Kamikochi, through the gap of COVID-19 [Tokusawa Camp 2020] (Part7)

From Myojin to Tokusawa.Along the way, color cones had been planted to warn people to be careful.Warning signs were posted on the road, warning “Caution!

Caution!” It said, “Passage ahead is prohibited. I had a feeling that something dangerous was about to happen.

We’ve reached the junction with Tokugo Pass. The road here divides into two routes: one leading to Tokusawa and the other to Tokugo Pass. People who walk across Tokugo Pass from here and head toward Shimashima are quite eager. This route is known as the “classic route,” which was the main way into Kamikochi before the Kama Tunnel opened.

To recapture the past, some hikers opt for the lengthy classic route, which demands an overnight stay. However, very few people take the traditional path, and the majority of them access Kamikochi by bus via the Kama Tunnel.

I hope to explore this conventional route on foot someday, but I’m unsure when that will happen.

But then I got worried, “Oh no, what’s happening?

The path (Myojin – Tokugo Pass) is blocked due to a collapse.”
The trail from Tokugo Pass to Futamata and Shimashima is closed due to a collapse.”

A photo was included, showing the trail has been lost by the river.

The photo was enough to make those who thought they could get by in dangerous spots give up. When will this road be restored?

Recently, many mountain trails have been left abandoned due to landslides and other reasons. In Japan, managing and maintaining these trails has become difficult due to a lack of resources.

Smaller routes are more likely to be neglected after just one natural disaster.

Mountaineering enthusiasts often say “the mountain doesn’t run away” to describe this situation. It’s said that if the weather’s bad or you’re not physically fit enough, you can quit climbing and try again later. That’s right, but the path to the mountain is quickly destroyed and becomes impossible to pass.

In modern Japan, forcing yourself to climb mountains is foolish, but they’re still a way to get away.

Walking to Tokusawa.

There weren’t many people passing each other on the way from Kamikochi to Myojin. The road from Myojin to Tokusawa was even less crowded. It was an easy and comfortable hike.

Walking Okaden.

A scene on the way to Tokusawa.

There was a rut of cars, and I said, “Whoa!” I was surprised.

So the vehicles carrying materials to Tokusawa use this road.

The Azusa River appears, and we delight in the views.

The Kamikochi – Myojin – Tokusawa path is flat and well-kept, allowing us to walk without much effort. Occasionally, we pause to appreciate our surroundings. It’s nice to have that freedom.

This path is typically full of climbers and tourists, so I don’t stop too often to avoid disturbing them. But today, I can stop whenever I like.

The banks of the Azusa River are very wide. It is almost Tokusawa.

(To be Continued)


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