Signs of Spring Greet the New Season

The kind of serene sight that Taisho Pond is famous for. Despite the recent increase in visitors to the park, you can still enjoy periods with practically no one in sight…for the moment.

As I write, Kamikochi’s official opening on Thursday the 27th is just three days away!  There are signs of life throughout the park as humans and animals alike gather to welcome the arrival of spring.  In truth, it has been coming in trickles with sunny weather one day being followed by clouds, strong winds, and cold the next.  But recent dispatches from the front lines have been positive as we shall see.

As always we are indebted to the tireless blogging staff of the National Park Guide site for their efforts in gathering recent images and information from Kamikochi.  Even if you don’t read Japanese, their site is a superb resource and you are encouraged to browse recent entries at your leisure:

The overall impression is still quite wintery, especially if you direct your gaze above to the mountaintops.

We’ve been getting some mixed signals about which routes linking the central area to the Myojin area can actually be followed.  Last week we reported that the course along the right bank (or on the left side, if you are looking upriver) could be followed with caution.  Then this appeared:

This sign emphatically reminds visitors to stick to the bus terminal side of the river when heading to the Myojin area. Best to follow these directions if the signs are still up when you visit.

Birds of a Feather

As always, migratory birds form an important part of the rich menagerie of wildlife populating Kamikochi in the spring season.  Let’s have a look.

A red flanked blue tail sits pensively on a stump. His blue plumage tells us that he is the male of the species.

A young coal tit among still bare branches.

A gray wagtail. Very much in character for a species associated with running water, this fellow is enjoying his perch in a cool stream.

A handsome eurasian jay. Distantly related to crows, this bird shares it’s cousin’s intelligence and knack for planning for future needs. No bird brains here.

And lastly, leave it to the mischievous Japanese Macaque to crash a party for birds. Stay golden, bud.

That’s all for now, folks.  We’ll be back later in the week with updates about the upcoming Kaizansai opening ceremony on Thursday.  Till then, stay safe and enjoy the spring weather!

Source of Information:

The National Park Guide Kamikochi blog: and