The gateway to the Northern Alps, the landmark of Kamikochi
Kappabashi Bridge is a 5-minute walk away from Kamikochi Bus Terminal. The bridge has a width of 3.1m and is a wooden suspension bridge with a length of 36.6m from where you can view epic scenery of the Hotaka Mountains including Mt. Oku-Hotaka, Tsurione and Mt. Mae-Hotaka. So many visitors come to the area during Golden Week, the summer holidays and the fall that it has been called Kamikochi Ginza. It is a place of scenic beauty that has come to represent Kamikochi with the bridge even being a setting in a novel by renowned Japanese author Ryunosuke Akutagawa.
Various facilities nearby
The Kamikochi Visitor Center is just 5 minutes’ walk away from Kappabashi. The center provides attractions and information on the area through features such as displays associated with the environment of Kamikochi, an outdoor nature classroom, videos and lectures. Right beside the bus terminal is the Kamikochi Information Center where you can get information on things such as climbing the mountains, traffic and accommodations, and during the busy season, there is even a consulting service provided for climbing. Another building that is right beside the terminal is the Kamikochi Tourist Center where there is a cafeteria and up to 3 stores.
The opening ceremony to pray for safety on the mountains
Kamikochi is open annually between April 27th and November 15th. The Kamikochi Opening Ceremony is held on April 27th to commemorate the opening of the area for the next 5 months. A red-and-white curtain is unfurled at Kappabashi Bridge with carp streamers fluttering along the riverbanks and a fanfare by alphorns to signal the beginning of the season. Shinto priests pray for the safety and prosperity of the mountains at the ceremony, and there are even lion dances and taiko drum performances. Up to 2000 tourists come to the ceremony every year, and for them, they are treated to sake from a wooden cask.