Mount Yake Eruption Warning Level Lowered, Hiking Ban Lifted

As of July 12th, 2022, the warning level for Mount Yake has been lowered from 2 to 1. This means that hikers are no longer forbidden form hiking to and around the summit.

Mount Yake is one of Kamikochi’s most popular day hikes and can be approached from several trailheads. The reopening of the trails is sure to please visitors seeking a rewarding mid-level mountain excursion suitable for hikers of all levels.

Source of Information: Asahi Shinbun Digital

ADVISORY: Mount Yake Eruption Warning Raised to Level Two
As of May 24th, 2022, the eruption warning level of Kamikochi’s only active volcano, Mount Yake, has been raise to Level 2. As a result, access to the area around the crater has been restricted.
According to current regulations, no visitors will be allowed to venture within 1km of the mountain top. This is regrettable as the Mount Yake route is one of the most popular day hikes in Kamikochi. As with all such things, though, it’s a matter of “safety first.”
Further info on the mountain along with some insights on volcanic activity can be found in the post from earlier this year:
Information may be seen in Japanese on the Japan Meteorological Agency’s homepage:
Thanks as always to the fine folks at Five Sense for sharing this info in the original post.
Regarding Kamikochi’s 2022 Opening

This year, Kamikochi will officially open to the public on April 27th of this year, after the Kama Tunnel, which grants access to the park via buses and taxis, has opened as scheduled on April 17th, as usual. See this blog article for the details.

We uploaded this year’s schedule of opening dates of facilities here.

End of the 2021 season

Kamikochi is closed for this season. Thanks to all the funs of Kamikochi, There are so many people visited here same as usual year.

Kamikochi Reopens, But Severe Weather Warnings Remain in Place

Our friends at Five Sense reported earlier this morning that service granting access to Kamikochi has resumed along Route 158. Even so, heavy rainfall and flood warning remain in place in Matsumoto and nearby urban areas.

According to the Alpico Group’s homepage:

“Route 158 has been closed due to rain, but will reopen from 8am (2021/8/16) with the following departures:

From Shinshimashima: 8:40~

From Kamikochi: 10:40

PLEASE NOTE: Due to damage to the tracks of the Kamikochi line, train service to Kamikochi has been suspended. As a result, a substitute bus service is now running between Matusmoto Station and Niimura Station.

News that local transportaton services are coping with the extreme weather is welcome. However, anyone planning on traveling in the area should be aware of the following caveats.


  • Weather warning remain in effect for much of Matsumoto and the surrounding area with many roads and rail lines linking Matsumoto to other urban centers now out of service due to heavy rainfall.
  • More heavy rainfall is expected in Nagano Prefecture today meaning that further disruptions are likely.
  • Matsumoto has recently experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases resulting in the alert level being upgraded to LEVEL 5.
  • Given the unstable nature of the weather situation, exacerbated by the ongoing COVID crisis, we strongly discourage travel to the area as well as cross-prefecture travel in general at this time.

Sources of Information:

Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog:

The Alipco Group:


For Information on bus service to Kamikochi

For information on road and train statuses around Nagano

Update: Kamikochi Temporarily Closed Due to Heavy Rainfall

We can now confirm that Kamikochi is temporarily closed due to heavy rainfall. At time of writing (2021/8/14), no time for reopening the park had been announced.

We will post another update once the park lifts the restriction. Until then, the weather situation remains volatile around central Japan. We urge all of our readers to stay alert to travel risks posed by both weather and the current wave of COVID infections.

Keep dry and stay safe!

ADVISORY: Heavy Rainfall Temporarily Blocks Access to Kamikochi

Prospective travelers to Kamikochi should be aware that, as of 10am on May 21st, 2021, roads leading into the park have been closed temporarily due to heavy rainfall. Access to Kamikochi will not be possible until the road closures have been lifted.

We will update our readers on the expected end to this situation as information becomes available to us.

Till then, keep dry and stay safe.





Regarding Kamikochi’s 2021 Opening

This year, Kamikochi will officially open to the public on April 27th of this year, after the Kama Tunnel, which grants access to the park via buses and taxis, opens as scheduled on April 17th, as usual.

The Opening Festival will be cancelled this year due to measures being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19. In its place, a smaller ceremony involving only locals, will be held to offer prayers for safety in the coming year as well as 2020.

End of the 2020 season

Kamikochi is closed for this season. Thanks to all the funs of Kamikochi, There are so many people visited here same as usual year.

Latest Updates on Access to Kamikochi (2020/07/16)


Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening to all of our readers.

Today, we’re sharing the latest in a series of updates on the topic of access to Kamikochi. As you probably know, heavy rains have been falling steadily over the past week and a half resulting in disruptions to transportation.

Please note the following:

  • Currently, due to construction efforts to restore Route 158, the road will only be open to traffic during certain times of day.
  • From 07/18, Route 158 will only be open between 7:30 am and 7:00 pm and cars travelling in opposing directions having to take turns using the one open lane in some places, potentially causing delays.
  • From 07/21, the road will be open all hours, albeit with the above-mentioned system of alternating single lane traffic.
  • The Sawaya Shinshu bus providing a direct link to Kamikochi and the urban departure points of Shibuya, Shinjuku, Osaka, Kyoto (via Nagano), will remain out of service until at least 07/21. Resumption of service is planned for 07/22 if circumstances are favorable by then.
  • Regarding access to Kamikochi from Takayama/Hirayu, the fact that large vehicles like buses cannot pass through certain sections of road means that the shuttle buses normally departing from Akandana Parking Area will be out of service until further notice.

General details about access may be viewed on this site’s Getting Here page.

Sources of Information:

Kamikochi’s official Japanese language site:

Image courtesy of Nature Guide: Five Sense Kamikochi


Updates on Bus Schedules as Kama Tunnel Reopens

Hello to all of our readers.

We know that some of you have been concerned about Kamikochi in light of last week’s heavy rainfall and ensuing closure of the Kama Tunnel due to landslide activity.

Yesterday, our friends at Five Sense posted a very helpful explanation of the resumption of bus service this week. Please bear in mind that this information is dated July 13th and that further changes could occur depending on weather conditions and factors relating to the debris clearing operation on Route 158.

Currently, this is how things stand:

Wednesday, 07/15:

Sinshimashima –> Kamikochi route bus: Six buses running both to and from Kamikochi on a special schedule.

Sawando –> Kamikochi shuttle bus: No service. Please take the route bus from Shinshimashima instead.

Taxi: Only travels to the entrance of the Kama Tunnel. Service from 7:30 to 19:00.

Thursday and Friday 07/16-17:

Sinshimashima –> Kamikochi route bus: three buses to Kamikochi (7:15/8:40/14:15) and two buses back to Shinshimashima (9:30/16:00)

Sawando –> Kamikochi shuttle bus: No service.

Taxi: Only travels to the entrance of the Kama Tunnel. Service from 7:30 to 19:00.


Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 07/18-20:

Shinshimashima –> Kamikochi route bus: Running on a special schedule, from 7:15.

Sawando –> Kamikochi shuttle bus: Running on a special schedule from 7:30.

Taxi: Only travels to the entrance of the Kama Tunnel. Service from 7:30 to 19:00.

Tuesday 07/21 onward: 

Shinshimashima –> Kamikochi route bus: Running on the usual schedule.

Sawando –> Kamikochi shuttle bus: Running on the usual schedule.

Taxi: Kama Tunnel gate open, operating on summer hours (5:00-20:00)

Takayama/Hirayu –> Kamikochi:

We don’t have access to this information yet, but will share it once it’s become available to us.

Source of Information:

Nature Guide: Five Sense Kamikochi blog:

Stranded Visitors Return Safely, but No Date Given for 158 Reopening

Hello to all of our readers in Japan and around the world.

We reported on Wednesday that some 300 people had been left stranded inside Kamikochi due to landlsides blocking the mouth of the Kama Tunnel. That number included both visitors to the park and various staff and other personnel.

We are relieved to announce that all 30 stranded visitors were able to leave the park on foot yesterday with the assistance of Matsumoto civic government employees.

At time of writing, there has been no announcement about when Route 158–now blocked by landslide debris–will be reopened. This means that Kamikochi will be unaccessible to travelers until further notice.

In more positive news, the train lines which had been disrupted by heavy rainfall in mid-week have are now resuming full service.

Source of Information:

Bing News (with video from FNN Prime Online):