“Take a scenic winding bus up from Matsumoto to this idyllic spot in the ‘Japanese Alps’. Stroll beside the lakes reflecting the mountains or take an invigorating hike up to the snowline, safe in the knowledge that there are ample onsen and rotenburo (super-hot baths) to soothe any aching muscles.”
David Wall - Travel Consultant
Few bus journeys can compare with the one which will take you literally through the mountains and up to this national park, a plateau situated more than 2000 metres above sea level in the centre of the northern Japan Alps.
The drive is breathtaking, yet it is nothing compared to what you'll find on the other side of the tunnel which transports you to what feels like a different world.
This is the Japan which most Westerners don't know exists, a haven of truly outstanding natural beauty, home to wild bears (rarely seen), monkeys (keen to exhibit themselves), and many other varieties of animal and bird life.
A couple of nights here will give you the chance to enjoy some hiking, followed by a dip or two in the 'rotenburo', an outside hot-spring bath. A variety of accommodation is available from log cabins through to luxury ryokan and hotels. There are barbecue areas set aside in the Konashidaira camp site as well as a couple of eateries in case you fancy a bowl of noodles or a Japanese curry.
Don't forget to pack a woolly sweater as even in summer a night in the mountains can be a bit chilly, especially when skies are clear revealing an inspiring view of the heavens. Quite simply, Kamikochi will take your breath away.