Kamikochi, the birthplace of alpinism in Japan, is a highland basin of rare natural beauty, nestled between the rugged peaks of some of Japan's highest mountains. Straddling the glacially clear rushing waters of the Azusa River, Kamikochi is surprisingly accessible from both Matsumoto and Takayama, and is a particularly refreshing place to visit in the heat of summer, although the roads and facilities are open from April to October.

Kamikochi is a wonderful place to see Japanese wildlife, as the area is populated with troupes of Japanese macaque monkeys as well as deer, bears, and numerous species of birds. In spring, late snows turn the landscape magically white, and in summer, wild azaleas flower in the highland marshes, while fall brings bright colored leaves and clear skies.

Used as a base for hiking and mountain climbing, as well as for more peaceful walks along the river, Kamikochi has plenty of accommodation in all levels, and it is especially pleasant to explore the riverside walks in solitude in the evenings and the early mornings. Into Japan Specialist Tours would be happy to include a stop at Kamikochi as part of your vacation to Japan.