Tokens of the Golden Season

There are new signs of autumn in Kamikochi this week with the concentration of yellow leaves increasing and the morning chill becoming more pronounced.  For seasonal visitors, this is obviously cause for celebration, but you will want to prepare a warm jacket and gloves especially if your itinerary extends to the morning or early evening.

In a recent post, the bloggers at NPG suggest you prepare a warm jacket, thermal inner, and gloves, as well as a knit hat to keep your ears warm.  You might find yourself discarding these items as the temperature rises around midday, but they will save you some discomfort when the sun disappears around 5pm.

Fleece, down jacket, and gloves. Got it?

In terms of what you can expect to see around the 1200m mark where most of Kamikochi’s most popular spots are located, there is already plenty of yellowing foliage in wooded areas as well as subtler signs of seasonal change like berries ripening beyond their peak.

Fallen leaves spell out autumn’s melancholy charm.

Berries on a forked viburnum tree. Another harbinger of season’s end.

As mentioned in recent posts, the peak of autumn foliage will not happen for a couple of weeks from now.  For an indication of how far along we are this week, look at the gradation of yellow and green on these leaves:

Called “itayakaede” in Japanese, this Asian variety of maple is sometimes called “painted maple” in English.  This shot was taken near the Shimizu River.

Yellow is very much the dominant color of a Japanese autumn with the Japanese 黄葉 (koyou) literally meaning “yellow leaves.”  The less often heard 紅葉 (momiji) refers to red leaves.  When these leaves spread out to fill a whole treeline, the effect is both invigorating and calming, especially when seen in the autumn sun.

A tranquil morning scene finds Mount Roppyaku swathed in mist.

One of the scenes enjoyed by hikers traveling from the Kappa Bridge to Myojin Pond via the Dakesawa Marsh.

We hope these pictures give you some idea of the current conditions at Kamikochi.  Please note that at higher elevations the autumn foliage is advancing closer toward the peak due to colder temperatures.

As always, we have the people at the National Park Guide’s Kamikochi blog to thank.  Great work as always!

That’s all for this update, but we’ll be back soon with more news as it becomes available to us.  Till then, stay warm and enjoy your autumn!

Source of Information and Images:

National Park Guide Kamikochi Blog: