The Rainy Season Rumbles On…

Hello again to all of our readers around the world!

One full week into July, Nagano is still in the midst of its 2021 rainy season. Rainfall (sometimes heavy) has occurred regularly of late. Many of you will have seen the terrifying footage of mudslides in Atami City, Shizuoka Prefecture this past weekend. For the moment, we’re relieved to report that Kamikochi has been spared serious disruption due to rain, despite reports of minor flooding.

As always, there’s a bright side to the recent spate of rainy weather. Seasonal flowers are in bloom, undeterred by the cool and blustery conditions. The photo at the top of this page is of prunella vulgaris, a perennial herb and member of the mint family, whose Japanese name, utsubogusa (靱草) is said to derive from the flower’s resemblance to a quiver. The plant itself grows in mountainous areas with ample sunlight has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries.

Here we see the aquilegia flabellata:

Variously known as the fan columbine or dwarf columbine, this flowering plant is native to Korea and Japan. It can produce bright pruple blooms in summer.

Next, we consider the monotropastrum humile:

Note that the leaves in this picture do not belong to the same plant as the peculiar white flowers. We no this because the monotropastrum humile lacks chlorophyll, preventing it from performing photosynthesis.

As for the current conditions around Kamikochi, the good folks at Five Sense would like us to remind you that, in spite of the rain, there’s plenty to enjoy at this time. They report that daytime highs are around 16 degrees Celsius, so you’ll want to have a decent water resistant shell to wear over your shirt. The Five Sense Kamikochi blog also posted the pictures and info used in today’s article.

That’s all for this brief update on the state of things in Kamikochi. To summarize: rainy but beautiful as always. We hope to be back with further updates soon.

Source of Information:

Nature Guide Five Sense, Kamikochi blog: