Beautiful Nature at Kamikochi

We took a bus from our hotel in Norikura to Kamikochi. It took around 30 min to get here. Kamikochi is a unique place of scenic beauty and important natural treasures, which was designated in 1952. This pond in the photo was called Taisho-ike pond, created due to the damming of the Azusa-gawa river from the eruption of Mt. Yake-dake in 1915.

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The mountain in a photo is Yake-dake, at a height of 2,455 m. It is still an active volcano. The current shape of the mountain was formed by an eruption of magma about 2,300 years ago. Dome-shaped volcanoes like this are generally referred to as lava domes (Tholoide). In more recent times, a phreatic explosion (an explosion of stream, water, ash and rock caused by the near-instantaneous evaporation of ground or surface water) occurred in June 1962, and the resulting mudflow was pushed into Taisho-ike pond. This is the information from a sign by the mountain.

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The whole mountain area behind us in a photo is called Hotaka mountain range. The valley visible in the foreground in the Hotaka mountain range is Dake-sawa valley. Behind this sits the relatively flat-peaked Mt. Okuhotaka-dake, which at a height of 3,190 meters is Japan’s third highest. From left to right the other peaks in  this continuous range are Mt. Nishihotaka-dake, Mt. Maehotaka-dake and Mt. Myojin-dake. This range is characterized by ridges of sharp peaks and cliffs made up of hard, “joint” volcanic rocks. The volcanic rocks, mainly made up of “welded tuff”, consolidated volcanic ash, accumulated in the caldera after an eruption 1.75 million years ago. Again this detail is from a sign by the area.

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The bridge, Kappa-bashi brigde was full with many tourists since it was a nice spot to see a beautiful scene of the mountain range. This is a wooden suspension bridge, which is 3.1 m in width and 36.6 m in length. From the bridge you can command a view upstream of the Hotaka mountain range and downstream of Mt. Yake-dake. The bridge became the theme of Akutagawa Ryunosuke’s novel “Kappa(water sprite)”. This detail about the bridge is from a map that I bought.

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I got little cute bunny from a gift shop. He looks realistic. I liked Kamikochi. It was so beautiful. I was very happy to visit here. I always love nature.

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