The First Month of Spring, 2022

A hearty hello to all of our readers, near and far!

As I write, Kamikochi has been open to the public for just under a month. The season got off to a slightly bumpy start when rainfall caused a temporary closure just before the opening ceremony.

Happily, the park reopened in time for the Golden Week holiday. As was the case last year, however, Mother Nature decided to celebrate the reopening with blizzards:

As seen in the picture above, the snowfall momentarily obscured the view of the mountains. On the other hand, the blizzards saw the Hotaka peaks crowned anew with a lustrous blanket of snow:

And this is one of the most attractive features of Kamikochi in spring. We can enjoy the sight of new green foliage and seasonal blossoms against a backdrop of still wintery mountains.

Speaking of blossoms, the ones seen in the photo at the top of the page are a variety of cherry blossom called takane zakura (高嶺桜), common to mountainous areas of Nagano Prefecture. But the flower most closely associated with spring in Kamikochi is a species of lily called nirinsou. While individually modest, large numbers of these blossoms can form impressive swathes of white amid the luminous green of spring grass.

Thanks as always to the hard working folks at Five Sense for providing the information used in this week’s blog!

That’s all for now. we hope to be back in the near future with a guide on how to enjoy the spring in Kamikochi. Till then, we hope you are well and in good spirits.

Stay safe!

Sources of Information:

Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: https://fivesense.guide/blog/today/33435/