• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    6.2 Miles

Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic

Beautiful day-trip in the Japanese alps

This hidden gem lies close to Matsumoto. Very conveniently connected with public transport, it should be easy for you to get here from any bigger town.

A welcome variation from urban Japan, this valley lies deep in the Japanese Alps. Only the beginning is accessible for cars, after that you can go explore the nature. A Wonderful river flows through the whole valley, being the only thing disrupting the mystical forest of Kamikochi. Just a few minutes past the Visitor Center you can enjoy perfect solitude, just being surrounded by trees.

The valley offers a lot of trails, which are all well maintained. The ones who like to take it easy can stay close to the entry area, but you can walk as far as your feet take you. You will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains as well as visiting a little temple, deeply hidden in the woods. For the adventurous there is a small inn at a bridge; you could stay there!

Pack List

  • Hiking boots
  • Rain protection
  • Camera
  • Cash to pay fro food, transport etc
  • Snacks /boxed lunch
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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After the first 2 or 3 hours of walking you get out of the crowded areas and the scenery becomes absolutely stunning. Over 3-5 days you can climb to the top of some of Japan's highest peaks and be quite alone for hours at a time (rare in Japan). The trails actually get fun and challenging at points. Lots of metal ladders up vertical rock sections and even pegs stuck in the rock. You never have to do any real rock climbing so it's still relaxed. But you'll see tons of people carrying full mountaineering gear for some reason. Tent camping is free to 1000 yen depending where and usually has running water and a real toilet. There are "huts" you can stay and eat at but they are expensive 10,000 yen a night. If you don't stay there don't count on eating anything other then lunch at huts. The map you can buy at the town is super good. No ATM in the town, or any real supplies (especially good backpacking food) but tons of restaurants and onsens.

7 months ago
7 months ago

Benedikt Jürges

Based in Rotterdam, NL, I try to see as much of the world as possible. Passionate about hiking, photography, and road trips

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