The British Revered Walter Weston praised the splendor of Kamikōchi, the Hotaka mountain range, and Mt. Yari to the world. Up until that time, mountaineering was not recognized as a leisure pastime and, in addition to making the area famous, Weston is also credited with also popularizing the activity. As a result of popularizing mountain climbing, he is widely praised as being the “father of mountaineering in Japan”.
The person who guided Walter Weston to Kamikōchi was Mr. Kamonji Kamijō.
Entering the Showa era, mountaineering boomed and tourists flourished to the Kamikōchi area. As the number of cars and busses increased, the environment suffered and in 1975 car regulation on the Kamikōchi Park Line began. Thanks to those efforts, the beautiful nature has been protected and preserved.
Two famous places in Kamikōchi are Kappa Bridge and Taisho Pond. Taisho Pond was created through the eruption of Mt. Yake. Mud flow, resulting from the eruption on June 6th of 1915, blocked the Azusa river and Taisho Pond emerged as a result. Visitors view with awe the trees that died, as a result of the eruption, still standing in Taisho Pond to this day. In recent years rotting has progressed and some of the trees occasionally suddenly fall over. Before too long the mysterious scene will be a thing of the past.
Note: Kamikōchi is closed from November to April. Entrance is prohibited during this period.
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