Hike in Kamikochi, Tokusawa

Kappa Bridge and Japan Alps Mountains

On June 4th, I hiked in Kamikochi with two Japanese, one Brit and one American.
I think May and June is the best season in Kamikochi if the weather is fine (despite the rainy season) because we can see the Japan Alps mountains covered with snow, some wild flowers and the fresh green of trees. Also, it is less crowded than summer.


Nirin-so flowers

Especially, this is a season of Nirin-so (two-flower), the botanical name of which is anemone flaccida, one of the rare plants we can see only in some mountain areas. We could see plenty of Nirin-so flowers covering the ground, like a white and green carpet under the trees near Tokusawa campsite.

Tokusawa is a two-hour hike from Kamikochi bus terminal and Kappa Bridge, a famous sightseeing and photo spot. Most hikers in Kamikochi hike between Taisho Pond, Kappa Bridge and Myojin Pond. I recommend that you hike to Tokusawa and stay in the campsite if you like.

7 Responses to “Hike in Kamikochi, Tokusawa”

Angie says:

Hi Andy,

I’m planning to travel to Kamikochi in end April 2012. Do you know if I will be able to do day hikes in Tokusawa or would I need snow gear? Thanks.

Andy says:

Angie,

It depends on when in April you will come and the weather of this April. If you come before April 22, the road/bus to enter Kamikochi is closed, so you have to walk into Kamikochi with snow gear (snowshoes and/or cross country ski). See this article in this blog.
After April 22, you can come to Kappabashi Bridge without snow gear if snow doesn’t fall before you come. But, Tokusawa is deep in Kamikochi, so I guess you need snow gear.
Please browse photos in this blog for your reference.

Angie says:

Thanks Andy!

I plan to arrive at Kamikochi on 23 April. I will be in hiking shoes, but not snowshoes. Crossing my fingers that the road/bus to Kamikochi will be open by then!

Andy says:

Angie,
I will post a blog about road condition in Kamikochi before April 22.
You can rent snowshoes from the Mont-Bell sport shop in Swan Garden in Azumino-City and maybe from other shops.
Take care and good luck!

Angie says:

Great! Thanks. Looking forward to your post!

Leong says:

Hi Andy,

I plan to go hiking Yake-dake on late May 2012, is snowshoes required on the trail to Yake-dake?

Andy says:

Hi Leong,
I asked a person working for Yake-dake Mountain Lodge. In a usual case of late May, the trails would not be covered with so much snow (the ground temprature near Yake-dake is warmer because it is an active volcano!), but a little snow might remain on the trails and they might be icy in some places. So, snowshoes are not necessary but he recommend you take crampons.
Take care!