Snapshots of Season’s End

A hearty hello to all of our readers around the world!

At 11:30 this morning an official closing ceremony or heizansai (閉山祭) was held at Kappa Bridge to mark the end of the 2022 season while offering thanks for safe passage through the mountains. The past seven months have seen a number of things change for the better as increased numbers of travelers found their way to the park amid less strict COVID restrictions. Early spring snow gave way to fresh green foliage, followed by a glorious summer and resplendent autumn.

And next year we get to do it all again.

The good folks at Five Sense have recently posted some beautiful photos of the last ten days in Kamikochi, so we thought we’d share those with you now. We begin with an evocative portrait of the Dakesawa Marsh:

From there, we our gaze our gaze downriver to Mt. Yake. The past year saw the mountain being declared off limits for a spell due to a spike in volcanic activity. These restrictions were later lifted, allowing hikers to visit once again.

Next, is a frosty looking Kappa Bridge with not a soul to be seen in the vicinity. And you’ll no doubt recognize Mt. Yake in the background.

The Hotaka peaks. Though the sun will often melt their snowy mantle over the course of the day, early risers could still catch a glimpse of these beauties in their early winter finery.

On nights with a full (or nearly full) moon, you can sometimes view the mountaintops in the moonlight, a difficult effect to capture on camera, but on that will surely stay with you.

And that was how things looked as Kamikochi was hunkering down for a long winter rest. Even as I write the 2022 season is growing smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror. But Kamikochi isn’t going anywhere and the gate will open on the morning of April 17th, 2023.

That’s all for today’s blog. Thanks as always to everyone at Five Sense for providing the images and info that make this blog possible.

We hope to be back in the near future with a detailed retrospective of the past season. Till then, keep warm and stay safe!

Source of Information:

Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: