In Japan, autumn is synonymous with many things: seasonal fruits like Japanese pears and giant succulent grapes; the onset of a burgeoning, pre-winter appetite called 食欲の秋 (“autumn hunger”); and of course, the gradual arrival of autumn colors. As one of four distinctive seasons in Japan, autumn is also the season that launched a score of bitersweet haiku and at times the beauty, unpinned by a deep melancholy, can be almost overwhelming. The seasonal foliage is set to arrive a little earlier this year with Karasawa already displaying a wealth of vibrant colors and you can already enjoy a little of what the season has to offer around the Kappa Bridge area. As long as the weather holds, it will be gorgeous from here on in.
Here, courtesy of the good folks at National Park Guide, is a pictorial of some recent sights around Kamikochi. Please bear in mind that these pictures were originally posted more than a week, so the autumn colors will have spread and intensified in the meantime:
The fruit seen in the last photo blooms seasonally on the guelder rose. While it’s bright red color might draw the eye, however, the berry is so bitter that it is as unpopular among animals as it is among humans, which results in many fruit remaining untouched on the branches until winter. Not that this should be an issue: picking, eating, or otherwise disturbing vegitation is strictly against park rules. We suggest that you enjoy them with your eyes.
Now, in response to the many many messages we’ve received asking about the peak of autumn color season, we can tell you the following:
–The peak occurs during October, usually from the middle to the final third of the month, but maybe slightly earlier this year.
–With autumn colors arriving in abundance in the Karasawa area right now, it might be a good time to sneak in an early visit.
–Expect to see a nice variety of colors for most of October.
–If you want to get the most out of your visit, consider checking out the お船祭り (“boat festival”) held at Myojin Shrine every year on the eigth of October. It’s on a weekday this year meaning the crowds might be quite reasonable. For a look at what to expect, follow this link to an old blog post: https://www.kamikochi.org/blogs/311-the-boat-festival-ancient-ritual-and-autumn-splendor.html
–Most importantly, we urge you to do your best to visit Kamikochi when the weather is nice. Rather than trying to catch the leaves at their absolute peak, try to be there when all of the scenery can be enjoyed.
We’ll be back with more reports when as further info becomes available. In the meantime, we wish you a safe and unforgettable visit!
Source of Information:
National Park Guide website: http://npg-alps.net