It’s often said that early spring offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the final stages of winter in Kamikochi. With the paths mostly clear of the snow that winders movement in the colder months, hikers are able to enjoy great views of the snow-capped mountains withtout worrying too much about specialized equipment.
At the moment, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The snow which had remained in the wake of last week’s blizzardy opening has mostly melted, but traces of it can still be found in certain areas:
To begin with, temperatures in the park have been quite chilly. As of last Wednesday, morning highs were hovering around three degrees with a cool breeze making the air feel slightly colder.
All of which is fine if you have a warm jacket, hat, and gloves. Cold air won’t interfere with your enjoyment of the scenery. Just think of it as adding to the brisk atmosphere. But really, do remember to dress warmly.
As far as getting around the park, there is a good deal of water (left over from melted snow) on the paths, so wherever you go, leave those high heels and sneakers at home. Muddy pathways call for sturdy, water resistant footwear.
If you’re only going as far as the Konashi-daira Campground, you needn’t worry too much about footwear, as the area is already fairly clear of snow.
If you’re heading out to Myojin Pond, be aware that the interior route is still muddy and slippery. Be mindful of deep puddles and snowy inclines and generally mind where you step.
However, the route leading to Myojin along the right bank of the river is almost completely free of difficult spots and a much easier way to get where you’re going. All in all, highly recommended:
For travelers planning a trip in the near future, the best news of all is that, with Golden Week now past, there will be far fewer people crowding the tree-lined paths of Kamikochi. Accomodations will be easier to book and getting around should be much quicker.
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Source of Information:
National Park Guide Website: http://npg-alps.net