Thursday, October 15, 2009


Ah Kamikochi, such a beautiful place to spend some time. For someone who didn't have the chance to grow up near mountains, any trip into "real" mountains is a treat, and this area certainly doesn't disappoint in the mountain department. We were pleasantly surprised with breakfast at the hotel this morning, saved us some time and we got to start off the day easy. We headed on down to the bus terminal and hopped on our mountain-bound train for the hour and a half ride up some nasty narrow mountain roads surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

After fighting the bus traffic and arriving, we quickly found our hotel and dropped off our bags, got dressed for the walk and headed out the door. Here's Alps Sansou, nestled in the woods and surrounded by mountains... fantastic hotel!

As we were coming out the door, we spotted a couple of monkeys hanging around the building and licking the salt off the rocks of the foundation. As we came out, the couple of monkeys turned into a whole gang and we were surrounded with the docile little guys. None of them approached us, so people around here are obviously very good about not feeding the wildlife. There were quite a few wee ones with the group.

As we stood by and more and more monkeys came bumbling down the road, we spotted a few babies hitching a ride on mom.

This one would pause between fits of scratching and stare off intensely into space...

So after getting our fill of monkeys, we headed on down the trail to check out the true attraction of Kamikochi... the mountain views.

This area is absolutely gorgeous, with peaks as high as 3200 meters towering all around and a pristine river running through the valley.

Our timing was doubly good in that the leaves were well on their way, giving us some nice shots of colour as we did the 6km loop out to Myojin and back.

After resting for a bit in the sunshine and enjoying the view, we headed back to the hotel to relax, only to find our gang of primates grooming themselves all over our parking lot.

Hard life eh?

Yet another fantastic day, the weather has been amazing and certainly a highlight of the trip. We just finished up a traditional Japanese meal and are stuffed to the gills. Ready for an evening of relaxing and a good night's rest before hitting the road again tomorrow (and then the rails) on the way to Magome.


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