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Written by: Michael Barbic
Date: 2011/08/07

If you take a stroll through the forest in Kamikōchi now, you are bound to run into a sight like this. But, what is all that white stuff on the path? It looks like snow, but it's August already. What could it be? I'll give you a hint. It reminds me of the summer days of my childhood when it almost seemed like it was snowing.

What's That on the Path?

Look at it a little closer up. It's cottony and from a tree. If you take a look around the Azusagawa River, you can see these trees all over. Yes, it is the cotton and seeds from the willow trees of Kamikōchi.

It's Cottony

I remember my grandmother who used to complain how much of a mess it always made, clinging to everything. My grandmother's 'favorite' place for this cotton was the screen door. I get a good laugh thinking about that one... Luckily no one has to clean the paths or plants of Kamikōchi as the cotton really is everywhere. 

Clinging to Everything

Also in season are these doro-yanagi or 'mud willows'. No, they don't really look like willows, and really they aren't. They are more of a pseudo-poplar. They are usuallly found vigorously growing straight up like this one.

Beautiful Yellow

However, this next one is quite the oddball. Twisted this way and turned that way, whatever it has been through, it is still aiming for the sky.

Twisted This Way and That but Still Aiming High

If you want to experience the willow cotton season, you'd better hurry as it will soon be coming to an end. See you around!

 

Source of Information:

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