◆ Life ーJapaness style basー
● 1→Kurobe city 、 Unazuki Onsen small hotel bas .it’s 6 AM open for one person ¥500 yen .
◆2→Unazuki Onsen public bas named ”Souyu ” 「宇奈月温泉総湯」
◆3→Kaniich machi City , bas
◆4→Tateyama machi city , bas
●ーKamikochi image photo
One of the most scenic spot in Japan. Feature vast virgin forests of birch trees and Japanese larch trees.
●ーKappa Bridge is a wooden suspension bridge and known as a symbol of this mountain resort. Summits of Nishihotakadake, Okuhotakadake and Myojindake, towering mountains over 3000 meters above sea level can be overlooked from the bridge. Look toward the downstream, Yakedake with slight smoke coming out from its volcanic activity. Kappa Bridge is one of the most popular scenic area with deep forests of Keshou Yanagi (a kind of willow, Chosenia arbutifolia) and Japanese larch trees.
●ー“Kappa” is an imaginary creature originated in Japan. It is said that long ago there was an abyss around this area where Kappa lived. Perhaps another story says that travelers once waded through the river by putting clothing on their head, and they resembled Kappa. However, the true origin of the name of this bridge “Kappa” is still unknown.The water of Azusa River is chilly even in the summer.
Taisho pond was formed by the volcanic activity of Yakedake on June 6th in 1915, tremendous amount of mud avalanche blocked Azusa River.The view of standing withered trees in the pond in the morning haze creates illusionistic atomosphere.
The reflections of Mt. Hotaka and Yakedake beautifully appear on the surface of pond against clear sky. Taisho Pond is one of the most popular scenic point in Kamikochi.
●ーMyojin Bridge to Myojin District
Right below Myojindake, the basin around Myojin Bridge is called as Myojin District, it is the entrance to Tokugo Pass, the old main route linking Matsumoto and Kamikochi.
Myojin District has long time developmental history. It takes 50 minutes on foot from Kappa Bridge.
Yokoo, located a 3-hour walk away from Kappa Bridge, is the climbing base for many of the 3000m range mountains amongst the Japan Alps, including Mt. Yarigatake. Yokoo is the perfect place for walking, far away from any hustle or bustle, enveloped in the tranquility of “Inner Kamikochi”. There is 1 clean mountain lodge on the premises.
●ーThe History of Development
Before Meiji period, only woodsman had accessed to Kamikochi. In Meiji period, Hyakujiro Kamijo from the foothill village Shimashima had gazed at further Tokugo Pass only in the summer time. He was a pioneer for Kamikochi cattle ranch. His ranch was called as Tokusawa Pasture in Tokusawa district, and had other pastures in Konashidaira and Myojin district. These pastures had a beautiful scenery with snow covered mountains and became popular sight seeing spots among tourists.
After the eruption of Yakedake in June of 1915, the volcanic mud slide dammed the flow of Azusa River, and created a pond called Taisho Pond. Kamikochi Imperial Hotel construction materials was carried on boat crossed this pond.
1927 became the unforgettable year for Kamikochi with three major news. Ryunosuke Akutagawa, a prominent novelist in Japan had introduced Kamikochi and Kappa Bridge in his well known novel “Kappa” published in March. In July, Kamikochi had selected as one of the most scenic spot along with other seven famous sight seeing resort. And in August, His Imperial Highness Prince Chichibunomiya had climbed Okuhotakadake and Yarigatake mountains from Kamikochi, and this news had made Kamikochi famous. After this year, the number of tourists in Kamikochi had doubled.
In 1934, Kamikochi area has designated as the Chubusangaku National Park. The pastures in Kamikochi had to be closed with accordance to the regulations, and tourist buses carried many visitors to Kappa Bridge. Year after year, the numbers of tourists with their own car had gradually increased, and finally the traffic regulation was introduced in 1975. According to the present restrictions, tourists are prohibited to visit with their own cars to Kamikochi. However in the future, tourists will be able to enter Kamikochi from Sawando by railway.
●ーIn Sirakawa villageー
●ーFumiko: Hope you’ll find a different aspect from the urban life of Japanese people.
Fumiko: Here we are in Shirakawa Village, the site of Gasshou-style farmhouses.
Ananda: Look at these big houses. I’ve never seen such big farmhouses anywhere.
Fumiko: There live several families living together sharing the household. But young people tend to live in cities. So only elderly people live in the village.
Ananda: It’s the same situation in India, or maybe anywhere in the world.
Fumiko: Do you know why they call it Gasshou-style architecture?
Ananda: No. Why?
Fumiko: Gashhou means putting hands together with the palms facing inward like in prayer. The thatched roofs look like the hands put together. When they have heavy snow, this steeply sloped roof helps the snow to slip off and prevents the house from being crushed.
Ananda: That’s cool. It’s the wisdom from the old.
Fumiko: Well, let’s get inside.