Friday, August 24, 2012

霧ヶ峰 Kirigamine, ridge of fog, on a fine clear day

These photos are from my summer trip to "Shinshu",
the area of Japan Alps, a month ago.

Japan Alps in the backdrop

Kirigamine Plateau spreads at the height of 1500-1900 meters in Yatsugatake-Chushin Kogen Quasi-National Park in Nagano.  It is a shield volcano with gentel slopes and the highest peak of Mt. Kuruma-yama (1925m).

As "Kirigamine" means "ridge of fog", the place is well known for fog.  When a warm southern wind near Lake Suwa suddenly blows up toward Kirigamine, the air cools very quickly because of 1000 meters elevation difference and produce fog.  The bell of 霧鐘塔 tells hikers direction in dense fog. While a sweeping view of the Japanese Alps which can be seen from 1600-1800m hills on a sunny day is breathtaking, the scenes created by streaming dense fog and light fog is fascinating as well.

The gentle rolling slopes are filled with alpine plants.  It was a little early to see many flowering plants of summer.  August would be the best time to go for flowers if you are okay with many tourists of high season.

シシウド, or Angelica, are outstanding with their height and big flowers.   

 Up close to the flowers, they look like burst-open flowers of fireworks.

ニッコウキスゲ, or Hemerocallis dumorteri, is a face of summer in Kirigamine. They were not yet to bloom extensively except the slopes of Mt. Kuruma-yama.

runway for glider
Kirigamine is the birthplace of glider in Japan.  Beyond the grass is a runway for gliders built in 1933.  I wonder how it would be to take off overlooking the city below.

The sightseeing road "Venus Line" (127km) which connects Tateshina highland over Mt. Kuruma-yama and Utsukushigahara highland runs through the area.  

 There are well-organized boardwalks and trails.

My last trip to Kirigamine: Flowers in season at Kirigamine


  1. What a fascinatingly beautiful walk through nature, Yoko! The natural beauty that Japan is endowed with never ceases to amaze me and I feel so fortunate to be able to see it through your eyes here.

    The scenes are all so wonderful and neat, the flowers refreshing, delicate and pretty! I am very much intrigued by the bell indicating the direction of the dense fog. I can imagine how useful it must be for the hikers. Your post tempts me to take one of these trails someday.

    Wish you a wonderful weekend ahead. :)

  2. Hello Yoko, what beautiful pictures from the Japanese alps. I love the angelicas they are so pretty.

    It's an exciting place. A fog can create some fine photos - especially when he sun shines through.
    Looks like it's a fine fresh air too. Thank you for sharing.

    Grethe `)

  3. Hello Yoko!
    How wonderful beautiful landscape, which pretty pictures. As I said before, Japan is truly a beautiful country. So nice to see plants that I recognize but now his natruliga habitat.
    I also want to say I am so happy for your words to me, You make me happy. It's so nice to have a friend to share interests with even so far away.
    Wish you a nice weekend.

  4. Dear Yoko - you have shown two of my favourite things from nature on this post, firstly mountains. I am a mountain person, some people find them intimidating they are so huge and overwhelming, but I love them. Secondly wild flowers, nothing more beautiful than meadows strewn with them. Your photos of the angelicas are stunning.

  5. The Alps are so picturesque. Just by looking at the pictures, a soothing and calm feeling is evoked. The Angelicas are spectacular. I wonder whether this plant is related to the angelicas that we use for baking.

  6. When I look at these beautiful photos, I can forget that we're sweltering in Tokyo's heat island. The Angelica flowers are more exquisite than the Sumidagawa's fireworks! :)

    PS: That green! Japan's summer green is just indescribably beautiful.

  7. Muito lindas fotos.Passam paz! beijos,chica

  8. Oh, this is a dream-like place!! For a moment I enjoy cool breeze from your photos.

  9. Beautiful pictures and interesting write up Yoko...

  10. Beautiful photos! I found your blog at the Green Day link-up. Enjoy your weekend.

  11. I also found ニッコウキスゲ at the mountain the other day. The color was very impressive.

  12. beautiful green fields, rolling landscape and blooms. the blue mountains are the perfect backdrop.

    thank you, yoko!

  13. What a beautiful landscape! I've never been to Japan, would really love to visit one day :-) I also love angelica, the flowers are so pretty. Thanks for posting! Visiting from Green Day x

  14. Your photos are always so fascinating and beautiful! I wish I could visit your amazing country one day - your posts always make me feel like going there right now:)
    Have a beautiful evening Yoko:)

  15. Calling by today from the Green Day meme, what lovely scenery and flowers.

  16. Breathtaking indeed, dear Yoko!
    I'm happy to find you again after almost three weeks of absence. Especially in such a beautiful scenery!...
    I liked the idea of building a bell to guide the hikers to the top of the mountain on foggy weather. It shows consideration for the people, at the same time, without harming the nature. Very wise.
    The inflorescence of Angelica resembles a lot with the one of Dill, don't you think? Both powerful plants largely used in the kitchen and for therapeutic purposes.

    I will come back the next days to read the previous posts I've missed while away. Till soon than!
    Have a great week-end and refreshing days ahead!

  17. Now I get why it is cold the Japenese Alp : it look so familiar to me (I've never been to Japan, but I went to French and Suiss Alp) !!! Nice place to walk, indeed !

  18. The Japanese countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. And I'm so glad to see so much through your stunning images! A treat to see the wildflowers.

  19. Those flowers are so beautiful! What a lovely place to visit.

  20. Ein wunderschöner Beitrag mit bezaubernden Fotos zu diesem herrlichen Projekt...

    Lieben Gruß und Sonne im Herzen

  21. Amazing post!
    The pictures are impressive.

  22. Such wide open space and lush growth! I just love mist - we rarely get it but it always makes photos look so dreamy and magical. Lovely to take this walk with you.

  23. Your pictures are really lovely. Those green fields are beautiful.:)

  24. Beautiful mountain scenery and the wildflowers are gorgeous. Love the firework flowers. Lovely photos, thanks for sharing your Green Day post.

  25. Sometimes our memorries get stronger in our mind...Your pictures and story also seem to tell that many phenomena condensed in your momories.

  26. stiletto - The Angelica in my post seems to have been used for folk medicine but I’m not sure if it’s used for baking as you wrote. Do you mean the candied stems which are used in making cakes or sweets? I like that light green color stem coated with frost-like white.

    roxana - Yes, Angelica resembles Dill/イノンド a lot. When you compare seeing two of them, you’ll know the difference clearly. Angelica is high up to 1 meters and flower size is larger with the greenish white color. It is really eye-catching in the meadow with its height and large flowers. Gill is shorter and blooms are smaller with white to yellow color. Angelica, Dill, and Fennel have similar flowers like firework flowers.

  27. Beautiful scenery with the clouds, mountains, and wild flowers. Your pictures are lovely.
    Visiting from Green Day.

  28. Very beautiful photos....almost all the nature in a post.
    Have a nice weekend!

  29. ¸.•°`♪♪♫

    Paisagens lindas, flores lindas, fotos lindas.
    Bom fim de semana!

  30. こんばんは。いつもながらとても素敵な写真です。

  31. very relaxing blog and lovely pics dear yoko, I love the white flowers taken from below and the blue sky in the back...

  32. Beautiful post for Green Day!Lovely photos !Amazing images!Happy to meat you!

  33. Lovely photos! To view this scene must be quite an experience! Nothing can replace actually being there,the expanse,the sound,the smell! A few days ago I was on what I considered to be quite a high mountain(future post!),but I'm laughing as I read this,these mountains really are giants. I like how you describe the angelica flowers as fireworks.The bell is a good idea,fog is a problem for hill walkers on Scottish mountains too.
    Have a good week Yoko!


  34. Wonderful pictures, Yoko!
    Green valleys with a slight splash of yellow and white flowers...
    I would love to take a walk around that place!

  35. 夏の信州はいいですね。もう少し近ければもっと便利なんだけど。

  36. What a glorious place to walk. I like how you captured the layers from foreground to background. Breath-taking.

  37. Absolutely gorgeous country. Open land??? It still shocks me to see it all. You really do live in one of those beautiful places of the world. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Take care. Chris

  38. Flowers that look like fireworks amid a bell ringing in the mist take me right to those lovely sloping mountains in my imagination. I often think of the Alps as being rugged and harsh but these appear more gentle than most and a perfect spot for nature lovers and hikers. Thanks as always for sharing your world, stardust!

  39. I wish I was in Japan...
    ...when browsing through your post, Yoko!




  40. Another great post, Yoko!
    Stunning photos from a wonderful place. Love the beautiful scenery with the clouds, the mountains and the wild flowers (especially the firework flower).
    Thanks for sharing.
    Wish you a wonderful week.

  41. Hello Yoko, as always your blog is very relaxing, I love the perspective of their photographs. Have a nice day.


  42. Thank you for taking us on this glorious journey, dear Yoko!
    And I spy a little dragonfly in the second to the last photo... :)
    - Irina

  43. Yokoさん

  44. Such a beautiful place, must be a fantastic place to walk. The flowers are just lovely and I think I can almost smell the freshness in the air. Thank you for taking us along.

  45. Pięknie wyglądają góry we mgle i zielone łąki wokół. Kwiaty ślicznie trawę zdobią i z przyjemnością by się tam spacerowało. Pozdrawiam.
    Look beautiful mountains in the fog and green meadows around. Flowers adorn the lovely grass and happy to be there went for a walk. Yours.

  46. I would love to spend a day there on the mountain, walking on those trails, walking through the fog (very carefully!) ... I wonder if bicycles are allowed?

  47. Lowelle - It would be nice to pedal on a path through a forest to Kirigamine, but on hiking trails in Kirigamine bicycles are not allowed.

  48. these are enchanting and tranquil views dear friend

    i cannot think of one who would not want to spend some days here

    heaven on earth indeed


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