Kamikochi上高地: Hiking Japanese Style

Since moving to Japan I’ve now been to the summit of two mountains, seriously.  I know I have a hard time believing it too.  However, this country is pretty spectacular and let’s be honest here the views from the top are so worth the pain and suffering…and not being able to walk for three days after. 😜

I am by no means in the best shape to actually be hauling my butt to the top of mountains, yet somehow I’ve found myself in this situation now two times.  First with Mt. Fuji and recently Mt. Chogatake in the Japan Alps.

This whole mountain climb hike was planned out by some friends that will sadly be repatriating at the end of the month, so why not have one last hurrah!  At least that’s what I thought.  Our little hiked turned about to be a 6km to the base of the Mt. and then a 6km vertical climb through a death forest to the top at 2664 meters.  Despite that, the company was good and the feeling of accomplishment when you get to the top of a mountain it is the most incredible feeling in the world.

We started the hike a little late in the day and it was pushing dark by the time we got to the top of the mountain.  Thankfully, we had decided on an overnight hike, or this would have turned into an episode of I Shouldn’t be Alive.  After dinner, we all celebrated with some Eagle Rare that I toted to the top.  It is moments like that where I just want to stop time and live in that moment forever.  It’s been such an incredible journey and never in my life did I see myself at the top of a mountain in Japan, celebrating with some pretty amazing people we’ve met on our journey.

Before I throw in some pictures I wanted to mention that Kamikochi is pretty famous in Japan.  It’s located in Nagano Prefecture, about three hours north of where we live in Nagoya.  You can only access it by bus or taxi, as I believe they are trying to preserve the national park.  It’s honestly breathtaking.  It’s been on my short list of places to visit in Japan and I was glad that I got challenge myself with a great group of friends in one of Japan’s most beautiful places.

With only about 6 possibly 9 pending John’s program months left in Japan (my heart literally breaks just typing that), I’ve been on a mission to complete all my bucket list items.  Hiking has been something that I’ve come to enjoy immensely since our move abroad and plan to keep up with it when we repatriate.  So far Japan has offered us no shortage of beautiful hikes through the mountains.  Some of our favorites have been the Kiso Valley, which was our very first hike and Akame 48 Waterfalls.

I’m not sure how soon I can convince John to go scaling any more mountains but there are few more on the list!  Any who, please enjoy the following photos from our recent hike in Kamikochi.  For those planning a visit to Japan, this is a must see…even if you don’t climb one of their many mountains!


The official summit of Mt. Chogatake
Our sleeping arrangements for the night.  If you ever have the opportunity to sleep on top of a mountain I highly recomend.  It’s pretty amazing!


406 floors!!!! To put that into perspective, the Sears Tower is 108 stories…meaning we climbed it almost 4 times! WTF?!? 

We head off to Vietnam and Cambodia next week, so look out for a few new blog posts of our latest Asian adventure!  It’s the “wet” season so hopefully we stay dry and don’t melt, as I hear the humidity is WAY worse then Japan…

Thanks for following along with me on the crazy adventure!

Untile next time! Ja Mata じゃまた!

One Comment Add yours

  1. avoyageonearth says:

    Those forests look incredible


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