Greetings to our many loyal readers. The following represents the latest news on transportation, accommodations, and other facilities as of June 1st, 2020:
Latest News in Brief:
・From June 1st, buses travelling along the Shinshimashima > Sawando > Kamikochi route are running on a special schedule of six per day.
・The Nohi buses traveling along the Takayama > Hirayu > Kamikochi route are running on a special schedule of eight per day.
・The Sawando Municipal Parking Area, which had been closed up to this point has reopened. However, the shuttle bus normally serving the area has yet to resume service meaning that route buses (mentioned above) and taxis provide access to Kamikochi at this time.
・At time of writing (2020/06/01), three of the hotels serving Kamikochi were open for business: The Taisho-ike Hotel, The Shirakabaso Hotel, and the Gosenjaku Hotel. Other businesses are expected to open in large numbers from the beginning of July.
・Prospective visitors should also be aware that there has been significant seismic activity in and around Kamikochi of late, with earthquakes being cited as a cause for recent landslides. Please exercise due caution.
Due to safety issues regarding hiking including those related to the coronavirus crisis, recreational hiking and climbing in the mountains are now strictly forbidden and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Mountains huts will be closed until mid-July at the earliest. Campgrounds are also closed until mid-July. One exception to this is the Tokusawa Camping Area which is open, albeit without the usual rental and food services.
Please be aware that the direct bus service to Kamikochi (or Sawayaka Shinshu bus described here: https://www.kamikochi.org/plan/access#transport ) will be suspending service until 2020/07/21, resuming the following day, Wednesday 2020/07/22.
Also regarding buses serving Kamikochi, Alpico Bus-lines have announced a change from the previous numbered ticket (“seiri-ken”) system to a reserved ticket system. Detailed information may be viewed here in Japanese, though an English translation is also planned for the near future: https://www.alpico.co.jp/traffic/news/154/
From April 16th onward, you may reserve tickets either at the ticket window, on arriving at Kamikochi, or online at the following site: https://japanbusonline.com/en
Thank you for time time. We’ll be back with further updates as they become known to us.
(Photo courtesy of Nature Guide: Five Sense, Kamikochi blog).