20 Accommodations

Spectacular Views of The Alps

70 min From Takayama

70 min From Matsumoto

Kamikochi is the park’s most famous scenic spot. Its beginner-friendly trails take visitors through lush forests, with views of the magnificent peaks of the Hotaka range reflected in Taisho Pond. Kamikochi is also the gateway to many of the park’s 3,000-meter-high summits, and hikers and mountaineers flock here to begin their climbs into the clouds.


AVERAGE WEATHER

1,500 m (4,921 ft)

  • Spring

    HIGH11˚C52˚F
    LOW8˚C46˚F
  • Summer

    HIGH19˚C66˚F
    LOW17˚C62˚F
  • Fall

    HIGH12˚C54˚F
    LOW10˚C50˚F
  • Winter

    HIGH-2˚C28˚F
    LOW-5˚C23˚F

DON'T MISS

  • A photo in front of Kappa Bridge
  • Starwatching
  • Kamikochi Visitor Center

HOW TO GET HERE

USEFUL TIPS

Although credit cards are accepted at most hotels, many local cafes and eateries only accept cash so come prepared.

OFFICIAL SITE

ABOUT THE AREA

Many visitors to Kamikochi are left stunned by their first view of the valley. As you emerge from the forest, the valley entrance opens onto the sight of Mt. Yakedeake’s active volcanic peak, clouds of steam rising from its bleached summit. Ahead are the calm, clear waters of Taisho Pond, formed when the mountain’s most recent eruption, in 1915, dammed the river. The scenery is magnificent in all seasons, but many locals believe that the contrast of lush green foliage, barren rock and snow-crusted valleys in early summer shows Kamikochi at its finest.

Serious hikers start their ascents to the area’s highest summits from Kamikochi. But the majority of visitors prefer to walk the gentle trails along the Azusa River, through forests of larch, elm, and a unique member of the willow family called kesho-yanagi, or “make-up willow,” for the dusting of white powder that appears on young saplings. Wildflowers, butterflies and mammals—including monkeys and black bears—can be spotted in the area, and bird watchers come from far and wide to delight in its many migratory and nonmigratory species.

A great deal of effort goes into protecting Kamikochi. Private cars have been banned from the area since 1996, and only buses and taxis are allowed beyond the tunnel that leads into the park. The number of lodging facilities—which range from elegant hotels to campsites—is restricted, so it is best to reserve accommodation well in advance.

Visitors are asked to cooperate in protecting the area’s natural beauty. Due to heavy snowfall in the winter months, transportation to Kamikochi is only available from April 17 to November 15. The peak seasons are around the beginning of May and from late July to October.

THINGS TO SEE & DO IN KAMIKOCHI

This mark shows the orign of distance (when sorting by distance) and/or tourist information centers.

THEMES

ACTIVITY CATEGORY