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Written by: William Habington
Date: 2012/06/21

It's both the best of times and the wettest of times here at the Gateway to the Northern Alps.  While warmer weather brings new varieties of plant life and greater numbers of people to Kamikochi, the arrival of the rainy season will have you checking the weather and making sure you have all the right rain gear for any trips to the park.

 

Last Sunday, visitors to Kamikochi enjoyed pitch perfect sunny weather, after the early morning rain had stopped.  Clear skies gave the mountains a majestic backdrop, and the Azusa river was a lustrous blue colour.  Looking at the trees in the pictures, you can see how the leaves have turned a deep green with the arrival of summery weather:

 

穂高焼岳

 

We're also pleased to announce that the geraniums are now in bloom.  They are a great favourite among nature lovers (as well as the local insect life).

 

グンナイグンナイ

 

 

If you're planning a trip to the park, you will want to check the weather forecasts for the duration of your stay.  For those of us who live in the area, memories of last Tuesday's typhoon are still fresh and getting caught in a downpour isn't much fun.  While hardcore hikers will often brave the elements to get out for their weekend trek, others may prefer to delay a visit by a day or two to avoid heavy rain.

 

Remember, having good rain gear is a must for any hike, and never more so than during rainy season.   A "kappa" (or full-body rainsuit) is considered essential as is a waterproof cover for your backpack.  Really, these items can save you a lot of trouble and discomfort.  Avoiding cotton clothing, which takes a long time to dry once it gets wet is also a good idea.

 

Don't let any of these things discourage you from visitng Kamikochi.  With the tourist season yet to reach its peak, early summer can be a nice to to explore the park in relative peace.  We do however strongly encourage you to plan your trip with the possiblity of rain in mind.  Planning ahead can make for a better experience all around.

 

For more detailed info on what to bring with you to the mountains, please have a look at this helpful article elsewhere on our site: http://www.kamikochi.org/articles/featured-articles/83-mountain-safety

 

 

 

Source of Information:

 

- Kamikōchi National Park Guide Website (http://npg-alps.net/)