Kamikochi（上高地） is a protected area near the boundary between Gifu and Nagano Prefectures. It’s famous for its unpolluted natural landscape. For environmental protection reason, no private cars are allowed in Kamikochi. Only taxis, shuttle buses and buses are allowed to get through the Kama tunnel, the only access to this sacred land. In winter, probably due to the accumulation of snow, Kamikochi is closed from mid-November to mid-April.
Anyway, Kamikochi is really a nice place for a decent hike. It’s also a wonderful place for photography, especially in Autumn. You can also find red leaves here, but here is famous for a special species of pine that turns golden colour in fall.
One of the famous photo spots is the kappa-bashi bridge. The scenry behind the bridge is just wonderful, with crystal clear turquoise water in the river, green and yellow from the leaves, greyish whitish hills and the blue sky in the background.
Daisho-ike pond is famous for a clear reflection of the scenry over the calm surface of the pond. Unfortunately, I was there on a windy day and no clear reflection can be seen. But, on my way leaving Kamikochi I saw the nice reflection on the bus somewhere further south of Daisho-ike pond. If you have time and really want to take a nice picture, you can have a try further south.
One of the meaning of “Kami” in Japanese is God. Kamikochi is just too beautiful and I believe it’s certainly the home of gods.