When you think of Japan, what kind of place comes to your mind? Is it a big city like Tokyo? Is it a traditional town like Kyoto? Japan is also a country rich in nature. Have you ever been to a mountain in Japan?

What kind of place is Kamikochi?

Kamikochi is one of Japan’s most famous summer resorts, and is also a protected national park.
Kamikochi is located in Nagano Prefecture. Located in the Japanese Alps, which is surrounded by mountains over 3,000 meters high, it is popular as a cool summer resort and a famous spot for autumn leaves.Kamikochi offers beautiful scenery in all seasons (you cannot enter in winter due to mountain entry regulations).

Kamikochi has long been an object of Japanese faith as the place where gods descended in ancient Japanese mythology (“神降地” and “上高地” have the same sound KAMIKOCHI. “上高地” is the place name of this area, and “神降地” means the place where the gods descended.). Therefore, the shrine’s torii gate is still erected and rituals are held there, attracting a lot of faith.

Highlights of Kamikochi

Around Kappa Bridge

Kappa Bridge, located halfway between Taisho Pond and Myojin Pond, is a symbol of Kamikochi. It is also a great photo spot with a panoramic view of the Hotaka Mountain Range beyond the suspension bridge spanning the Azusa River.Kappa is a legendary creature that has been popular in Japan since ancient times, but it is not known why this bridge was given its name.

Myojin Pond

“Myojin Pond” consists of the vast “Ichi-no-ike” and the garden-like “Nino-ike”. A power spot located deep within the precincts of Hotaka Shrine Okumiya, with a sacred atmosphere. Because it is made from spring water, the water is crystal clear, clearly reflecting the blue sky and greenery in the summer, and creating a magical landscape in the winter. You can eat charcoal-grilled char at a hut near the pond.

Taisho Pond

This pond was created when the Azusa River was dammed due to the eruption of Mt. Yakedake in 1915. Withered trees stand in the pond filled with deep emerald water, creating a mystical atmosphere.

Kamikochi Imperial Hotel

Kamikochi Imperial Hotel in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture is operated by Imperial Hotel Co., Ltd., the same company that operates Imperial Hotel Tokyo in Hibiya. This is Japan’s first full-fledged mountain resort hotel, opened in 1933 (Showa 8).

Although it is not a large room, it is clean and relaxing as a mountain resort with a classic atmosphere.

Kamikochi Imperial Hotel is located in a location surrounded by magnificent nature such as the Hotaka Mountain Range, Azusa River, and Taisho Pond, and its red triangular roof, which resembles a Swiss mountain hut, is a landmark of Kamikochi. Another highlight is the approximately 5m-tall mantelpiece that has an overwhelming presence in the lobby lounge.

Click here for the official website of Kamikochi Imperial Hotel. Reservations can also be made here.Due to snow, access to Kamikochi is restricted in winter. Therefore, the business period is from late April to early November, and accommodation reservations usually begin from February 1st. If you are planning to use the service during the busy season, please make your reservation as early as possible, such as aiming for the reservation start date of February 1st.

KAMIKOCHI IMPERIAL HOTEL | Heavenly in Every Way, high atop the Japan Alps
In a pristine natural setting, surrounded by shimmering mountaintops and crystal clear rivers. Imperial service, country charm, sophisticated cuisine. One-of-a-...

Dakesawa Wetland

Dakesawa Wetland is recommended for an early morning walk. Dakesawa Wetland is a beautiful and popular spot located on the right bank road of the Azusa River leading to Myojin Pond. Walking along the wooden path through the forest in the morning mist, you can see beautiful streams with clear water and alpine plants. Sometimes you may come across Japanese macaques.

How to access Kamikochi?

We recommend using public transportation to get to Kamikochi. Go to Matsumoto Station in Nagano Prefecture, and from there take a bus or local train to Kamikochi Bus Terminal. You cannot drive your own car through Kamikochi.

Public Transportation

You can also reach Kamikochi by public transportation.

Direct Bus

There are direct buses from Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, etc.