After a long, cold Winter in Nagano, spring weather has been taking its time arriving in earnest. In the cities, we’ve been experiencing days of unseasonably warm weather, followed by chilly periods and even occasional surprise snowfall in April. And, as described in a recent blog entry, Kamikochi was hit by a blizzard on the day of the opening ceremony.
Our patience has been rewarded, however, as newly budding flowers confirm that spring will soon be here to stay.
Even amid cold weather, a species of flower called anemone flaccida (or “wind flower”) has started appearing around the park. The “nirinso” as it’s called in Japanese is a sure sign that true May weather has started coming to Kamikochi.
The sight of these distinctive flowers poking out from the soil is also a powerful symbol of the return of vitality to a area which had long been asleep under the tranquil winter snow.
Elsewhere, “hashiridokoro” (called scopolia japonica by botanists), can be seen sprouting from the earth. Don’t be fooled by the resemblance to crispy red lettuce, though: these plants are EXTREMELY poisonous.
Now, you should know that, whether they are poisonous or not, picking or eating any of Kamikochi’s plant life is forbidden. Please admire it with your eyes, not your hands.
Turning our attention back to the less threatening anemone, you should be seeing plenty of these beauties lining the paths from Kappa Bridge to Tokusawa in a week or so:
While the weather remains cold, fleeces, jackets, and boots will be the best fashion choices for a visit to Kamikochi. But, in the coming weeks we will be seeing gradually warmer weather and nature lovers of all ages will once again have cause to rejoice.
Spring wether and mountain air: as good as it gets!
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Sources of Information:
National Park Guide website: http://npg-alps.net
Shirakabaso Hotel website: http://shirakabaso.com