Skip to content →

Kamikochi (2 of 2: closer views)

Best viewed after seeing previous post about this Japanese alpine valley.

The rivulet atop this post was photographed at dusk, a few minutes walk from our hotel which overlooked Taisho Pond, at the valley’s southern end.

The photo below was taken the previous morning, just a few minutes away.


Morning, May 12, 2017. Rivulet, near Taisho Pond.


Taisho Pond is several hours walk from Myojin Pond which is near the valley’s northern end; unless the weather is severe, walking the valley floor is very easy.

The village – Kamikochi’s “hub”, with bus station, multiple hotels, camping ground, visitors’ centre, museum/gallery, shops et al – is centrally located, a little closer to Myojin than to Taisho.

All photos taken on May 12 or 13, 2017. Below the last one is a little advice on when to go and where to stay.


Forest floor flora, beside path to Myojin Pond, northern part of Kamikochi.


Also in bloom, a few metres away. All photos copyright Doug Spencer.


Newish life, old rocks, Myojin Pond, May 12, 2017. Photo copyright Doug Spencer.


Mandarin Duck, Myojin Pond. Photo copyright Doug Spencer.


Lichens, fungi. Photo copyright Doug Spencer.



Fungi, mosses, lichens. Photo copyright Doug Spencer



Budding, dusk, May 13, 2017. Photos copyright Doug Spencer.


Budding, closer view. Photo copyright Doug Spencer.


In the non-snowbound months you can easily access Kamikochi many ways.

From Kyoto or Tokyo, Kamikochi is too far away for day-tripping, although a Kamikochi day trip from Takayama or Nagano would be feasible.

The valley is so lovely – and its weather so variable – that you really ought stay there at least one night, if coming from nearby, or at least two nights if you like to walk, and/or you are coming from Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto.

Especially in summer, weekends are best avoided…unless you wish to share your “remote alpine valley experience” with umpteen thousand Tokyo residents.

It is “more convenient” to stay in or near the village, but we were delighted with our “less convenient” choice.

We suspect that readers of this blog would likely agree that much the better option is the only one beside Taisho Pond.

Before we arrived at Taisyoike Hotel we thought its rates a little steep; having enjoyed their incredibly good, phenomenally generous, definitely-Japanese meals, we now wonder how they manage to charge so little.

(There is no additional charge for your breakfast and dinner. The only “minus” is one Taisyoike shares with most such really-Japanese accommodation – dinner is at 6pm, precisely, non-negotiable)

Staff were unfailingly gracious.

I think the Western style rooms must have been upgraded, recently; we were very happy in our Japanese style room, but did see the Western one, next door.

Contrary to some online advice, neither room was “better” than the other, and both overlooked Taisho Pond …and up to the nearby volcano.

One minute’s walk away is the jaw dropping view, north, as per photo atop previous Kamikochi post.

If you do not wish to walk to the village, inbound buses will get you there, as will taxis – bus stop is right in front of hotel, and taxis are a hotel frontdesk’s call away.

Published in Americas and Eurasia and Africa nature and travel photographs


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *