This article analyzes the emerging contours of mountain tourism in a highly popular destination in the North Japan Alps by reporting the findings of a two-year long study at the Kamikochi Valley. The main aim was to understand the dynamic character of the biophysical landscape and the perceptions of tourism service providers and visitors. The study was conducted using a qualitative design and involved in-depth interviews, observations, and a questionnaire survey for visitors. It was found that while different stakeholders held different perceptions of the landscape, there was a general lack of understanding among tourism service providers and visitors regarding the relationship between long-term processes and fine-scale heterogeneity of the landscape. The prevalence of an engineering approach has led to sweeping changes of key landscape interaction pathways over the years, threatening the heterogeneity and resilience of the natural environment. The findings also indicate a general visitor demand of information on the biophysical environment, and therefore it is of urgent need to address the biophysical integrity of such landscapes, and raise visitor awareness through the provision of relevant information.
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