Kamikochi Volcanic Scenery Walking Tour in Nagano

Overview

With a guide, enjoy and experience nature’s sanctuary: Kamikochi. Connect with magnificent nature — lush greenery, pristine waters, and towering peaks — as you walk towards Kamikochi’s popular landmarks and appreciate its otherworldly beauty.

Highlights

  • Explore the scenic Kamikochi area with an English-speaking guide
  • Visit the beautiful Taisho and Tashiro Ponds, with waters that reflect stunning alpine and volcanic scenery
  • See the iconic Kappa Bridge suspended over the gleaming Azusa River
  • Refuel with water drawn from Shimizu River, and enjoy tea and sweets
  • Discover the delights of walking through the landscapes of Japan’s National Parks, on a tour you’ll never forget!

Key Information

Important Information

- This tour requires a minimum of 2 participants - This tour is open to guests of all ages - Participants must be in good physical condition - Infants aged 0–5 may join free of charge - Children aged 0–11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian - If we have to cancel the tour due to inclement weather, we’ll inform you the day before to refund or reschedule Kamikochi Bus Terminal area has the following facilities and amenities: - Luggage storage - Restrooms* - Restaurant Taishoike Hotel area and Kappa Bridge area have the following facilities: - Restrooms* - Restaurant - Gift shop Kamikochi Visitor Center (not the Information Center) has the following facilities: - Restrooms* - Gift shop *You may need to pay to use the toilet Kamikochi, Azumi, Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture By direct express bus: There are direct buses departing from Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, to Kamikochi Bus Terminal By car: Drive to Sawando Bus Terminal or Hirayu Bus Terminal. From there, take a shuttle bus or taxi to Kamikochi Bus Terminal By train from Matsumoto area: From Matsumoto Station, take the Matsumoto Dentetsu Line to Shin-Shimashima Station. From there, take a shuttle bus to Kamikochi Bus Terminal By train from Takayama area: Take a bus from Takayama Station via Hirayu Bus Terminal to Kamikochi Bus Terminal Morning route: Meet in front of Taishoike Hotel • Get off at Taisho Pond bus stop on the way to or from Kamikochi Bus Terminal Afternoon route: Meet in front of Kamikochi Visitor Center • 10 minutes on foot from Kamikochi Bus Terminal • Please note that the Visitor Center is not the Information Center; they are different Please note: • Only 2 or 3 buses per hour run to Kamikochi Bus Terminal • Private cars are allowed only as far as the Sawando Parking Area or the Hirayu Parking Area near Kamikochi Please understand that in booking this activity, we may share your booking information (but without individually identifiable data) to the Ministry of the Environment, with which this activity is affiliated. By making a booking, you signify that you agree to these terms.

Description

A place of extraordinary natural beauty, Chubusangaku National Park boasts numerous locations that offer close encounters with nature. Of these spots, Kamikochi is the star attraction, raking in over a million visitors each year. Kamikochi enjoys tremendous popularity owing to its otherworldly, breathtaking scenery: verdant forests, a towering volcano, and the azure waters of the picture-perfect Azusa River — all set against the backdrop of the snow-kissed Northern Japan Alps. Kamikochi’s natural jewels remain undeveloped and undisturbed, left alone to naturally flourish. Besides being a prime example of Japan’s reverence for the environment, Kamikochi embodies the divine, magnificent workings of nature. On this walking tour, you’ll get better acquainted with Kamikochi. The area is the starting point for some of the best mountain hikes, but the terrain filled with noteworthy attractions is just as excellent for long walks. You’ll take the easiest — but no less scenic — course, led by an English-speaking guide who will show you the best of Kamikochi. By learning interesting facts and gaining more insights, you’ll leave with a better understanding and appreciation of the area. If you take the morning tour, you’ll set off from Taishoike Hotel. From there, you’ll walk to your first stop: Taisho Pond. Formed by volcanic activity, Taisho Pond’s waters originally flowed from Azusa River, before the eruption of the nearby Mt. Yakedake blocked the river flow and created the pond. Taisho Pond serves as a reminder of nature’s harmonious workings. Though shaped by a disruptive eruption, Taisho Pond now boasts an incredible scenery, for which it is most known: an abundance of trees surrounding its marshlands, and the neighboring peaks of Mt. Hotakadake and Mt. Yakedake being reflected on the pond’s surface. As you move along the trail, toward Tashiro Pond, you’ll see yet more sights along the way: marshes, clear streams, and vegetation. Troops of monkeys also roam the area, so look out for them! Then, at Tashiro Pond, you’ll find waters that are just as clear as those of Taisho Pond. Though small in size and rather shallow, Tashiro Pond’s most attractive quality is that it does not freeze in the height of winter. Rather, it continues to reflect the stunning mountain views. From there, cross Tashiro Bridge and head to the striking Kappa Bridge — one of Kamikochi’s iconic bridges, which hangs over the gleaming Azusa River. It offers spectacular alpine scenery, highlighting the Hotaka Mountain Range. Refuel with a 40-minute break. Connecting with nature more intimately, you’ll draw water from the Shimizu River yourself to drink or use for your matcha green tea. Pair your cup of tea with delicious Japanese sweets for a delightful teatime treat. Your tour ends here. Alternatively, choose the afternoon route to take the same trail in reverse. You’ll meet your group at Kamikochi Visitor Center. Then, you’ll start by drawing water from the Shimizu River to hydrate you along the way and to keep for later, during your well-deserved break. Your first stop will be Tashiro Bridge, which you’ll cross to walk to Tashiro Pond. Finally, once you reach Taisho Pond you’ll rest and enjoy some tea and sweets. Once you’ve recharged, your tour ends. Set in a rural location between Nagano’s Matsumoto City and Gifu’s Takayama City, Kamikochi is the perfect retreat from the big city. Take this tour for a refreshingly scenic walk in this rustic area!

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