Even with a some shock snowfall occurring last week in Matsumoto, we have to believe that the long winter of 2016/17 is just about behind us. I’ll miss the camellia blossoms on the tree behind my house, but apart from that, I cant wait to see the back of it all. After all, spring is a wondrous time in this part of the world. The mountains of the Northern Alps keep their snowy caps, the air shows not a trace of summer haze, trees are flowering just about everywhere you look, and best of all, Kamikochi is set to open later this month.
For prospective visitors, this means two things: the opening of the Kama Tunnel on the 17th and the official opening ceremony, or “Kaizansai” (開山祭) on the 27th. For obvious reasons, we don’t yet have pictures of this year’s event, so we’ll be cheating by sharing some from past events.