Saturday, September 3, 2011

Flowers in season at Kirigamine

Early September in my part of the world is still summer.   My husband and I went on a trip to Kirigamine and Kamikochi to feel the coming of autumn and to restore ourselves from the fatigue of the summer. 

Flowers are so kind as to give their nectar till their last moment.

One of our favorite travel destinations is highlands surrounded by the Japanese Alps soaring high.  At the highland at altitude of 1500-1900 meters in this season,  almost all the summer flowers are past their prime time, some of them swaying their withered figures in the wind, but autumn flowers are blooming one after another. 

These are summer flowers I found still lingering.

シモツケ, Filipendula multijuga, or meadow sweet

ツユクサ or commelinaceae

I like this time when mountains restore its stillness after summer holiday is over and air gets rapidly cooler and cooler.  It was my fourth visit to Kiriga-mine: first for Niko-kisuge (YouTube) in July, second enveloped in a dense fog ("kiri-ga-mine" means "fog-ridge"), third in autumn, and this time to see Scabiosa which I love but hadn't seen in person.

Scabiosa is “matsumushi-so” in Japanese because it starts blooming at the time when autumn insects "matsu-mushi (pine crickets)" start chirping.  The bloom of the flower tells the arrival of autumn at the highland. Though time was right, I couldn't see many of ScabiosaI as I had expected, so you'd understand how I was happy to find them flowering here and there.  

I do love these small flowers of soft lavender blue. 

Other autumn flowers are.....

野紺菊, or aster microcephalus var. ovatus, will bloom till frost.

What is this?
(This is cimicifuga,  cohosh, or サラシナショウマ.  Thank you, marijke and cosmos.)

This looks like a thistle but doesn't have prickles.
I wonder whether this is タムラソウ or 野あざみ in Japanese?
(タムラソウ. Thank you, cosmos.)
What would you call this flower in English? 
(Knapweed.  Thank you, Runy.)

We left when a large-scale, slow-moving typhoon No. 12 was approaching.  We decided to go as scheduled because it was far away.  During the trip it was raining on and off as the rain front was stimulated, so I couldn't take so many pictures. 

Now it is so calm that I can't believe the typhoon will be landing Kansai area several hours later.  This would be the calm before the storm. 

at Azumino

 Next time, I will report about the latter part of my trip to Kamikochi.

- This post is linked to Our World Tuesday.  Enter the site from the photo on the sidebar. -


  1. Beatiful pictures Stardust. I especially like the picture of the dragonfly. The white flower looks a little like the Black Bugbane flower but I am not at all sure that is what it is.

  2. these are beautiful. loved the purple asters! :)

  3. Hallo Stardust,
    I think the white flower (botanic name cimicifuga. I don't know the name in english but what I know is that they are flowering late in the season. By the way again a lovely report of your country.
    Lovely weekend, Marijke

  4. I saw the weatherforecast for Japan on Television I hope you won't get any demage. Myselfe I am tarrified
    for extreme weather. I will keep my fingers crossed.

  5. Your photos are always so beautiful! isn't is gorgeous to enjoy late summer flowers?
    Thanks for sharing:)

  6. I like to look close up at scabious flowers because the petals always seem to have been sewn deliberately in ruffles. I mean, they look like decorations.

    The photograph of the insect is very good - -a very strange berry that it is sitting on and one which is not familiar to me.

  7. Nice photo and your entire blog. Peter.

  8. Hi Yoko
    I agree with everyone that your photos are lovely.
    Take care, Evelyn

  9. you always share the most beautiful pictures and stories. i am looking forward to fall, pumpkins, mums and halloween, but i always miss all the colors of summer!!

    this is such a lovely place!!

  10. Great trip and beautiful flowers.
    I'm glad to hear that you were not affected by typhoon.
    Some things in my garden like vegetables got blown.

  11. Visiting Kamikochi for the first time this summer, I learned that it was a British missionary (Rev. Weston) who gave the name "Japan Alps" and introduced alpinism to the Japanese.

    Lovely photos. I used to be eager to find out the names of flowers, but now I just enjoy the colours and the fragrance.

    And who (or what) is "Scabiosa"?

  12. Possibly the pink flower is Bee Balm (Monarda). The Scabiosa is so delicate. Lovely photographs! I like the more muted palette of fall. I'm glad you and your husband enjoyed a bit of coolness.

  13. Hi

    Your beautiful flower photos always make me happy and refreshed! Kamikochi is one of my favorite highlands and I once climbed Yake-dake from Kamikochi when I was in highshool. I want to climb Nishi-ho(西穂高岳)very much from it. How was the Azusa river? Several years ago, my family and I had a long trek along the river. Thanks so much for this lovely post, stardust.


  14. Such lovely flowers--so many varieties in so many beautiful colors. The flowers here in Kansas are pretty well gone. We have had 52 days of 100+ temperatures with more on the way. Hot, dry weather does not make for flourishing flower gardens. This too will end and there will always be next year when, hopefully, the weather will be better. Have a lovely weekend. Mickie :)

  15. Hope the typhoon didn't cause too much damage.

    These shots are lovely - I can feel the beauty and peace. The Scabiosa is indeed very pretty. And that last shot is amazing!

  16. Your photos are so beautiful! So nice to see these blooms from the Japanese countryside. Love the pretty butterfly and the dragonfly shot too!

  17. Ah … how heavenly … a thistle with no prickles! Your images seem so gentle, stardust. I hope that the storm you speak of is milder than expected.

  18. Marc - “Scabiosa” is マツムシソウ in Japanese. The fourth, fifth and sixth photo. Kirigamine and Utsukushigahara are noted for this flower from late August to early September.

  19. Lovely flowers and what beautiful shots! Your posts are always soaked in peace and serenity and I can feel it as I browse through.. It was nice of you and your husband to take the tour and many thanks for taking us along :-)

  20. I also like to go to Shinsyu for treking,skiing,climbing,summer resort.
    Scabiosa is very beautiful but this flower is wild flower,I wonder? It's too beautiful for wild flower(Excuse for my rudeness,wildfloweres).
    Have a lovely weekend.

  21. Many beautiful flowers, Stardust! Some are similar to mine, and some are flowers that are new to me!
    Thanks for sharing!

  22. Hello Yoko:
    What wonderful pictures you show here which really do have an autumnal feeling about them.The Scabious and Asters are two of our favourite autumn flowers and we think that your lavender-tufted flower is a cornflower of some kind [Centaurea]. We are sure that it was delightful strolling through these fields of suchnatural beauty and, rather like the calm before the storm, good to have experienced all this before the onset of winter.

  23. A fantastic series of photos with beautiful colors, delicious and exquisite macro shots.

  24. Dragonfly looks very beautiful. I also like bugs on the pink flower. Maybe it's Cirsium arvense, creeping thistle? I saw such in Russia.

  25. Hello Yoko,
    This must be a very interesting place to visit.I see from the link that it's also likened to Yosemite,the rivers are so clear and beautiful and the scenery spectacular.
    Your photos are lovely.....the dragonfly especially,you've captured the delicate structure of the wings so beautifully.
    We have lots of these purple flowers here,although most have now stopped flowering.I've always known them as knapweed.Meadowsweet is one of my favourite wildflowers.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Enjoy your week!

  26. We have all these flowers in Western Europe, but they seem even more attractive and delicate when you present them!

  27. I haven't climed Kiriga- mine, though I enjoyed our trip to Kamikochi very much.
    The last photo is so impressionable. And other flowers' photos are also so beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing the early autumnal events.

  28. Your wildflower pictures are lovely. When I was a child in England, I knew all the names of the wild flowers in the nearby fileds and woods, and I remember the blue scabious very well. But here in Canada I don't know all the flower names. I think your purple flower is a type of thistle, even though it doeasn't have any prickles.

  29. I saw a video of the typhoon who past by hope you are oke!!!!
    gr. Marijke

  30. 信州!ここ数年は毎年行ってるのに、今年は行けませんでした。行きたいなあ。


  31. Sapphire - Because of the rain at night and the occasional rain on that day, the usual moderate Azusa river looked more powerful and rapid, yet the water looked clear, clean, and cold as usual, though I wonder if the water is enough clean for drinking. I haven’t climbed the surrounding mountains. I enjoy walking along the Azusa river from Taisho-ike to Myojin-ike whenever I visit Kamikochi.

  32. Loved the colors, the bright purples, oranges and the blues...
    Can almost get a whiff of the fresh and sweet smelling flowers...
    Have a wonderful week ahead Yoko:)

  33. hallo stardust,

    I hope you are safe and well. I know that the Taifun has caused much damage.

    I know all of the flowers you show us here, most of them grow somewhere in my garden or in the hedgerows round about.

    I too love going out and finding them and admiring their beauty.

  34. Thank you for explaining about the Japanese Alps. I've heard of Mount Fuji and am glad to learn of more mountains in Japan. As for your photos, the first one with the butterfly is truly a beautiful work of art. I also love the soft lavender blue small flowers. As for the aster microcephalus var. ovatus, I've seen something similar in the USA in Northeast Ohio, and they are charming.

    Thank you for asking about me on my blog, that's very kind of you. It's good to see you again. :-)

  35. Just wanted to tell you my thoughts and prayers are with you and the people of Japan. So sorry to hear about the typhoon that hit your shores. We are all "at the mercy" of the forces of nature. Take care. Mickie :)

  36. What lovely flowers and beautiful photographs. It is starting to look like autumn here, too.

  37. Hello, Yoko !
    Thank you so much for sharing these magical photographs. Absolutely gorgeous place... all the flowers are so beautiful!!! Wonderful captures


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