KAMIKOCHI Official Website
HOME > Highlights


Taisho Pond

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.

Tashiro Pond

Passing Taisho Pond and following hiking trail in the deep forest for a while, Tashiro Pond suddenly appears. Clear water reflects beautiful sky and towering mountains and various kinds of flowers covers the edge of the pond in every season.

Breathtaking Japanese Azalea (Rhododendron japonicum) and Sagisuge (Eriophorum gracile) flowers can be seen in the summer, and they turn white by frost coatings in the late autumn. Tashiro Pond never frozen over completely because of spring water underneath. However the area of pond has been decreasing by the erosion of Kasumisawadake year after year. In some area, the pond has turned into marsh, by accumulation of dead leaves and other residue.

Tashiro Bridge and Hotaka Bridge

Both Tashiro and Hotaka Bridges was completed in the November of 1998. These well-designed and environmentally - friendly bridges are made of Japanese larch and cypress produced in Nagano prefecture. The magnificent view of Yakedake and Hotakadake can be seen from the shoal of Azusa River between Tashiro and Hotaka Bridges.

Tashiro Bridge is the starting point of Nishi-Hotaka Mountain trekking course. About 20 minutes walking distance to Kappa Bridge, 40 minutes to Taisho Pond and 5 minutes to Weston Memorial Plaque from Tashiro Bridge. Tashiro Bridge : 22 m in length, 5.5m in width Hotaka Bridge : 17 m in length, 5.5m in width

Reverend Weston Memorial Plaque

Reverend Walter Weston (1861~1940), English clergyman and missionary of the Church of England first came to Japan when he was 27 year-old. During his sojourning, he had conquered numerous mountains, and introduced his experience to the world through his work “Montaineering and Exploring in the Japanese Alps (1896)”. He was known as the Father of Mountain Climbing in Japan, his memorial plaque was reproduced by Kyuichiro Sato in 1965, since the original relief had damaged badly.

Many tourists visit this memorial plaque. Weston Festival in June is named after him.

Kappa Bridge

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.

“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.

Myojin Pond

Walk along Azusa River from Kappa Bridge for about one hour, tourists will get to an area called Myojin where several lodges and shops attract visitors. Following the trail, Myojin Pond filled with clear water. Myojin Pond actually consists of a bigger pond and a smaller pond joined together, and crystal clear water is always spring out from under ground. The scenery is reminded of Japanese Zen garden with Hotaka Shrine Inner Alter located by the pond, bamboo bush along the lakeside, and the reflection of Mt. Myojindake and natural rocks spotted on the lake.

On every October 8th, Hotaka Shrine festival is taken place at the pond with some boats decorated with Heian period fashion, and prayers for mountain’s safety and world peace for the year.

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.


Tokusawa District had been a pasture for grazing cattle and horse until 1934. Not so many tourists except mountain climbers visit Tokusawa area. Large Elm trees and katsura trees are spotted with Anemone flanccida and other mountain flowers in this open plain. The eastern rock wall of Maehotakadake and Okumatajiro can be seen from this former pasture, and the view of Chogatake Mountain is visible from Azusa River bank.

From Kappa Bridge to Myojin Pond is 50 minutes walk, and one hour walk to Tokusawa from Myojin Junction. There are numbers of bird watching points along trekking course.

Shinmura Bridge

Shinmura Bridge is a suspension bridge named after a famous mountain climber of early Showa period, Shoichi Shinmura. Maehotakadake and Northern ridge are rising in front, the trail along Azusa River diverges to Yokoo to the left and Karasawa panoramic course to the right.


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.

Go to Page Top
Copyright(C) 上高地観光旅館組合 All Rights Reserved.