Hotaka Peaks Get Silver Crown as End of Season Looms

After another dazzling autumn, the tourist season in Kamikochi is once again nearing its end. Morning temperatures are now regularly around freezing and daytime highs rarely rise above 5 degrees Celsius. In some places, you can still see a smattering of yellow larch quills, but they are thinning out fast.

The picture below shows a few yellow-brown larches standing their gorund against the onslaught of winter:

While other photos tell a different story:

Unmistakably, winter is in the air and park is scheduled to shut up shop for the season on the customary November 15th date this Sunday.

It’s been a strange year with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic disrupting public life around Japan even as I write. Kamikochi’s opening was delayed by the crisis, significantly shortening the season. As if that weren’t enough, heavy rains caused park closures in the summer, causing further headaches. As troublesome years go, 2020 has been a humdinger.

If there’s a bright side to all of the fuss, inconvenience, and stress of the past year, it’s that nature remains unfazed by it all. The foliage reached a glorious peak even without the usual crowds to admire it. The snow on the mountain tops is as lovely as ever and serves as a heartening reminder of the spring season that awaits us in April.


We’ll be back with at least on more post before the season ends. In the meantime, we’d like to extend a special thanks to our friends at Nature Guide: Five Sense for maintaining their excellent blog on Kamikochi throughout the season. As people whose livelihoods are closely intertwined with activity in the park, they have faced the challenges of 2020 with pluck and aplomb. Take a bow, ladies and gentlemen. You’ve done almighty work.

And to all of our readers, we hope you stay warm and optimistic at the turn of the season.

Sources of Information:

Nature Guide: Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: