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Written by: Michael Barbic
Date: 2011/07/06

After seemingly no end to the rain, the weather in Kamikōchi finally cleared up to present all with a grand sky of blue. And beautiful it is... Between the contrast of the blue sky, the new green of the mountains, the crystal clear blue of the Azusa-gawa River, and the slight traces of white snow remaining in the crags of the mountains, the scenery is heavenly. Looking down the Azusa-gawa River from Kappa-bashi Bridge, we can the solitary Mt. Yake-dake. And waiting here is a chance that you can't just find anywhere, the chance to experience a live volcano.

Yake-dake Surrounded by Blue Sky and Slight Traces of Clouds

Looking a bit more closely at the top, you can see smoke coming out of Mt. Yake-dake. Not only is Mt. Yake-dake volcanically live, its slopes have woken from their winter slumber and are now alive with green trees and plants thriving off of the warm temperatures and large amounts of rain of late.

Smoke Rising from Yake-dake

Looking the other way from Kappa-bashi Bridge, stands the majestic Mt. Hotaka-dake. It's really only a short matter of time now until my climbing boots find their way onto my feet and demand that I give these peaks a good climb. They really do have a will of their own!

Hotaka-dake with a Background of Blue Sky

Now that it's July, there are only a few weeks until rainy season lets up and the sun takes over. While the beauty of a sunny summer day is hard to match, the slightly lower temperatures and similar views of this season offer those of you who (like me) don't take the heat very well a great alternative to a mid-summer visit.

 

Sources of Information:

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

- Kamikōchi Hotel Shirakaba-sō (http://shirakabaso.com/)