Friday, August 16, 2013

Gotochi Travel Blog: Nagano, Part II

From Matsumoto we went to Kamikochi, which is inside Chubu Sangaku National Park. No private cars are allowed inside the park and we had to take a bus from Matsumoto Station. The bus station had a food stall selling some yummy snacks I had never tasted before - oyaki.
Oyaki are kind of like Chinese baozi, but the dough is made with buckwheat flour and they are stuffed with all kinds of goodies. My favorite is kabocha squash!

Kamikochi is high in the Japanese Alps, surrounded by Nishihotakadake (2909 m), Okuhotakadake (3190 m), Maehotakadake (3090 m) and the active volcano Yakedake (2455 m).

Misty Morning in Kamikochi
Photo by Joi

A short walk from the bus terminal is Kappabashi, a suspension bridge over the Azusa River. A kappa is an imaginary creature said to be human-like but in reptilian skin. It lives in water and lures unsuspecting visitors in so it can eat their livers. We didn't see any kappa there, though. We mostly saw trees - deep forests of Keshou Yanagi (a kind of willow, Chosenia arbutifolia) and Japanese larch trees surround the bridge.

We hiked further in, to the tranquil Myojin Pond. We stayed overnight at a little lodge called Kamonjigoya and spent the whole next day hiking.

Kamikochi On A Cloudy Day
Photo by Les Taylor

Photo by Kazuhiko Teramoto

Vein of the Leaves
Photo by Maiko Aizawa

I was hoping to see a wild kamoshika, because the website for Kamikochi has a picture of one, and it's on one of the Nagano gotochi.
But we didn't. The English name for kamoshika is Japanese serow (Capricornis crispus). They look kind of like a cross between a goat and an antelope. Maybe next time I'll see one...

Speaking of next time, leave me a comment and tell me which prefecture you think I should visit in my next fake travel blog!

1 comment:

  1. Those sweets looks delicious *__*
    And I really like the goat card, I'm Capricorn.

    Your visit to Nagano was amazing, Maggie. Surrounded by nature. The pictures shows places that I would love to visit one day. Thank you for letting us go with you in this fake trip.

    For your next entry, I would like to read about Fukui region or Hokkaido island.