Kamikochi – Day 2

The next day we set off and took a different route across the river to walk back to the station. The hiking route actually continues all the way around the river and then to the summit of the peaks but not quite at this level yet:

Kamikochi D2-1

Bridge over the river:

Kamikochi D2-2

This side of the river is mostly wetland and you walk along boardwalks through the marshes:

Kamikochi D2-5

Ducks:

Kamikochi D2-4

Even though it’s the middle of summer there is still some snow and ice:

Kamikochi D2-6

The kappa-bashi bridge:

Kamikochi D2-7

Monument to Walter Weston, a British missionary who first popularised mountaineering in Japan (previously it was mainly only for religious ascetics) and campaigned to have Kamikochi preserved as a national park. Apparently the monument was hidden during the war to save it from being melted down:

Kamikochi D2-8

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Kamikochi – Day 1

We decided to escape the 35 degree heat on the weekend and go camping up into the Japanese Alps of Nagano to the Kamikochi area. The area is a National Park where cars are prohibited from entering for ‘preserving and maintaining the virgin nature’. Which, of course, brings bus-loads of tourists. But, once you get further up away from the crowds (and don’t look too closely at the bulldozed river), it really is a very scenic and beautiful spot.

With the soaring mountain peaks, it is truely deserving of its tag ‘The Japanese Alps’:

Kamikochi D1-1

Once past the bus-stop and main tourist area, the hiking course winds up the slope along the river:

Kamikochi D1-2

And then back into a birch forest:

Kamikochi D1-33

There are small streams running through the forest – I imagine in spring they would be flooded with melt-off from the snow:

Kamikochi D1-4

Kamikochi D1-5

Every now and then we could catch a glimpse of the mountain peaks:

Kamikochi D1-3

After a couple of hours walking through the forest we came back out towards the river and eventually the campsite:

Kamikochi D1-6

Sunset:

Kamikochi D1-7