Kamikochi is a designated mountainous scenic spot in Japan, categorized as both a 'Special Place of Scenic Beauty' and a 'Special Natural Monument.' It lies at the base of the Northern Alps, near Mount Hotaka.
Directions to Kamikochi and Parking, Bus, and Taxi Fees
Access to Kamikochi is restricted for private vehicles. From the Matsumoto direction, visitors can park at Sawando Parking Lot and take a bus or taxi for approximately 30 minutes. If arriving from the Takayama direction, parking is available at Hirayu Akandana Parking Lot, and it's about a 45-minute bus or taxi ride from there.
- Sawando Parking Lot: 700 yen per day per vehicle
- Hirayu Akandana Parking Lot: 600 yen per day per vehicle
- From Sawando Parking Lot to Kamikochi Bus Terminal: Adults - 2,400 yen (round trip) / Children - 1,020 yen (round trip)
- From Hirayu Akandana Parking Lot to Kamikochi Bus Terminal: Adults - 2,090 yen (round trip) / Children - 1,050 yen (round trip)
- From Sawando Parking Lot to Kamikochi Bus Terminal: One way - 4,600 yen
- From Hirayu Akandana Parking Lot to Kamikochi Bus Terminal: One way - 5,000 yen
The Timetables for Sawando Parking Lot and Hirayu Akandana Parking Lot
The timetables for Sawando Parking Lot and Hirayu Akandana Parking Lot can be checked on the following pages.
- Sawando Parking Lot Timetable:： Alpico Transport Co., Ltd.
- Hirayu Akandana Parking Lot Timetable: Official Nohi Bus website
Points to Note When Using the Bus
When utilizing buses in Kamikochi, it's important to consider the limited bus frequency and early final departure times. Upon arrival at Kamikochi, it's advisable to check the return bus timetable at the bus terminal.
During peak tourist seasons, there might be special or additional buses available. During my visit, just before the departure of the special bus, a notice about the special bus service was displayed on paper at the bus terminal's departure schedule board."
Recommended Attire and Temperature Advice for Kamikochi
Located at an altitude of 1,500 meters, Kamikochi experiences cooler temperatures compared to urban areas. It can feel chilly when the wind blows, and temperatures drop quickly in the evening. During the green season, having a light jacket or outer layer is handy. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as there's a fair amount of walking involved.
Additionally, due to the high altitude, UV rays are strong. Don't forget sun protection to shield against sunburn."
Pocket Map, It's quite handy!
When you arrive at Kamikochi, you can find 'Pocket Explorers Maps (¥100)' available at various shops. Buying one of these booklets will make it easier to navigate and explore Kamikochi.