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Written by: Michael Barbic
Date: 2011/06/25

Although we're getting hit by another typhoon now, all is not drab. As soon as the rain lets up, we will be able to feast our eyes on some excellent scenery. No, I'm not talking about the view from Kappa-bashi Bridge. I'm talking about something most of us take for granted or fail to see, even though it is around us quite often. Have you ever looked closely at the leaves of plants and trees just after it rains? What a spectacle... Just going for a short stroll around Kamikōchi merits us with views like these.

Raindrops Glistening on Karamatsu Needles

The raindrops glistening off of the karamatsu (Japanese larch) here are truly beautiful.

Raindrops Beading Up on Karamatsu-sou Leaves

And just look how the raindrops bead up on the leaves of this karamatsu-sou.

Almost Transparent Leaves of Tagasode-sou After the Rain

These delicate, little plants called tagasode-sou are only found in the central region of Japan. And in Kamikōchi, they can be found in great numbers, now in bloom around the visitor's center. They reach a height of about 30cm, and their white flowers with five petals are distinctively thin. If you look closely, you can almost see through them. It is almost suprising that they don't get completely destroyed by the heavy rain of this season. I think their strength and delicate beauty are to be admired.

I suppose it's human nature to run for cover when it rains. And when rain lets up, humans feel the desire to go back outside. In our modern society, though, I'm not sure that we feel these instincts as much as we used to. Perhaps it is a good time to think about what is better for mind, bodies, and spirits. Sitting on the couch, watching TV and complaining how it rains so much or talking a walk to admire and thank nature for the beauty it provides us.

 

Source of Information:

- National Parks Foundation (http://www.bes.or.jp/kamikochi/)