Hiking at Mount Norikura

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Supposedly, one of the most beautiful sceneries in all of Japan can be found at a place called Kamikochi in the middle of the Japanese Alps. Since it’s more than a three-hour ride from Tokyo, we decided to go for yet another long weekend trip and explore the surrounding area in Nagano prefecture as well.

Unfortunately, we seemed to have chosen the only three days in the week on which the forecast suggested rain throughout (thanks, typhoon Tapah). Saturday morning however didn’t end up being all that bad: After taking an early bus from our guesthouse to Mt. Norikura, we had about two hours of lovely weather at the summit – only occasionally interrupted by a low hanging cloud coming through.

Visiting these places in unstable weather conditions has its pros, after all. Similar to Nikkō a couple of weeks ago, we had some parts of the trail all to ourselves. That is, with some exceptions …

The most beautiful sight of the day wasn’t even the main attraction though, but another spot that was advertised rather sparsely. As we made our way back into the valley, we decided to stop at Sanbondaki (literally “three waterfalls”). After a 20-minute walk from the bus station, we found ourselves surrounded by, well, three waterfalls dropping down a bunch of pretty steep cliffs. At that point, the rain was pouring from above, adding to the feeling of standing inside a rainforest.

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