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Written by: Michael Barbic
Date: 2011/05/23

Spring in Kamikōchi is finally here!

With clear skies the other day, morning temperatures dropped to a crisp 3°C, and a layer of frost covering Kappa-bashi Bridge. Though later the same day, the area warmed up to a comfortable 23°C. This 20°C difference in temperature is typical of a spring day with clear skies in the highlands. And with the warmth of spring, snow remaining in the mountains continues to melt.

Snowline Gradually Rising

Snowline Gradually Rising

Frost on Kappa-bashi Bridge

Kappa-bashi Bridge Covered with Frost

Although this winter was long and cold and spring has come late, life around the Kamikōchi basin is finally beginning to wake from its winter slumber with flowers of all sorts starting to bloom. For those who missed out on seeing the cherry blossoms down in the cities, Kamikōchi offers another chance  to see them with the takane-zakura cherry trees now blooming.

As for ground plants, a relatively unflowerlike plant now blossoming is the oku-no-kansuge. The fuzzy-looking parts are its flowers and are quite interesting to touch. The little hime-ichige can be seen along the Azusagawa River around Konashidaira Campsite. And not to be missed, nirinsou is now becoming a beautiful blanket of little white flowers.

Takane-zakura

Takane-zakura

Oku-no-kansuge

Oku-no-kansuge

Hime-ichige

Hime-ichige

Nirinsou

Nirinsou

Many other little delights that spring brings can be found all around Kamikōchi now. How about taking a look for yourself?

 

Sources of Information:

 - Kamikōchi Gosenjaku Group (http://www.gosenjaku.co.jp/)

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