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.
Few road journeys can compare with the approach Kamikochi, hidden away in the alpine peaks. The drive through the mountains is breath-taking, yet it is nothing compared to what you'll find on the other side, as the tunnels transport you to what feels like a different world. Situated more than 2,000 metres above sea level in the centre of the northern Japan Alps, Kamikochi is a national park of stunning natural beauty.
Kamikochi found fame in prominent Japanese Novelist Ryunosuke Akutagawa novel Kappa, and was given national park status in 1934 after Prince Chubusangaku himself climbed Okuhotakadake and Yarigatake mountains from Kamikochi.
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 warming bowl of noodles or a Japanese curry.
Don't forget to pack a woolly sweater as even in the summer months a night in the mountains can be a bit chilly, with temperatures on average around 5°C less than in Tokyo. As night falls temperatures will drop as the clear skies reveal an inspiring view of the heavens. Quite simply, Kamikochi will take your breath away.
Weather in Kamikochi
The Climate Guide for Kamikochi, Japan is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.
|Max Daytime Temperature (°C)||0||1||5||13||18||21||25||26||21||15||9||3|
|Min Night-time Temperature (°C)||-9||-9||-5||1||6||12||16||17||13||5||-1||-6|
|Hours of Sunshine (Daily)||4||4||5||6||6||5||4||5||4||4||4||4|
|Hours of Daylight (Daily)||10||11||12||13||14||15||14||13||12||11||10||10|
|Heat and Humidity Discomfort||None||None||None||None||None||None||Low||Low||None||None||None||None|
|Days with some Rainfall||23||21||20||17||16||20||22||19||19||15||16||21|
|Monthly Rainfall (mm)||43||58||95||121||129||210||227||167||224||109||74||35|
|UV Index (Maximum)||2||4||6||8||9||10||11||10||8||6||3||2|