Kamikochi

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Nagano Kamikochi national state | Spectacular Mountain Scenery

Nagano Kamikochi national state | Spectacular Mountain Scenery

Kamikochi is a small basin some 1,500 meters above sea level on the upper stream area of the Azusa-gawa River, which runs through the western part of Nagano. This popular resort area offers some of Japan's most spectacular mountain scenery. The Hodaka Mountain Range, Mt. Yake-dake and the Jonen Mountains surround Kamikochi, which is a part of Chubu-Sangaku National Park. It was Walter Weston, a British missionary and mountain climber, who introduced Kamikochi to the world in the 19th century. Since then many climbers have come to know about this place, considered to be one of the most scenic spots in Japan. The symbol of Kamikochi is the Kappa-bashi Bridge, a 36.6-meter-long and 3.1-meter-wide wooden suspension bridge over the Azusa-gawa River. With the Hodaka Mountain Range rising in front and the volcanic Mt. Yake-dake in the south billowing white smoke, Kappa-bashi is known as one of the most scenic spots in Kamikochi. From the Kappabashi, hiking trails lead up and down the valley and towards the summits of the surrounding mountains. The simplest way to enjoy a day in Kamikochi is by hiking the trails along Azusa River from Taisho Pond to Myojin Bridge. It is a mostly flat terrain and requires no hiking experience and only a few hours of time. The climbs to the surrounding peaks, however, are more challenging and only recommended between mid June and mid September. Kamikochi is particularly beautiful during the autumn foliage season, which usually peaks in mid October. A wide range of alpine flora can be viewed from May through October, with the best time being mid May through July. Among the wildlife to be observed are monkeys and various birds. Bears are rarely encountered.


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