You cannot drive to the trailhead. Park in a lower lot and take a cab or bus to the Visitor Center.
In 2017, Kamikochi is scheduled to be open from April 17 to November 15.
This short run is a great trip if you are visiting Nagano Prefecture. The drive up the canyon to the trailhead is jaw dropping. Once at the visitor center, you'll be greeted with 5 miles of views and ancient Japanese historic sites.
Features: River/Creek — Views — Waterfall — Wildlife
The trail starts and ends at the Kappabashi (Kappa Bridge). You can run the trail clockwise or counterclockwise. Most run it counterclockwise so that you end coming across the Kappabashi (Kappa Bridge). From the Visitor Center, you'll run along the river valley through a dense forest. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys. Just under the 2 mile mark, you'll come across the Myojinkan Rest Area. Continue left to the Myojin Bridge to cross the Azusa River.
Once across the bridge, take the spur north to the gem, Myojin Pond
. Get a grilled fish and explore the Hodaka Shrine. Once done soaking up this Shinto historic site, continue to your right back down the Kamikochi Trail. The trek back will take you through the forest along the river bed delivering amazing waterfall and mountain views. The trail will eventually wind around Gosenjaku Lodge, where you can finish your run with a snack and views of the Kappabashi (Kappa Bridge) and the river valley.
Monkeys, bamboo, and general forest fun can be found along this run.