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Written by: Michael Barbic
Date: 2011/07/04

Lately, there has been a lot of heavy rain in Kamikōchi. But now with the passing of the rain, it's possible to feel summer on its way. Besides the rise in temperature, the most obvious sign of summer is the singing of Japanese cicadas (semi). Their distinctive sound is something that most Japanese find to be an integral part of summer. I, nor most Japanese, could imagine summer in rural Japan without this chorus of insects.

The Distinctive Sound of Japanese Cicadas Brings With the Feeling of Summer

Aside from the increasing number of insects about, with the coming of summer, more and more plants have begun flowering. The flowers of this gen-no-shouko are somewhat well-known for their medicinal uses in the treatment of stomach problems.

Gen no Shouko

And take a look at this kanboku below. Does it resemble a hydrangea to you? Well, I have to say it does. Anyway, what color are this plant's flowers? If you answered 'white', you're not totally wrong. But, you've probably been fooled. The big white flowers you see are not actually flowers at all. The real flowers of this plant are the small, white/green, and grain-like parts that you can see amongst the larger false flowers.

Kanboku

If you are new to Japan, just here for a visit, or just don't know the sounds of Japanese cicadas, I recommend taking a trip to a forested area and just listening. They are one of the loudest insects while singing, and their songs have a special rhythm.

For more information about the highlights of summer in Kamikōchi, I recommend taking a look the recent article "One Month Summer" on our website.

 

Source of Information:

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