Kamikouchi (上高地), the beautiful mountain field guarded by ancient ocean god (Boat festival held at Myoujin pond / 明神池, Hodaka temple / 穂高神社)

At October 8th, unique festival is held in deep mountain.
Two boats floated on a pond called "Myoujin pond".

This festival held once a year on same day, October 8th.
As the pond is in deep mountain, you have to take train and bus for few hours and walk one more hour.

1. Matsumoto Station (松本駅) to Shin-Shimashima station (新島々駅)
   - Take Matsumoto Dentetsu Kamikouchi Line. Costs 700 yen and takes 30 minutes.

2. Shin-Shimashima station(新島々駅) to Shin-Shimashima bus station (新島々営業所)
   - About 10 minutes walk to bus station. The bus company's name is ALPICO.

3. Shin-Shimashima bus station to Kamikouchi bus station.
   - Costs 1,950 yen and takes an hour. You will pass 29 bus stations.

4. Kamikouchi bus station to Myoujin pond
   - An hour walk to the pond.

When you get off the bus, you will see beautiful mountains and sky there.

An hour walk maybe hear little hard, I though so, but it was not.
The beauty of the nature never bored me during the walk.

The time I reached at the pond was 10:00.
The festival starts at 10:30, so I had 30 minutes free time there.

This is the bridge before reaching the pond.

And, this is the entrance.

You will soon see the shrine from here.

Festival starts at shrine, having Miko's dance, so I thought of waiting here first.
But there were a lot of people already, so I decided to go directly to the pond.

I wanted to see Miko's dance, but I couldn't miss the boats floating on the pond.
If you are interested in Miko's dance, please refer to my previous blog article below.

Lot's of people were waiting for the boats.
I was the last person that could get the space next to the pond...

I was lucky that deciding to come here directly.

One thing unlucky was that TV crews came in front of me and started to run the camera there...

It become little difficult to take pictures here, but it was good chance to know how the TV programs were created.

I think it was quite hard work to bring whole equipment here.
They said that they came here at 8:00 in the morning. It is hard work...

Waiting there for about an hour, the boats came out at 11:30.

Priests and Mikos are riding on the first boat, and musician of Japanese flutes are on the second boat.

The purpose of this festival is to pray god for the peace and requiescat who died in the mountain.
It's a wonder that the god enshrined is god in ocean, not the mountain.

It is said that tribes who lived the beach of Kyushu island, the southern island in Japan, came here nearly 1600 years ago, and created the village.

I also reminded that volcano exploded last year.
Mountain named Ontake exploded last year, September 27th, and many people who were climbing had died. The nature sometimes too powerful to human. I prayed for the victims and their families.

They went through in front of me.

 They were faster than I thought, and went far soon.

It was about 10 minutes they were on the pond, but it was worth of waiting them here.
I should take little better lens next year.

I could take the pictures of dragon and bird on the boat.

There are word "竜頭鷁首 -Ryuto-Gekisyu" in Japan, which means that boats for noble people are decorated using dragon's and water bird's head.

The road going back was not at all.
Autumn leaves were so beautiful.

The reason I went to Kamikouchi was to see the festival, but it will be enough going there just to see the beautiful nature.

Thank you for reading!
Have a nice day!!

上高地, 御船祭, 明神池, 穂高神社, 巫女