It’s been an odd couple of weeks in Nagano Prefecture. While daytime temperatures still often rise to around 30 degrees Celsius, mornings and nights have begun to feel quite cool. It’s a gap in temperature that can play havok with your constitution. I for one, have felt languid and a bit drowsy during the day with the natural outcome that I have been lazily contemplating the onset of autumn. In Kamikochi, however, autumn has pretty much arrived. By way of clarification: that’s early autumn which feels more like summer and not late autumn which feels more like winter. Just the other day, the thermometers were showing 8 degrees in the morning, confirming the need for a warm fleece or vest.
There’s a bright side to all of this in that, the trees have begun to show signs of color, heralding Kamikochi’s celebrated autumn foliage season. The photo above shows the first splashes of red on a Japanese bird cherry. (Thanks as always to the hard working bloggers at the National Park Guide website for the use of their photos!) And the same is true of the redvein maple below:
Elsewhere, a northern Japanese hemlock displays a vibrant yellow:
This last picture shows a key feature of Kamikochi, where yellow foliage has always been more plentiful than red. Yellow may not be quite as striking, but has a subdued charm all it’s own. “Mellow yellow,” you might call it.
The peak of the season will arrive in October, so be sure to plan ahead if you intend to visit. Expect more people than usual and be sure to pack rain gear as it’s really not a good time of the year to find yourself sopping wet in the great outdoors.
All things considered, it’s a fine time to get out and discover the best of what the Northern Japan Alps have to offer. Judicious monitoring of weather forecasts should allow you to avoid the rain and get the best out of your mountain excursion. We hope to see you out there this autumn!
Source of Information:
National Park Guide website: http://npg-alps.net