Sun and Warmth for the Three Day Weekend

The pageantry of the Boat Festival at Hotaka Shrine.

If there’s one thing Japan excels at it’s delivering good weather on bank holidays.  While recent weeks have seen temperatures dip to around zero overnight, this past weekend marked a slight return to summery weather with blue skies and unseasonable warmth greeting lucky visitors to Kamikochi.

Signs of autumn color on the trees around Hotaka Shrine.

The pictures above show scenes from the annual Boat Festival at Myojin Pond.  In a blend of Shinto ritual and local tradition invoking the Hotaka Shrine’s ancient links to Kyushu, the ceremony is conducted by priests and other personnel crossing the pond on decorative boats.

Elsewhere in the park, a stroll from Kappa Bridge to Tashiro Bridge might afford a glimpse of brightly colored seasonal foliage:

The Euonymus hamiltonianus, known simply as マユミ in Japanese, is variously called Himalayan Spindle and Hamilton’s Spindle in the English speaking world.

So how long can this warm weather last?  Only until tomorrow, according to long term forecasts.  While sun and warmth are predicted over the next 36 hours, several days of rain and cloud are expected to follow.  Please remember that even on the sunniest days, rain gear and warm jackets which are easy to slip on and off are strongly recommended (and a necessity for those embarking on proper hikes).

Thanks as always to the hard working bloggers at NPG for their inspiring photographs and invaluable service to tourism in the Northern Alps.  Top notch stuff!

Source of Information and Images:

National Park Guide Kamikochi blog: