some pictures of the mountain that shares its name with the pond and shrine below. It’s a mighty sight all year round.
Just a quick reminder, before wrapping things up here. Many MANY people have written in confused about when exactly Kamikochi opens to the public. While the official opening on April 27th mark the time when all the hotels and other services are up and running, you can visit for a day trip ten days earlier, as the Kama Tunnel opens to buses and taxis on the 17th.
That’s all for now. Happy travels this spring!
Source of Information:
National Park Guide blog: https://npg-alps.net/blog/column/18909/