THAT IS GOOD THAT IS GOOD

早いものでもう我が家の庭では柿が実り、彼岸花が咲き、虫が秋の歌を唄っている。先日は夕食に初物のサンマを焼き、デザートとして梨を剥いた。意識せずとも季節は確実に秋へと移ろいでいる。秋といえば食欲の秋、読書の秋、睡眠の秋などと代表的には言われるが、やはりなんといっても一番の醍醐味は紅葉だと思う。どうせなら格別に美しい紅葉がいい。そこで紅葉はもちろん、食欲や読書欲、睡眠欲も満たしたい…、なんて欲張りなあなたに向けて今回のコラムではそんな場所の一つを紹介します。

It’s already early in my garden, persimmons are growing, higanbana flowers are blooming, and insects are singing their autumn songs. The other day I grilled the first saury for dinner and peeled a pear for dessert. Even if we are not aware of it, the season is definitely shifting to autumn. Autumn is often described as the season of appetite, reading, and sleep, but I think the best part of autumn is the changing of the leaves. If I had to choose, I would prefer to see exceptionally beautiful autumn leaves. So, for those of you who are greedy and want to satisfy not only your appetite for autumn leaves, but also your appetite for reading and sleeping, I would like to introduce one such place in this column.

山岳リゾートへと変貌を遂げた上高地

Kamikochi transformed into a mountain resort

言わずと知れた日本を代表する名勝であり、その紅葉の美しさもよく知られ古くから愛される上高地。
しかし正直なところ本当につい最近まで、僕にとって上高地はその奥に鎮座する山々にアクセスするために朝早くに通過し、下山後も早く温泉に入りたい一心で通り過ぎるだけの玄関口というイメージでしかなかった。ところがここ数年インバウンド向けに一気に改装が進み、ちょっと小綺麗な山小屋という程度だったお宿や商店が、それはそれは立派なリゾートホテルへと変貌を遂げた。当時からそういう位置づけではあったのだが、施設や設備も含め今ではまさにヨーロッパアルプスの様な、日本を代表する山岳リゾートへと進化している。コロナ禍ということもあり、これまでとは違ってただ自然の中でゆっくりと時間を過ごしたい…、というニーズが増えてきているように感じる。登山がしたいわけではないけれど家族や子供連れ、大切な人と訪れることのできる圧倒的な大自然。僕の仕事もそんなニーズに応える機会が増え、この夏は何度か上高地に滞在してゲストと数日を過ごした。
登山となると、もちろんそこまで行かなければ見ることのできない、歩く価値のある景色が待っているのは確かなのだが、やはりそれなりの緊張感もあるし、また達成感を得るためにはある程度の体力や忍耐力が必要となる。しかし上高地に滞在し、登山を主たる目的とせずに過ごしてみると、こんなにもゆったりと気軽に自然を満喫できるのか…!と驚かされた。

Kamikochi is one of Japan’s most famous scenic spots and has long been loved for its beautiful autumn leaves.
However, to be honest, until recently, Kamikochi was just a gateway that I passed through early in the morning to access the mountains located deep inside, and after descending the mountain, I just wanted to take a hot spring bath as soon as possible. However, in the past few years, the area has been renovated for inbound tourism, and the lodges and stores that used to be little more than beautiful mountain lodges have been transformed into magnificent resort hotels. Although it was positioned as such at the time, it has now evolved into one of Japan’s leading mountain resorts, with facilities and equipment just like the European Alps. As a result of the Corona disaster, I feel that there are more and more people who just want to spend some time in nature. It’s not that they want to climb mountains, but they want to enjoy the overwhelming wilderness with their families, children, and loved ones. This summer I stayed in Kamikochi several times to spend a few days with my guests, as I have more opportunities to meet such needs in my work.
Of course, when you are climbing a mountain, you have to go there to see the scenery that is worth the walk. However, there is a certain amount of tension involved, and a particular amount of physical strength and endurance is required to achieve a feeling of accomplishment. But staying in Kamikochi and spending time without climbing as the main objective, I was surprised to see how relaxed and easy it is to enjoy nature…!

日本アルプスの代表格の山々に囲まれたその景観はもちろんのこと、そのリニューアルを遂げた宿泊施設の素晴らしさには目を見張るものがある。宿泊はそれなりのお値段がするものの、できれば2泊はしたいところ。

Surrounded by some of the most famous mountains in the Japanese Alps, the scenery is breathtaking, and the renovated accommodations are spectacular. Although the accommodation is moderately priced, I would like you to stay there for two nights if possible.

白樺荘 Hotel Shirakabaso
五千尺ホテル Gosenjaku hotel

いくつかある宿泊施設のそのほとんどで大規模なリノベーションが行われ、設備もサービスも非常に質が高い。圧巻の景色を持つお部屋にハンモックで寛げるテラスがついていたり、本格的なフランス料理のフルコースと上質のワインが楽しめたり、大きく迫り出した屋外テラスで食事ができたり、パティシエの作る本格的なスウィーツが楽しめたり…。

Most of the several accommodations have undergone extensive renovations, and the facilities and services are of very high quality.You can enjoy rooms with stunning views and a terrace where you can relax in a hammock, a full course of authentic French cuisine and fine wines, dining on a large outdoor terrace, and authentic sweets made by a pastry chef….

白樺荘 Hotel Shirakabaso 
五千尺ホテル Gosenjaku Hotel

山に登らずとも、上高地には本当に美しく尊い景観と歴史がある。そしてダイナミックなその景色と繊細な高山植物などのコントラスト。ここでゆっくりと観察しながら時間を過ごす贅沢さときたら…。食欲も読書欲も睡眠欲も、そんな環境の中で満たすことができてしまうのだ。

Even if you don’t climb mountains, Kamikochi has a truly beautiful and precious landscape and history. And the contrast between the dynamic scenery and the delicate alpine plants. There is nothing like the luxury of spending time here while slowly observing….You can satisfy your appetite for food, reading, and sleep in such an environment.

せっかく素晴らしい環境なので、滞在のうち1日は明神池まで行って梓川沿いにぐるりと一周すると良いだろう。大人の足でただ歩くだけなら往復2時間程度だが、しっかりと休憩を入れながらゆっくりと3~4時間、もしくはもう少しかけて歩いてもいいかもしれない。実際この夏、3歳と5歳のお子さんを連れたご家族と一緒に歩いた時には、子供たちの興味がありそうなものを道中で見つけて遊んだり、こまめな休憩を入れながら4時間ほどかけて歩いた。大きなアップダウンもないし、休める場所もちょこちょこあるので、それができるのがここの魅力でもある。ちなみに10月8日(金)には明神池で、山の安全を神に感謝するお祭り「穂髙神社奥宮例大祭(明神池お船祭り)」が行われます。

Since it is such a wonderful environment, it would be a good idea to spend one day of your stay at Myojin Pond and walk around along the Azusa River. It takes about two hours for an adult to walk there and back, but you may enjoy walking for three to four hours, or even a little longer, while taking breaks. Actually, this summer, when I walked with a family with two children, aged three and five, we spent about four hours walking, taking frequent breaks to play with the children and find things they might be interested in along the way. There are no big ups and downs, and there are plenty of places to take a break, which is one of the charms of this place. Incidentally, on Friday, October 8, the Myojin Festival will be held at Myojin Pond to thank the gods for the safety of the mountain.

上高地までは車を乗り入れることができないのでバスかタクシーでアクセスすることになるのだが、バスの場合だと早い日でも5時が始発。30分の乗車時間を考えると5時半まではほぼ宿泊者だけが上高地を楽しむことができる。早朝の日の出の頃に誰もいない上高地を散歩すれば川霧が幻想的に梓川を覆い、清流のせせらぎと鳥のさえずりが澄んだ空気にこだまする。そんな清らかな時間。時間と体力が許すのならば朝靄のかかる田代池や大正池までの往復がおすすめ。
しかしこの時間は野生の熊もよく散歩しているのでご用心を。熊以外にも上高地には野生の猿がたくさんいる。3つの日本猿のグループが生活していると言われていて、非常に高確率で遭遇することができる。僕は上高地に出かけた時にはほぼ毎回見かけている。彼らはわりと人に慣れていて威嚇してくるようなことはまずないので怖がる必要はないが、それでも野生の猿なので出会った時には互いに安心できる距離感を保つようにしましょう。

No cars are allowed to enter Kamikochi, so you have to take a bus or a cab to get there but the first bus leaves at 5:00 a.m. even on the early morning, and considering the 30-minute boarding time, only guests can enjoy Kamikochi until 5:30. If you take a walk in the empty Kamikochi at sunrise in the early morning, you will see the Azusa River fantastically covered with river mist, and the murmur of the clear stream and the chirping of birds will echo in the clean air. Such a pure time. If you have the time and energy, I recommend a round trip to Tashiro Pond and Taisho Pond where the morning mist is still visible.
However, beware of wild bears as they often walk around at this time. In addition to bears, there are many wild monkeys in Kamikochi. It is said that there are three groups of Japanese monkeys living in the area, and you can encounter them at a very high rate. I’ve seen them almost every time I’ve been to Kamikochi. They are rather accustomed to people and do not threaten you, so there is no need to be afraid of them, but they are still wild monkeys, so try to keep a safe distance from each other when you meet them.

同じように夕方もバスの最終便が出た後はほぼ貸し切りとなる。この時間の静けさもたまらないし、月や星の輝きが美しい日はもう…。

Likewise in the evening, after the last bus leaves, the place is almost completely reserved. The quietness of this time of day is absolutely amazing, and when the moon and stars are shining beautifully….

日本一の紅葉

The best autumn leaves in Japan

そしてそんな場所なので紅葉のシーズンは本当に素晴らしい。ちなみに見頃は例年10月中旬~下旬前後。そう、まさに今。一度はぜひ見てもらいたい絶景である。ちなみに体力に自信があれば上高地から3時間ほど歩いた横尾山荘まで散策するのも良いだろうし、さらにそこから3時間ほど登山した涸沢カールの紅葉はぜひ一度は拝んでいただきたい。そこは「日本一」と称される真の絶景。「涸沢の紅葉を見ずして穂高を語ることなかれ」とも言われている。涸沢カールは標高も少し高くなるので9月下旬~10月初旬頃が見頃に。ただし、ここまで行くなら日帰りはできなくもないけれど一般的には難しくなるので宿泊する必要がある。しかし現在コロナの影響で人数制限がされていて山小屋の予約はほぼ取れない可能性が高いので事前に確認が必要。テントなら張れると思いますがね。でも上高地をベースに動きたいから、そこまではちょっと…という、そんな方のためにこの記事を書いているので、そういう方で少しくらいは登山もして…と考えているなら岳沢小屋までのハイキングがオススメ。ゆっくり登って3時間ちょっと。迫りくる穂高の岩壁と上高地を見下ろすその開けた展望はとても素晴らしい。

And because it is such a place, the season of autumn leaves is really wonderful.The best time to see the leaves is usually around mid to late October.Yes, right now. This is a spectacular sight that you should definitely see at least once. By the way, if you are confident about your physical strength, you can take a walk from Kamikochi to Yokoo Sanso, which is about a 3-hour walk. After climbing for about three hours, you must see the autumn colors of the Karasawa Cirque. It is a true spectacular view that has been called “the best in Japan”. It is said, “Don’t talk about Hotaka without seeing the autumn colors of Karasawa”. The altitude is a little higher here, so the best time to see the autumn leaves is from late September to early October. However, if you want to go this far, you may be able to make a day trip, but it is generally difficult and you will need to stay overnight. However, due to the civid-19, there is a high possibility that the number of people will be limited and you will not be able to reserve a lodge, so you need to check in advance. I think you can pitch a tent, though. But if you want to move around Kamikochi and don’t want to go that far, I’m writing this article for you, so if you are one of those people and want to do a little bit of climbing, I recommend hiking to Takezawa Hut. It takes a little over three hours to climb slowly. The open view overlooking the looming rock walls of Hotaka and Kamikochi is amazing.

↑この夏に高山植物を愛でに岳沢小屋を訪れたときの写真です。
↑There are photos taken this summer when I dropped by the Takizawa Hut to admire the alpine flora.

秋はあっという間に通り過ぎます。上高地に限るわけではなく、美しい自然は日本にはまだ多く残されています。自然の移ろいを目で見て風を肌で感じることが、物質的ではない本当の幸せだと個人的には思っています。この秋をぜひ堪能してください。

Autumn passes in a blink of an eye. There is still a lot of beautiful nature left in Japan, and not just in Kamikochi. I personally believe that seeing the changes in nature with your eyes and feeling the breeze on your skin is a true happiness that is not materialistic. I hope you will enjoy this autumn.


フォトギャラリー 涸沢カールの紅葉(撮影は昨年10月初旬)

Photo Gallery Autumn leaves at Karasawa Cirque (photoes taken in early October 2020)


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Riki Nakajima

Blog:https://ameblo.jp/rikistyle/
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/rikinakajima/
Guide Company HP for Winter :https://rikijg.com/jp/
Guide Company HP for Green Season :https://www.rikijapowguide.com

1981年、滋賀県出身。 カナダ・ウィスラーに留学中、CSIAインストラクター資格と、日本人初となるCFSAフリースキーインストラクター資格を取得。帰国後は数々のフリースキー大会への参加に加えて、バックカントリーでの滑走へも活動の場を広げた。ここ数年は、北海道トマムスキー場をベースに、スキーのレッスンやガイド、イベント運営、MCなどその動きは多岐にわたっている。また、毎年春になると海外へとわたり、アドベンチャー要素の高い山行を継続的にトライし、その模様を映像や写真、イベントで表現している。 ガイドカンパニー「RIKI JAPOW GUIDE」代表。

Born in Shiga Prefecture in 1981. While studying in Whistler, Canada, he became a certified CSIA instructor and the first Japanese freeski instructor to receive the CFSA freeski instructor certification. After returning to Japan, he expanded his activities to include backcountry skiing in addition to participating in numerous freeskiing competitions. For the past few years, he has been working at Tomamu Ski Resort in Hokkaido, giving ski lessons, guiding, managing events, and acting as an MC. He also travels abroad every spring to try his hand at high adventure mountain climbing, and expresses his experiences through videos, photos, and events. He is the representative of the guide company “RIKI JAPOW GUIDE”.

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