Trail Conditions Update: Kappa Bridge to Myojin

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

I write to you on the most auspicious of occasions. Tomorrow morning, Kamikochi will open to public transportation granting access to the first wave of early visitors.

Today’s blog will address a topic that many people have raised: what is the current condition of paths in Kamikochi?

For starters, you can expect to traverse all of the paths, including all of the barrier free trails around central Kamikochi (Kappa Bridge, the Bus Depot, and surrounds). These trails will be free of snow.

Encouragingly, reports from our friends at Five Sense inidcate that the paths linking central Kamikochi to the Myojin area are also mostly clear of snow.

We begin by looking at a rare snowy patch along the left bank of the Azusa River:

What you see here is a stretch of about 2-3cm deep snow. You would want to have sturdy, water-resistant hiking boots to traverse an area like this.

In most places, however, the conditons are more like this:

Keen-eyed readers might notice that there is some residual sodden ground from melted snow here which would still merit the used of water-resistant footwear.

If you do encounter a snowy patch such as the one seen below, please bear in mind that the remaining snow might harden during cold periods making it slippery. During warm periods, it takes on a slushy, sherbet-like texture. If I were you, I’d spray my boots with water resitant coating before tackling this kind of terrain.

Up to this point, we’ve been looking at pictures of the trail along the left bank of the Azusa River. The right bank has even less snow due to the fact that it gets more sun than the left. The below pictures show conditions along the wooden plank paths:

As you can see, even the snowier stretches are clear of snow along the paths. Please be aware that dampness resulting from melted snow will create conditions requiring water resistant footwear.

So, your major takeaway from today’s blog should be that, if you venture beyond central Kamikochi, do so with appropriate footwear.

Opening Day Weather

According to, tomorrow morning will see rain giving way to clear conditions and afternoon highs rising to an astonishing 20 degrees Celsius. You’ll want to make sure that you can stow your jacket away if you start to feel too warm in the midday heat. Don’t be fooled though, when you’re out of direct sunlight, the temperature can turn cool in an instant. We recommend perparing clothing suitable for a variety of contingencies, including midday showers.

We’ll be back with more updates on the spring season over the coming weeks. Till then, take care and be well.

Sources of Information:

Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: