Hiking around Kamikochi

From Taisho-ike to Myojin-ike via Kappa-bashi Bridge

By Tomoko Kamishima    - 2 min read

If you are the type of person who likes walking along the water and viewing beautiful mountains, but hesitate to climb up a mountain path, Kamikochi Hiking is for you. This hiking course along the Azusa River is well maintained and almost flat. And it takes about only one hour each from Kappa-bashi to Myojin-ike or Taisho-ike Pond. You will feel quite satisfied with the view of these magnificent mountains that are in the 3000-meter class: Mt. Oku-Hodaka and Mt. Yake-dake. At Hodaka Shrine just in front of Myojin-ike Pond, they hold a special Shinto ritual on October 8 every year. Shinto maidens perform a ritual dance, and priests get on a small boat and go around the pond. A very famous mountain guide, Kamijo Kamonji had a hut near Myojin-ike Pond. Now, the great-great-grandson of Kamonji runs a restaurant and B&B in the same location. When you get there, please try their tasty grilled fish: It’s nice and soft and easy to eat bones and all. The places I introduce in this video (with some links provided) are listed below:

  1. Taisho-ike Pond: Azusa River & the Japanese Alps with morning mist
  2. Tashiro-ike Pond
  3. Kamikochi Imperial Hotel: Coffee made from water of Japanese Alps
  4. Kappa-bashi Bridge: So crowded that no Kappa were spotted!
  5. Camping Site near Kappa-bashi: Konashidaira campsite and its beautiful surroundings
  6. Hiking along Azusa River: Mountains, morning mist, and beautiful forests
  7. Myojin-ike Pond: Dead trees standing in the crystal clear pond
  8. Hodaka Shrine: Special Shinto ritual in October
  9. Kamonji Goya -1: Interview with descendant of mountain guide, Kamonji
  10. Kamonji Goya -2: Let's see how they cook their original grilled fish

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Tomoko Kamishima

Tomoko Kamishima @tomoko.kamishima

Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS:  An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here.  日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。

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Sleiman Azizi 2 months ago
Most definitely one of the most beautiful locations in Japan.
JapanTravel Guest
JapanTravel Guest 7 years ago
Nice video, they look like some lovely places to go!
Tomoko Kamishima Videographer 7 years ago
Daniel, the season of Kamikochi is from late April to mid November. Even in winter, there are some ways to enter this area, but it is a bit difficult.
Mandy Bartok 7 years ago
Thanks, Tomoko! Sorry I missed that the first time around. These videos are great!
Tomoko Kamishima Videographer 7 years ago
Thanks for comments, Mandy. I'm happy you enjoyed this video!
Tomoko Kamishima Videographer 7 years ago
Hi Mandy! The ceremony is on video #8 (see index at the bottom of this article). I explained it a little bit there.
Mandy Bartok 7 years ago
That video makes me want to return to Kamikochi right away! Nice job, Tomoko! What sort of ceremony was going on around minute 1:30-1:34?