|picturesque Tashiro Pond in the softly falling rain|
Kamikōchi is in Chubu-sangaku National Park. Surrounded by North Japan Alps, it is a long plateau in the valley of Azusa River approximately 16 kilometers in length at altitude of about 1500 meters. Walking leisurely on rather flat topography is refreshing, and if you like mountain climbing, this is a gateway to the mountains of North Japan Alps.
On September 1st, it was raining on and off with occasional little patch of blue sky.
This scenery reminded me of 緑映 by 東山魁夷 .
Taisho-ike pond was formed by the volcanic activity of Mt. Yake-dake (2455 m) in 1915. Mud avalanche blocked Azusa River. On a sunny day, the reflections of Mt. Yake-dake beautifully appear on the surface of pond.
On my first visit when I was a student, I was enchanted by the view of numerous standing withered trees and boulders in the pond which created unique atmosphere. The number of standing withered trees had drastically decreased since my second visit of a decade ago.
Passing Taisho Pond, we followed hiking trail in the forest of Erman's birches (岳樺, ﾀﾞｹｶﾝﾊﾞ) and white birches. I once saw Japanese monkeys who are around here all the year round.
This spider is new to me.
At Tashiro Pond, clear water reflects sky, mountains, and the flowers covering the edge of the pond. Tashiro-ike Pond never freeze completely because water from Mt. Kasumisawa-dake (2646 m)springs underneath. Since the earth and sand made by the erosion of Mt. Kasumisawa-dake has flowed into the pond with water, the pond area has been decreasing little by little. In some area, the pond has turned into marshes with accumulation of dead leaves.
The current Tashiro Bridges was completed in 1998. This is made of Japanese larch and cypress produced in Nagano prefecture. Here is the starting point of Nishi-Hotaka Mountain trekking course.
Kamikochi Imperial Hotel built in 1933 is the most prestigious mountain resort hotel. The timber-sided architecture with red roof is eyecatching but in harmony with the forest.
upper part of the front entrance
We got back to the river and walked along. The water is clear and quite cold even in the middle of summer because the waters are mainly from melted snow runoff.
Kappa Bridge, a wooden suspension bridge, is a symbol of Kamikochi. Toward upstream, summits of Mt. Nishihotaka-dake (2909m), Okuhotaka-dake (3190m) and Myojin-dake can be seen from the bridge. Toward downstream, Yake-dake with slight smoke coming out due to its volcanic activity can be seen.
downpour. Karasawa beyond Myojin-ike Pond is a base for Oku-hotaka Mountain trekking course.
|image via Wikimedia|
Kamikochi has been developed moderately. There are not many hotels, restaurants, and mountain huts. Private cars can't enter Kamikochi and visitors must take shuttle buses.
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Today I’m feeling cool and crisp autumn air after prolonged influence of typhoon No.12. Though it didn’t hit Nara City directly and we have no damages, record torrential rain by the typhoon caused terrible landslides and floddings in southern Nara Prefecture and Wakayama prefecture. Thank you for your concerns.