Kamikochi is a tourist resort in the upper reaches of the Zigawa River in the southern part of the Hida Mountains in western Nagano Prefecture, Japan, at an altitude of about 1,500 meters, and is under the jurisdiction of Matsumoto City as a whole. The area is dotted with not only many human attractions, but also a series of beautiful natural scenic spots including Taisho Pond, Tashiro Pond, and Tokorozawa, and is designated as a special place of interest and a special natural monument in Japan.
Kamikochi is the centerpiece of the Central Japan Mountain National Park, which was introduced to the world by the British missionary Walter Weston in the Meiji era and has since become one of the most representative mountain resorts in Japan.
The area has a mixture of deciduous broad-leaved forests and alpine coniferous forests with lush vegetation, and there are willow trees at the edge of the river, which are beautiful in spring and summer. There are many wild ducks inhabiting the Zichuan River and Taisho Pond. These ducks do not migrate and are not wary of humans, so visitors can observe them playing in the water up close.
There is a tourist information center in Kamikochi, which provides information about the landscape and hiking in the area, so first-time visitors can visit the center to learn about the distribution of attractions.
How to get there
If you are accessing by train, you will need to transfer to a bus from the nearest station, such as Matsumoto, Niijima, or Takayama Station, and these buses will always pass through Sawatari or Hirayu Onsen parking lots on their route. In addition, taking into consideration that parking lots and bus stops at parking lots are very crowded during high season, it is often easier and less stressful to take the train or bus instead of your own car.
The approximate time required by train from each major city is as follows.
About 2 hours and 30 minutes from Tokyo
Approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes from Osaka
About 2 hours and 30 minutes from Nagoya
You can take the Sawayaka Shinshu-go bus from Tokyo and Osaka, or the Meitetsu Bus from Nagoya to the Kamikochi Bus Terminal. Buses run daily during the season, but reservations are difficult to obtain during peak season, so early planning and reservations are recommended.