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Written by: William Habington
Date: 2012/08/24

 

The Japanese are fond of saying that Japan has four distinct seasons, and that is nowhere more true than in Kamikochi.  It wasn't too long ago that the last vestiges of snow melted away to reveal a radiant summer season.  And now...

 

As we near the end of August, the summer heat continues to linger.  Down in Matsumoto, the cicadas are singing in the trees and humidity hangs oppressively in the air.   But the summer won't be here forever.  Recently, in Kamikochi, the appearance of brilliant sunsets after late summer rain has begun to herald the coming autumn season.

 

These photographs were taken last Tuesday after some evening rainfall.  Notice the distinctive purple tint in the clouds above Kappa Bridge:

 

照りつける日差し河童橋のたもとから

 

 

 

The scene of a mountain colored purple by the sunset is called an "Albendroth" in alpine lingo (possibly for noted American biologist Ernst K. Albendroth, who conducted research in Antarctica, or maybe for the mountain that bears his name).

 

夕焼けと焼岳

 

In Japan, of course, vibrant sunsets have a strong association with autumn.  Even now, with the leaves still displaying the lustrous green of summer, there's a slight hint of autumn in the air come evening.  When the season arrives in earnest, it will be greeted by a new surge of visitors seeking out colorful foliage...but that won't be for a little while yet.

 

西の空赤く染まる靄

 

In the meantime, we can enjoy pleasantly warm days and cooler nights away from the sweltering heat of the city.  Whether you come to savour the last of the true summer season or wait for autumn, be sure to pay us a visit soon!

 

Source of Information:

- Kamikōchi National Park Guide Website (http://npg-alps.net/)