Recently temperatures in Kamikōchi have dropped considerably, and dew has begun to cover all in the mornings. Clear blue has been dominating the sky as of late, and now the trees and mountains are being tinged with shades of yellow, orange, and red. It’s finally clear that fall is here.
With a drop to a cool 7C last week, people are starting to get out their fleeces and gloves. I wouldn’t say that it’s glove weather yet, but I am quite a bit more cold-hardy than almost any person (Japanese or foreign) around here, especially Japanese tourists on vacation from the still-sweltering cities. Either way, it’s only going to get cooler from here on out. So if you’re thinking about visiting Kamikōchi this year, be prepared for quick changes in weather, especially in regards to wind, rain, and cold.
Below, you can see the pampas grass (susuki in Japanese) tassles blowing in the breeze along the Azusa-gawa River. This really is one of those relaxing scenes of the ‘Japanese countryside’. If you’ve never experienced it, find a windy place with fields of susuki growing and just sit down and relax. If there’s any running water nearby, it’s even better. There’s really nothing more relaxing than the entrancing movements and gentle sounds of a place like this.
Up in the trees in the following picture, you can see that some leaves have already turned red. This is just the start. Over the course of the next few weeks, the forest will come alive with vibrancy in its final flight before winter dormancy.
What most would call the most beautiful season of the year is now here. Don’t wait too long and miss your chance to witness the striking beauty of Kamikōchi in fall.
Sources of Information:
– Kamikōchi Gosenjaku Group (http://www.gosenjaku.co.jp/)
– Kamikōchi National Park Guide Website (http://npg-alps.net/)