Late May Mailbag (and some pretty pictures)

A hearty hello to all of our readers near and far!

With the spring season now well underway, we’ve been receiving copious numbers of messages from readers all around the world.

So once again, we’ve decided to share some of these Q&As with you, in summarized form and with the readers’ names withheld to protect their privacy.

And now without further ado, here are our Q’s to your A’s. Enjoy!

Q: I’m planning to hike up to Karasawa Col. Do I need crampons and an ice ax?

A: At time of writing (2024/05/23), there was still quite a bit of snow on the paths leading up to the col, especially as you near the top. Hiking up here definitely requires at least 8 point crampons. While an ice ax isn’t strictly necessary, you’d at least want walking stock to steady yourself during the hike.

You can see recent photos of the Karasawa Col here:

Also, please be advised that the Karasawa Hyutte requires prospective guests to reserve at least one month in advance of their planned stay.

Q: I’m planning to stay at 〇〇 Hotel on April 31st. Can you help with my reservation?

Regretfully, no. We don’t provided direct assistance with reservations for sundry weighty reasons. If you’re having trouble booking somewhere, we’d advise you either to persevere or consider another nearby establishment.

Q: We’re planning a three day mountain excursion in September. Should we expect rain?

A: Rain is always a possibility during the tourist season in Kamikochi and raingear is always a necessity when hiking in the mountains. Finding yourself soaking wet with the temperature dropping at altitude is a dangerous predicament and, even if raingear seems superfluous, it’s better to need it and not have it than have it and not need it.

Q: Can I store my heavy bags somewhere in Kamikochi.

A: Five seconds on Google: boom.

Q: Do I have to pre-order my bus ticket from Sawando Parking Area?

A: No, you do not.

Q: Can you give me some information on walking times on the courses around central Kamikochi?

A: The information you seek is readily available from various sources including our free digital leaflet:

And with that, we conclude this week’s blog. Thanks as always to the intrepid bloggers at Five Sense for positing the informative articles and beautiful pictures that we plunder with such dizzying regularity.

To all our lovely readers, we hope the weekend goes down a treat.

Source of Images:

Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: