Monkeying around in Kamikochi – Central Honshu – Japan

One of our most recent adventures was hiking in Kamikochi national park (said to be the most scenic spot in the Japanese Alps) and coming across these playful and curious Japanese Macaque (Japanese snow monkeys).

Japanese macaque
Japanese macaque
Time for a refreshing ice water drink
Time for a refreshing ice water drink

Although we had hoped for summer weather the rainy season had started somewhat early once we arrived on the actual mountain… So we arrived to a temperature of 9 degrees celsius but once we got the legs moving it was well worth the chill. (It should be noted how ill prepared we were – we turned up in shorts and light summer jumpers with leaky sports shoes thinking it would be warm and dry. Within 5 minutes of hiking our shoes were filled with water and snow, mud was splashed all up our legs and we were contemplating giving up and returning to the warmth of the bus back to Takayama but look at the experience we would have missed out on!)

What it looks like on a nice day according to the guidebooks!
What it looks like on a nice day according to the guidebooks!
Kamikochi National Park on the day we hiked
Kamikochi National Park on the day we hiked

The scenery is amazing and relatively untouched with the Azusa-gawa river flowing a majestic path through this amazing place

Kamikochi National Park
Kamikochi National Park

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The best way to get here is via bus from either Takayama or Matsumoto where you will be dropped off near the visitor center which has all the information you may need for your hiking adventure

  • Tip – check the weather before you set out and come well prepared

Takayama

If staying in Takayama we highly recommend the Oyado Koto No Yume hotel set in a perfect location right near the train station and only a short walk to the centre of the old town. The rooms are traditional Japanese style as seen in the pictures while still maintaining some modern western luxuries.

The town itself is worth exploring with some traditional Japanese streets showcasing the traditional way of life amidst the newer streets showcasing the more modern Lucky Cat/Hello Kitty statues

If you ever have the chance to travel to Japan you will not be disappointed. Although we have traveled the world on and off for 6 years Japan still remains one of our favourite destinations not just for their cuisine but the beautiful nature of their people. They will go out of your way to help you no matter the language barrier which I will elaborate on in later posts on our Japanese adventures

‘Collect moments, not things’

– Anon

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