It’s been a terrific summer here in Kamikochi, with clear days bringing plenty of opportunities to escape the sweltering city heat with a trip to the mountains. It would be both premature and unduly pessimistic to say “all good things come to an end” because, in reality the advent of autumn weather is a good thing in its own right. As the air grows brisk and we start packing warm thermals, the promise of a cool, bracing season with glorious autumn foliage is not far away.
Morning temperatures of around 7 degrees celsius have been recorded this past week in a marked change from what we had been experiencing recently. This was the first time this summer that the temperatures had dropped below 10 degrees and anyone not used to this would likely have felt a bit chilly. In truth though, the first frost won’t happen until the latter half of September.
The clouds are also showing signs of embracing autumn. For science-y reasons I don’t quite understand, they have begun to fragment into what the Japanese call 千切れ雲 (“sengiregumo”?), or loosely, “clouds divided into a thousand parts.” If you want a fuller explanation of why this happens, please consult a meteorologist. It looks pretty anyway, and with the autumn leaves still weeks away, it helps set the scene for fall weather.
Other signs of autumn include changes in vegitation. The spotted bellflowers seen here will soon be disappearing. A few still manage to bloom amid falling temperatures:
Elsewhere, newly-arrived seasonal plants confirm that a change of scene is imminent:
We may feel a little sadness over the passing of summer, with its lush greens and golden sunshine, but this past week has marked the start of a season that is wonderful in its own way. As we begin the countdown to beautiful autumn foliage later this autumn, be sure to stay tuned for regular updates right here.
Two further notes:
–First, as always, please visit our Facebook page with any questions or comments you might have ( https://www.facebook.com/kamikochi )
–Second, if you haven’t checked out our recent article on staying the night in Kamikochi, you can find it here: https://www.kamikochi.org/articles/featured-articles/243-all-day-and-all-night-a-brief-guide-to-spending-the-night-at-kamikochi.html
That’s all for now. See you this autumn in the gateway to the Northern Alps!
Soruces of Information:
National Park Guide website: http://npg-alps.net/
Shimizuya Hotel website: http://www.kamikochi-shimizuya.com