In the Shadow of the Season

Wouldn’t you know it, we’re still waiting for autumn to show its face when winter comes knocking at the door.  Well, not exactly…


Things are different in the mountains, and things are really different at the peaks of some of Japan’s highest mountains.  Today was the first day that the peaks of the Hotaka Range went visibly white and a glaze of frost could also be seen covering Kappa Bridge where the morning temperature was 1 degree Celsius.  All things considered, you should probably pack a warm jacket, gloves and a hat.


Snow on the mountaintops does not in fact mean that winter is almost here, but rather that autumn is about to hit its peak–a time that includes such inspiring sights as colorful foliage against a backdrop of snow-dusted hills.  Mornings are cold but beautiful, with the bracing chill in the air providing a delicious accent to the swathes of green down below and the alpine vistas up high.

This coming Saturday will mark the anticipated start of autumn foliage season, 2015.  There will definitely be color on trees around the park, though it will not yet have the density and vibrancy of the true “peak” period.  But hey, the weather has been very nice during the day and for my money good weather is more key to enjoying Kamikochi than any amount of pretty leaves.


If you do find yourself in Kamikochi tomorrow morning, be sure to check out the Boat Festival at Myojin Pond from about 11am.  It’s sure to provide a pleasant change of pace from all the strenuous hiking you may or may not be doing.

We’ll be back later this week with further updates on what we’re sure will be a great autumn foliage season.  In the meantime, remember to check the weather and prepare accordingly.  Warm apparel and rain gear are an absolute must as always.

Sources of Information:


National Park Guide website: