Kamikochi is well-served by public transport. Among the ways to get there: • Overnight buses travel to Kamikochi from...

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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.

Park information:

• 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.