Recently with temperatures dipping below freezing, there have been a few chances to see a unique sight in Kamikōchi, provided you get out of bed early. Looking at this picture, can you tell what it is?
If you look a bit more closely, you can make out some white things attached to the stalks of this plant. These are columns of ice. While not uncommon in Kamikōchi, these ice columns are not often seen in too many other places.
In Kamikōchi, they appear most often on koushin-yama-hakka plants and can be found in numbers around the Konashi-daira area. It is very interesting how they form only certain places under certain plants. To me, these seem like miniature snow monsters (the famous snow-covered trees of mountains in Tohoku).
The sights of winter are steadily growing. We can only wonder if this winter will be a cold one or not. I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I hope it’ll be a cold one. At least then we’ll have extra time to experience interesting things like these ice columns.
Source of Information:
– Kamikōchi National Park Guide Website (http://npg-alps.net/)