Kamikochi is in the Chubu-sangaku National Park, which includes the whole of the Northern Japan Alps. Kamikochi, whose elevation is 1,500 meters (4,500 feet) above sea level, is a small and slender valley basin surrounded by high mountains such as Hotaka Mountains, Mt. Yakedate, and Mt.Kasumizawa. The view from our lodge of the Hodaka Mountains and Azusa River is one of the most beautiful mountain scenes in Japan. (As in the picture opposite.)
Over 300 million years ago, the Kamikochi area was believed to have been a seabed. Intensive movements of the earth, coupled with river erosion, formed the Kamikochi you see today.
Kamikochi has many species of animals and plants that have adapted themselves over the years to the climate and geology of this area. The
natural balance between all the native species is complicated and delicate,from large animals and plants to insects and even bacteria. The living things in this area are connected through and to the environment.
While the strict laws that regulate the National Park system in Japan preserve Kamikochi and its environs, human activities have had an impact on it. It is possible to observe man-made “nature” in this region.
When you visit Kamikochi, what will you feel? Some may think about the ancient geological history of the area, while others might be impressed with the lush, unique vegetation. Still others may be concerned with the ecological changes taking place. As a visitor to Kamikochi, remember your responsibility to keep this area in as natural a state as possible. Please obey the regulations designed to protect this beautiful area.
These trees are found all over Kamikochi. Many near the parking areas were planted there as a symbol of the region. The larch looks its best in the spring and in autumn when you can appreciate its new leaves and autumnal tints.
Remember to follow these regulations in order to preserve the natural environment of Kamikochi.
|1.||No collecting. – Please do not collect plants or living creatures, including insects.|
|2.||No feeding. – Please do not feed the wild animals.|
|3.||No invasive species. – Please do not bring pets or alien species.|
|4.||No littering. – Please take all your garbage home with you.|
|5.||No straying. – Please stay on the path.|