A hearty hello to all of our loyal readers near and far!
As I write, snow blankets the ground of my adopted hometown, Suwa. The daily grind of work is finally winding and visions of Yuletide sugar plums (and a well-deserved holiday) are well and truly dancing in my head.
As mentioned in the first installment of this retrospective, 2022 saw Kamikochi hit by more rainfall than usual. This combined with the lingering effects of the global COVID pandemic resulted in a quieter year in the park. For local businesses, that’s not ideal. On the other hand, the flora and fauna of Kamikochi seemed untroubled.
Late Summer and Autumn
The above picture shows the effects of high humidity on a warm summer morning. Normally, we associate morning mist of the water with Taisho Pond, but this past summer, Kappa Bridge gave that storied locale a run for its money.
One positive outcome of the higher than average rainfall was a dramatic increase in the appearance of various kinds of mushroom around the park. Fungus loves nothing more and a moist environment:
As summer transitioned into autumn, Kamikochi had its fair share of unseasonably warm days. Since autumn foliage is triggered in part by colder temperature, the autumn warmth cause a slight delay in the autumn colors arriving.
Delays aside, autumn 2022 unfolded in the usual manner, with maples displaying peak color earlier than larches.
When the larches showed up, they certainly didn’t disappoint:
Late Autumn and Closing
Even as the color on the trees began to thin out, the mountains received a lustrous blanket of snow, creating a picturesque backdrop for the final days of the season. The first snowfall and ground level would follow not long after.
An that’s where we end. In many ways 2022 was an atypical year in Kamikochi. Even so, it was a glorious one and we can look forward to another in a few months. The gateway to the Northern Alps will open once again on the morning of April 17th, 2023. We hope you’ll be there to join us.
Thanks as always to the hard working folks at Five Sense who’ve given us yet another year of excellent coverage of Kamikochi.
Till next time!
Source of Information:
Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: https://fivesense.guide/blog/column/125859/