Kamikochi: Adventure in Nature

It was rainy and cloudy during the first few days of my trip around central Japan. I was already in Matsumoto and the weather was still bad, but after the first day, the skies cleared and I was able to visit Kamikochi.


Nature at its Finest

The manager of the hostel sold me on visiting this park after he talked about it and showed me the photos on a brochure. I made my mind up to go the following day because there was a window of good weather for around two days. I had the option to either take the 5-ish bus in the morning or just take the train and another bus ride to get to Kamikochi. I was too lazy to wake up early so I decided to take the second option instead.


I didn't expect the weather to be cold, especially in the middle of June, luckily I bought some thick clothes with me. I was so used to the weather in the Philippines and underestimated how cold the Japanese highlands to be even in summer. The train ride took me to the countryside, it was unlike the Philippines where the farther you travel away from the big cities, the poorer the places become. In this part of Japan, although not as rich as the metropolises, the farms are in good condition and the people having decent lives. You can see green as far as the eyes could see with the mountains as their beautiful background.

The train and bus ride were uneventful and as soon as I alighted I hit the ground running and walked the trail that led to the resorts and bridge. The view that greeted me was nothing short of spectacular.


One mountain range still had snow, which was surprising because summer/rainy season was already in full swing. There was an option to go on a day hike up one of the surrounding mountains, but I thought it was too late in the day to do it. I might not make it back down in time to catch the return bus. The lower trail provided enough beautiful surprises anyway so I still enjoyed the day out,




The azure-tinged waters that flowed through the valley along with the surrounding verdant mountain ranges were picture perfect.




The trails through the forest and to the ponds were tourist-friendly, I saw families and old couples enjoying nature.




There are a handful of scenic and beautiful marshes and ponds, which are perfect places to sit down and contemplate, or simply do nothing in and just enjoy the beauty of nature. The mirror-like waters of the ponds are serene and awe-inducing. There is a myth surrounding Myojin Pond, wherein Hotakami-No-Mikoto descended from the heavens to become the guardian deity of the Japanese Alps. Kamikochi is not only a beautiful park, but is also an important part of Japanese culture and mythology.


It was a short day trip to Kamikochi, but one of the highlights during my trip around Central Japan.

How to get to Kamikochi

From Matsumoto City, you have the option to take a direct bus, I don't know the exact price because I took an alternative route. From Matsumoto Station, ride a train bound for Shinshimashima Station, which costs Y1400 round trip. From the station, board a bus bound for Kamikochi for Y3400 round trip.

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