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Written by: William Habington
Date: 2013/10/07


After weeks of talking about how autumn is gradually coming to Kamikochi and the peak period of colorful foliage is just around the corner, we're finally seeing some significant changes in color at higher elevations.  Eager to document these new developments for himself, staff writer William Habington joined a friend for a day hike to Mount Yake, a centerpiece of Kamikochi's landscape and one of the many famous peaks which are easily accessible from the park.  Being an active volcano, Yake seems to have a special charm for western visitors.


What they saw up top surpassed all expectations.  Under an intensely blue sky lay a rich pallette of red, yellow, and orange leaves that marked the arrival of "kouyou" season in Kamikochi.  We hope you enjoy this photo-packed report on their trip.



Read more: Mount Yake Ablaze with Color 

Written by: William Habington
Date: 2012/05/25

On Saturday May 19th, I had the pleasure of taking part in an event called the "Mizu Walk" along the Asuza River.

In addition to much needed exercise, it gave me occasion to think about the significance of rivers in general and the Azusa in particular. Like all rivers, the Asuza is an invigorating presence in the communities through which it flows and to which it gives a sense of connection. But it is also more than that. A survey of local history reveals both a deep religious significance and a connection to ancient culture as fascinating as it is mysterious.



Read more: Azusa: Nature and Culture Flow as One in the Sacred River 

Written by: Michael Barbic
Date: 2011/08/08

Before you head out to climb Mt. Yarigatake the Japanese Matterhorn, the picture-perfect peaks of Mt. Hotaka-dake, or Mt. Yakedake the mysterious volcano which fumes in the background, ask yourself one question. “Am I fully prepared for all the things I'm planning to do?” I'm sure many of you can honestly answer yes without hesitation, but I'm sure there are some of you who can't say the same.

“So, what do I need?” you may ask. Well, depending on what you plan to be doing, answers vary. Of course you need gear, but more importantly you need knowledge.

Read more: What Do We Need for a Safe Trip to the Mountains?

Written by: Sodai Taira
Date: 2011/11/06


Although Kamikochi is one of the most famous tourist spots in Japan with visitors coming from all over the world, there are still relatively unknown things about Kamikochi.

   One of the most interesting and intriguing points of Kamikochi's history is the story of an aged man who was amazingly able to live alone in the untouched and harsh natural conditions of Kamikochi over 100 years ago. Making a living through fishing and hunting, this man built a hut alongside Myojin-ike Pond.

   Earning high praise from the English Missionary Walter Weston (the man who introduced the greatness of Kamikochi to the world), this legend's name is Kamijo Kamonji.


Read more: The Oldest Hut in Kamikōchi

Written by: Sodai Taira
Date: 2011/07/26

Tokugo Hut

   In the past, the times when KamaTunnel was not yet open, the local people from Shin-Shimashima would walk in and out of Kamikōchi to earn their living.

   During the Edoperiod (1603-1868), a woodsman who went for logging and in the Meiji period (1868-1912), Hyakujiro Kamijo took local cows up there to graze.

   Right now, this mountain trail known as "Tokugo-Toge-Goe" which requires good 9 hours of walking to pass.

Read more: Past and Present of Tokugo Pass