After seeing the rainy weather outstay its welcome just a bit, we’re now looking forward to enjoying some of the usual summer delights at Kamikochi. Amid the always fourishing plant and animal life, the relatively cool park environs are attracting people from all over Japan (and beyond), seeking an escape from the summer heat.
Below, we have two examples of seasonal plantlife now fourishing in the park;
On the left is a Diphylleia whose color has deepened into a pleasing shade of purple recently. One the is the colorfully named mamushigusa (“viper grass” in Japanese), which is known to English speaking botanists as “Jack in the Pulpit.” Despite it’s rather toxic shade of green and what might be inferred from its name, the mamushigusa is not particularly poisonous.
Here we see cotton-like buds from a Japanese Poplar, scattered by the wind;
Not to be outdone by the plants, birds and other animals are also making the scene. Here we see an Oriental Turtle Dove, a species of brid also found in India and south east asia. While sometimes spotted in cities, they are fonder of green places, so you stand a good chance of seeing them around Kamikochi.
We are now nearing one of the peak periods for visiting Kamikochi and the surrounding areas. Summer offers a mix of idyllic weather and huge crowds of people, but their numbers thin out the further you get from the main area around Kappa Bridge. All the more reason to plan an exiciting trek to higher ground! Those with a taste for mountain walking will no doubt want to try the Chogatake, Karasawa, and Yakedake hikes, but where your Kamikochi Adventure takes you is really up to you!
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Source of Information:
National Park Guide website: http://npg-alps.net