Category Archives: Kamikochi

Hiking in the Northern Japanese Alps

From the Azusa River to the peak of Mt Yarigatake, through the exhilarating Daikiretto, over Mt Hotaka and back down to the valley floor of Kamikochi. There were a lot of great opportunities for photography during my hiking trip in the Northern Japanese Alps and these are my favourites. I loved exploring such a unique part of Japan and hopefully I’ll come back one day to check out any spots I missed the first time round.

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Mt Hotaka to Kamikochi

After battling through some heavy fog I eventually made my way back down to civilization, it seemed to take forever but there were some nice views and a few double ladders to enjoy along the way. When I arrived back in Kamikochi the first thing I did was hunt down food and lots of it. After some yakitori, koroke, noodles and ice cream I got on the bus and made my way back to Tokyo, what a trip!

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A Night at Myojinkan Lodge

I arrived at Myojinkan Lodge a little after 6pm and it turns out they were already having dinner, whoops! I fumbled my way through some broken Japanese before happily joining them. Lucky I didn’t turn up any later as heavy rain came down not long after I arrived. Got a good nights sleep before getting up nice and early to start my climb to the summit of Mt Yari, the weather had cleared up a bit too, bonus!

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Hiking in Kamikochi is Awesome

I’ve enjoyed exploring Kamikochi, hiking along a variety of paths that always seem to lead somewhere special. There’s been mysterious ponds, misty streams, magic bridges, monkeys, marshes, monuments and lots of other things (that all seem to start with the letter M for some reason). Hiking in Kamikochi hereby receives the distinguished honor of being awesome, congrats to the mayor of Nagano (don’t expect a certificate though). From here my journey continues upwards into the Hida Mountains, the heart of the Northern Japanese Alps.

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Beautiful Myojinike Pond

My walk along the trail in Kamikochi led me to the Myojinike Pond (technically that says Myojin Pond Pond but who’s counting?), a beautiful spot that I shared with exactly zero monkeys and even less people. The weather was getting a little gloomy and there was an eerie fog hanging around so the scene was gorgeous.

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Monkey Business

There’s a lot of monkeys here in Kamikochi so it’s been fun watching them go about their daily business (and no not that kind of daily business). They don’t seem to mind me sharing their playground for a while which is nice, even if they are a little reluctant to give me room on the pathway at times.

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Following the Azusa River

The Azusa River flows through Kamikochi so it makes sense to follow it where possible. It’s a popular spot so there’s quite a few people exploring the area, especially near the famous Kappabashi Bridge (Kappa alert!).

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Taisho Lake – A Journey Begins

Well look at that, I’m back in Japan! Not 100% sure why but who cares! My new journey begins at Taisho Lake, which is in a mountainous area of Nagano called Kamikochi. I’ll be hiking from here through the Japanese Alps to Mount Doom where I will destroy the One Ring, haha here’s hoping I make it back!

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