Kamikochi in black and white

May 25 | Evan | No Comments |

From Myonjin Pond to Taisho Pond and all the wonderful places in between, it’s no secret I love Kamikochi!  I only wish I could have spent more time in this special place in the Japanese Alps to take more photographs and really explore the area.  I would have also been really happy with different kinds of weather, instead of the constant mostly sunny and barely any clouds I had for the short time I was there.  In any case, I picked 5 of my favorite photos in black and white of Kamikochi to share, but if you are just arriving to this post directly, be sure to check out the other posts and photos of Myojin Pond, Taisho Pond, Kappabashi and just walking around Kamikochi.kamikochi-JapanPhotoGuide-009

Walking Around Kamikochi

May 20 | Evan | No Comments |

kamikochi-JapanPhotoGuide-056When visiting Kamikochi, you will surely visit and get great photos of the famous sightseeing spots like Kappabashi, Myojin Pond and Taisho Pond, but also just by walking around the trails you will find spectacular scenery, nature and perhaps even some animals.  With my limited time in Kamikochi, I was always rushing from one place to the next and while I saw lot’s of places I wanted to stop and take some photos, or come back for different lighting, I didn’t have the necessary time.  When going to Kamikochi, I would highly recommend staying at least 3 days to see and photograph everything you want to and then to return to the places you need more time at.   Takezawa Marsh and Tashiro Pond are also worth checking but just walking from scenic spot to the next, you can find your own special part of Kamikochi to create art at or just to enjoy the scenery and fresh air.  Here are a few more of my favorite photos from just walking around, most of them snapshots in between the goals I was on my way to:

Kamikochi | Myojin Pond

May 18 | Evan | No Comments |

Myojin Pond-JapanPhotoGuide-027a

Myojin Pond is about an hours walk from Kappabashi and the Kamikochi Bus Terminal. Starting from Kappabashi, you can walk along the right or the left side of the Azusa River to get to Myojin Pond with the right side being more of a path and the left side more of elevated wooden platform.  Photography wise, the left was more interesting for me, but there are photo opportunities just about everywhere in Kamikochi, so why not walk both sides. The bridge I included with these photos is very close to Myojin Pond, so I just through it in this gallery.  I went to Myojin Pond in the afternoon and the water was almost perfectly still and even more perfectly clear.  Not sure I’ve seen a pond or lake with water this clear…Besides the other ponds and rivers in the Kamikochi area of course!  There was a small entrance fee to get it, but it is certainly worth it!  I would have loved to try and come back early in the morning to get some fog or some different clouds, but my time in Kamikochi was limited to and I had more places to see!


Kamikochi Japan | My new favorite place in Japan

May 16 | Evan | No Comments |


I’ve often said that Kyoto is my favorite place in Japan, and perhaps in the world, but last Fall I had the chance to visit Kamikochi for the first time and while I think Kyoto is still my overall favorite, Kamikochi took a small piece of my heart away from Kyoto!  Kamikochi offers picture perfect postcard views with it’s mountains and pristine lakes.   While you cannot drive around the area, hiking to most parts is relatively easy, either by walking path, gravel or elevated wooden paths.  Of course, for those looking for real hiking, you can use Kamikochi as a base to explore the nearby mountains that are part of Japanese Alps.



I walked most of both sides of the Azusa River from Myojin Pond to Taisho Pond, but along the nature path, there are places where it splits, so I couldn’t see everything… Especially because I only had time to stay 2 days and 1 night so I was rushing to see as much as possible.  I recommend staying at least 2, or even better, 3 nights to fully enjoy all the spectacular hiking and mountain scenery Kamikochi has to offer! Especially if you are visiting for photography reasons, you will want to spend as much time there as possible. There are too many photographic opportunities and spending one day walking around to explore the different pathways and views is great to decide where you want to take photos.


Kamikochi is located in the Japanese Alps and part of the Chubu Sangaku National Park. Kamikochi is a little isolated which means it isn’t accessed very easily and the few places to stay aren’t exactly cheap. Also, you can only visit Kam

kamikochiikochi from April 18th to November 15th so timing is limited as well. Private cars are not allowed to enter Kamikochi but instead must park close to the entrance gate. From the parking lot, you will need to take a bus. To access Kamikochi completely via public transportation, you can take a bus from Takayama to Hirayu Onsen and then another bus to Kamikochi. A more popular route is probably from Matsumoto Station, take a train to Shin-Shimashima and then a bus to Kamikochi. If you don’t speak Japanese, the trip isn’t exactly easy, but it is doable. The bus to Kamikochi will not stop at every stop, so if nobody else is getting off where you need to and you don’t press the bell and miss your stop, just get off at the Kamikochi Bus Terminal and you can find your way from there. That being said, depending on where you are staying, you may have a significant walk from the bus terminal!  Take a look at this map from the Official Kamikochi site to see the layout of everything.


2013-10-21 11.28.43To help keep Kamikochi beautiful and the wildlife in good shape, there are 5 rules of Kamikochi that you will see everywhere:  No collecting, no feeding, no littering (even should bring trash home with you), no bringing in (animals), no stepping into (off the paths).

I have lot’s of photos from Kamikochi to share and will be posting them soon to share about Myojin Pond, Kappabashi, Taisho Pond, photos from walking around and a few of my favorite photos of Kamikochi in black and white.  The worst part about visiting Kamikochi is having to decide which of the wonderful photos you want to share!