Beautification activities in Kamikochi. The partnership has continued for more than 50years in National Park!

Kamikochi in Chubusangaku National Park is a mountainous scenic spot which represents Japan. Around 1,200,000 people visit Kamikochi per year. “Kamikochi Beautification association” was established in 1963 in order to clean up Kamikochi. At that time, the rubbish thrown away by mountain climbers and tourists was scattered about there, and the issue of garbage was going to become the big social problem. Then, the stakeholders, including a national park ranger of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Azumi village, and Kamikochi tourist hotel association formed Kamikochi Beautification association. The association conducts activities to pick up rubbish twice a month from May to October and to climb up mountains to clean up. Their slogan is “conservation of beautiful nature is our duty to live in beautiful nature.”

After that, the campaign to take garbage home was launched in 1973, and many people bring their garbage back these days. The association is now managing toilets and footpaths, repairing signs, spreading manners to mountain climbers and tourists, eliminating invasive plants and striving to realize co-existence with wild animals, besides cleaning up.

The association has expanded and in addition to the Ministry of the Environment, Forestry Agency, Nagano prefecture, Matsumoto city, and Kamikochi town, all of the organizations and facilities in Kamikochi town, including hotels, mountain huts, and transport facilities participate in the association. The secretariat of the association is in the Kamikochi branch of the Natural Parks Foundation now. The collaboration with various stakeholders has continued for more than 50 years. The cleaning up activities and other activities contribute to enhance communication among people in Kamikochi.

上高地 穂高連峰

Hodaka mountains” “photo by Kamikochi branch of the Natural
Parks Foundation

上高地 一斉清掃

Cleaning up campaign” “photo by Kamikochi branch of the Natural Parks Foundation

Points about the partnership

Total support by the Ministry of the Environment, planning ability of the Natural Parks Foundation as secretariat, and energy of private sector function in a good balance.


Executive committee/council




Kamikochi Beautification association


Natural Parks Foundation, Matsumoto regional office for nature conservation of Ministry of the Environment, Chushin forest management office of Forestry Agency, Matsumoto erosion and sediment control office of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Matsumoto police office, Nagano prefecture, Matsumoto city, Kamikochi town, Kamikochi tourist hotel association, North Alps Mountain huts association, Kamikochi taxi management council, hotels, mountain huts, transport facilities and so on.


Kamikochi Beautification association

Kamikochi branch of the Natural Parks Foundation

Kamikochi Beautification association, 2013, Future for Kamikochi
Kaoru Aoyagi, Kamikochi Beautification association, “From regional activities to social movements: About establishment process and the action of “Kamikochi Beautification Association” ”, Natural Parks Foundation, National parks, 2013 March