Kamikochi is well-served by public transport. Among the ways to get there: Overnight buses travel to Kamikochi from...
Getting there: Kamikochi is well-served by public transport. Among the ways to get there:
Overnight buses travel to Kamikochi from Tokyo’s giant Shinjuku railway/bus station.
A more pleasant way to go is via an interlinked train/bus service from Matsumoto, a town easily reached by train from Tokyo that’s often billed as the gateway to Kamikochi. (Matsumoto is worth a stop to see its 16th-century castle, one of the best preserved in Japan.)
From the town of Takayama (see story on front page), it’s about a 2.5-hour bus ride to Kamikochi, with a change of bus at Hirayu Onsen.
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When to go: June and September are good times, with fewer crowds than July and especially August, although the weather is best in summer. Autumn colors draw visitors; all facilities are closed in winter because of snow.
In Kamikochi, there’s an information kiosk at the bus terminus and a park visitor center about a 10-minute walk away near the Kappa footbridge, the focal point for visitors to Kamikochi.
There are few official Web sites in English about Kamikochi, although the Japan National Tourist Organization can provide information: go to www.japantravelinfo.com and search for Kamikochi. Or phone the JNTO in San Francisco at 415-292-5686.
Among commercial Web sites that have some information is that of the Nishi-Itoya Mountain Lodge in Kamikochi, www.nishiitoya.com/ns-eng/eng-home/eng-index.html
The Web site of the Gosenjaku hotel and lodge in Kamikochi has a hiking map of riverside trails. www.gosenjaku.co.jp/english/
The guidebook “Hiking in Japan” (Lonely Planet Publications, $19.99) has information on day hikes, backpacking, and more in Kamikochi.