Sunday, July 21, 2013

Senjojiki Cirque at the Central Japan Alps

Hello, Friends!  How have you enjoyed or survived this summer?   Though these days’ 32 to 34 degrees C feels relatively cool compared to the unexpected 37 degrees  C experienced during the rainy season, the hot and humid weather is exhausting.  Summer means to me lots of  spending indoors, occasional outing at night, and travelling to highlands and mountains.  Today’s post is from my recent trip to Kiso region including highlands, mountains, and gorges.

The highest peak in this photo is Mt. Hoken-dake, 2931 meters high.
It is a pointed rocky mountain as "hoken" means treasured sword.

Senjojiki Cirque spreads on a slope at the height of over 2,000 meters above sea level,
just under the alpine belt of the Kiso Mountains (Central Japan Alps). The principal peak that runs 80 kilometers is the 2956-meter-high Mt. Kiso Koma-ga-take. 

The steep slopes of the Senjojiki Cirque were carved by glaciers about 20,000 years ago. 

The cirque is now a meadow of alpine wildflowers which burst into bloom during the short summer.

Aleutian avens, or Geum pentapetalum (L.)Makino

Aleutian mountain heath

Kamchatka lilies

Globeflower, orTrollius riederianus var. japonicus

This natural paradise is easily accessible thanks to the Komagane Ropeway, Japan’s first mountain ropeway.  It rises 950 meters from the Shirabi Plateau over its 2334 meter length in seven minutes and thirty seconds. Senjojiki Station is the station at the highest altitude in Japan.

Getting off the ropeway at the station, you have a panoramic view of the 3000-meter-level Akaishi Mountains (Southern Japan Alps) before your eyes and of Komagane City below. From there you can hike on a looped course in the Cirque or climb Mt. Hoken-dake and/or Mt. Koma-ga-take.

Mt. Fuji is visible beyond the Japanese South Alps, but unfortunately it was hidden by the clouds.

The short summer is in full swing at Senjojiki Cirque.

 -Visit Our World Tuesday to see more about our world. -


  1. Your sky shot is breathtaking, stardust, and I am fascinated by the fact that you have a ropeway to the mountains where I can see there is still a bit of snow. A great way to stay cool in the overly warm weather! Also, names of things are always so poetic … I like a pointed mountain being called a treasured sword. :)

  2. Hi, awesome post.
    Cool pictures.
    Hope you will visit my blogs also and add comments.


  3. So beautiful place, so beautiful pictures !
    Thanks for sharing !
    Have a great week !

  4. Maravillosos paisajes,fantásticas fotografías!

  5. Scrolling down your photos as had a lovely cooling effect on me during this very hot weather we are experiencing at the moment. You have got the right idea Yoko by heading up into the mountains. Being rather partial to lilies, I am very taken with the Kamchatka lilies - such an unusual colour and very attractive.

  6. Wspaniała wycieczka jak na obecne ciepłe lato u Ciebie. Widoki trochę dały ochłody. Jest tam cudownie. Jest trochę sniegu i pięknie kwitnące kwiaty. Pozdrawiam.
    Great trip as the current warm summer with you. The views have given some refreshment. There are wonderful. It's a bit of snow and beautiful blooming flowers. Yours.

  7. Ha! This time I'm definitely not the last person on this planet writing a comment under your current post! ;-)
    Hi Yoko, today I'm sending cordiali saluti / kind regards from the north of Italy! In the morning I picked up my Indian colleagues from Milan airport and in the afternoon we did a sight seeing tour in the old town of Bergamo - now we returned from a restaurant, my colleagues are really tired after the long flight and sightseeing trip. I have still some energy left... ;-)

    You really posted some marvellous and impressive landscape photographs from your Japanese Central Alps! By the way: yesterday I crossed the Swiss Alps by car. And I saw some snow there, too!
    My favourite is your third photo, because here you focussed on the essence of the motif! Less is (very often) more, when focussing on a photo motif. I just would like to see the upper half of your photo no. 4 (as a whole picture). Do you use any editing software to rework / to cut out your photos?
    Some of your alpine flowers look familiar to me, some I haven't seen before.
    Thanks a lot / Mille grazie for this great post!

  8. Thank you for letting us take part in your outing into this wonderful region of Japan Yoko! Yes, I cooled down a bit too by looking at your photos with the patches of snow!
    Wow and then all this lush green and the pretty flowers - a sight to enjoy and a place to relax... :-)

  9. Hi, thanks a lot for the comment on my blog. I replied it then and there. Will follow up your blog posts regularly. Japan is an awesome country. I watch NHK World, TV regularly, Great !

  10. Thanks. I feel cooler already. I can never get away at this time of year to see the flowers blooming. Photos are not as good as the real thing (maybe Wii will make an "Alpine Experience" game one day, complete with smells and mountain breezes), but they're better than nothing. And these are very good photos indeed.

  11. Amazing journey through the Japanese Alps!
    Thanks for always sharing beautiful images of your country with us!
    Cheers dear Yoko!

  12. Beautiful pictures of a absolutely fantastic landscape.

  13. Gosh - that is hot! Your photos of the Alps and valleys with snow are just wonderful. So cooling and beautiful.

  14. the mountains are SO beautiful! definitely nothing i get to see here in my part of texas. love all the GREEN too!

  15. Hello, your post reminded me of when I was little. We would leave hot Tokyo and go to Nagano for the summer. There we would go to the mountains and hike and see some of the flowers you have posted. It sure did bring back found memories of my youth. Thank you so much...

  16. Your blog is a wonder!!! I'm your newest follower! Beautiful photos! Thanks so much for sharing! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous week!
    Compliments from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  17. Beautiful photos of beautiful mountains. I've had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the Japanese Alps from afar, while travelling to Kiyosato area. I wish I had stayed longer for hiking trips :)

    Inside Cambodia

  18. what a gorgeous spot. hopefully is stays preserved.

  19. scenery and nature are wonderfully captured.

  20. 義母が要支援だったとき気分転換にと主人が駒ケ岳のカールを歩きに連れて行ってくれました。初秋だったと思いますが、チングルマ咲いてました。とても小さな可愛い花ですね。

  21. Wow Yoko....this is amazing scenery!
    It's very interesting to see snow and greenery so close together.Beautiful alpine flowers......the lilies look incredible,like elfin hats! Seems like a brilliant idea to visit a cooler region.
    Lovely series of images,our planet is so beautiful!

    Enjoy your week,

  22. It's nice place becase we can reach without circumstance and can appreciate the feeling of Alps. Wildflowers are very beautiful. I like あおのつがざくら。It looks like a lily of the valley.
    Have a nice day!

  23. Stunning post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  24. 素敵ですねぇ~。3年程前になるでしょうか、私はそこから駒ヶ岳まで登りました。頂上付近はゴロゴロ岩が多くてもっとむき出しの記憶です。山は上りがきついので、風景を楽しむ余裕がなく、下る時にその美しさに感嘆するのですが、その時は下りはじめた時遠雷が聞こえ、降られては大変!と急いで降りました。千畳敷カールに着く少し前に雨が降り出しました。今、この美しい写真を見ながら、思い出しています。最近、山には全然行ってないなぁ~

  25. おはようございます。素敵ですね。天気が良くて良かったですね。

  26. I love mountains and these have an air of strangeness to me, with the black flowers and drifts of snow even in summer. How interesting, and your photographs, as always, are interesting and beautiful.

  27. So beautiful, it takes your breath away! Never heard that Japan has its own Alps. At first I couldn't understand how you took these stunning pictures, I mean before you mentioned the ropeway. I can only imagine what it's like to travel to that paradise. Is that the word you used? Thank you, Yoko, for sharing the beauty of your country. Enjoy the summer whatever the weather!

  28. Las cuatro primeras fotos se me recuerdan un poco a Los Lagos de Covadonga en España, todas son de gran belleza, un saludo.

  29. Greetings, Yoko! I'm thinking these mountains could be called the Japanese Rocky Mountains, what with all the rocks! So much beauty. Our daughter lives in the Colorado Rockies at 9,000 feet, which is about as high as the Japanese South Alps!

    I'm struck again by the quality of your photography and how you present the flora of your region so very well. It seems that your photos would be perfect for a coffee-table photo book and I would bet that there are publishers somewhere that would be very interested in such a project.

    Hope that you and your family are well. Things are proceeding here fine and while we've had a couple complications, we're working those out. The future looks good.

  30. Hi, Yoko
    Have a good weekend!

  31. ずいぶん空気が澄んでいそうな場所ですね。ここまで登ればだいぶ涼しく快適に散策できそうですね。

  32. はじめまして、私はシンガポールからです。Stumbled upon your awesome blog & beautiful pix. I've a lot of Japanese friends too & visit Tokyo almost every year. Looking fwd to sharing! Luxury Haven

  33. Beautiful shots and gorgeous views!

  34. What a beautiful place! So green and lush. And the flowers are beautiful. Your photos are gorgeous!

  35. I love the profusion of colors in your pictures, Yoko - the greens, the blue and the white and with all the surrounding mist and fog, the place looks absolutely cool and so heavenly. Love those blooming flowers as well, they add a unique exotic feel. It sounds like it's really hot in Japan these days, what would be the next season? Autumn? In India, we are still enjoying the cool of the rains and this year the rains have been pretty good, so the weather has been great as well - neither hot nor very cold. Hope it cools down in Japan sometime soon. Wish you a wonderful week ahead, Yoko :)

  36. What breathtaking scenery! Japan is such a beautiful land.

    I’ve been away from blogging, glad to catch up again.

  37. Gorgeous scenery and stunning views! Such beautiful photos..

  38. Thanks for your comments Yoko.
    So you are a interesting!


  39. Breathtaking! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  40. What a beautiful place to escape the heat. Thank you for sharing a new part of Japan for me.

  41. Hello Yoko

    Thanks for your comment on my blog.

    These pictures are again also beautiful....i like such landscapes and you have made a lot off wonderful pictures, clors are also very nice.

    Wish you a nice sunday.

    Greetings, Joop


    SPECIALLY the panoramic view is captivating dear Yoko :)

    how amazing to get away from hot weather and shelter within cool serene mountains :)
    your country seems one of the most beautiful place on earth and thank you so much for sharing these incredibly beautiful places with us
    when i think about wish list for my free days in future i think of your blog to visit too :)


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