Kamikochi National Park, over 2000m above sea level, is one of the most beguiling places in the Japanese Alps. The lower mountain slopes are covered with forests of larch and beech that blaze scarlet and orange in the autumn. Barely perceptible wisps of smoke hang in the still air above Yakedake volcano and the glass surface of Taisho Pond perfectly reflects the snow-dusted Hotaka mountains.
There are well signposted climbing paths that wind up through the forest, and above the treeline there are the most spectacular views across the valleys.
We stayed in the Konashidaira Log Cabins, which sit in woods close to the forest trails and the tumbling River Azusa, and which we shared with families of macaques that swung from tree to tree above us.
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