Among the most enduring images of autumn is that of brightly-colored trees laguidly dipping their branches earthward to shed their leaves in a poignant farewell to the warmer months. Last week, we brought you images of the first big flourishes of color in Karasawa. This week, we turn our attention to Kamikochi proper, where falling leaves are setting the mood for late autumn.
Everywhere you look these days, there are reminders that–with exactly one month left until the closing ceremony on November 15th–we are nearing the end of trouist season in Kamikochi. So autumn is a gala send-off of sorts, with one of the loveliest times of year occurring just before the arrival of winter.
These pictures were taken at the Seiryu Shimizu (?) River, by Roppyaku-san few days ago.
For the benefit of those who, like me, are not experts at recognizing different types of leaves, here’s a breif guide to some of the specimens currently decorating Kamikochi’s forest floors and pathways:
First, we have a leaf from the Kalopanax septemlobus, or “prickly castor oil tree,” called “harigiri” in Japanese:
Next, here are some leaves from a Pterocarya, which some (very few?) might know by its nickname, “Japanese Wingnuts”:
And lastly, some katsura leaves, showing a nice mix of colors:
The effect of having ever-increasing amounts of leaves on the ground is that the autumn foliage can now be seen both above and below, which adds to the rich autumn ambiance:
As, I write, parts of Nagano are being menaced by an incoming typhoon, so be sure to check the weather forecasts before planning your trip down. Also, despite a weekend of unseasonable warmth and sun in some areas, the air grows colder by the day, especially from sundown to early morning. Bundle up and pack rain gear!
For our part, we’ll continue to bring you weekly updates of the situation in and around Kamikochi as the pageantry of autum continues to unfold. We’ve only got a month left to enjoy general access to Kamikochi, so let’s make the most of it!
Sources of Information:
National Park Guide website: http://npg-alps.net
Shirakabaso Hotel website: http://shirakabaso.com