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“Kama Ike” Pond

Kama Ike was named after its landscape, as the curved shape of the pond resembles that of a sickle, or “kama”, in Japanese. An easy 2 km circuit trail skirts the shore around the circumference of Kama-Ike, passing under the canopy of verdant beech forest. Trout and carp populate the tranquil waters of the lake, and the blooming flora along the banks of the pond change steadily with the seasons.

October is the peak tourist season, as visitors flock to the area to enjoy the outstanding fall foliage, and photographers scramble to capture the beauty of the vivid autumn colors perfectly reflected in the still waters.

The Legend of Kama-Ike and Nata-Ike

Long, long ago, two giant snakes inhabited Muko-Ike, on the border of Shinshu and Echigo (now known as Nagano & Niigata respectively). The snakes’ devilry often annoyed the local people, so in order to pay them back for their frequent mischief, villagers began to dump their sewage into the lake. Not long after, the two snakes struggled out of the lake. The male climbed onto a nearby firewood stack, which the villagers quickly set fire to as soon as they found him there. Seeing this horrible sight, the female snake fled tearfully towards Lake Nojiri. The tears she cried as she hastily escaped created the trio of ponds now known as Inkyo-Ike, Nata-Ike and Kama-Ike.

Access From the “Otari Onsen Intersection” on Route 148, turn onto Route 114 heading toward Mt. Amakazari. Continue approximately 1 km past the turn for the campground to arrive at Kama-Ike.
*About 20 minutes by car from Route 148.
*Parking is available for 30 vehicles.
Elevation 1,190 m
Hiking Trails Kama-Ike Beech Tree Hiking Trail: 1 hour 40 minutes
Kama-Ike Circuit Trail: 40 minutes