Oct 29, 2009

Oct 22 : Karasawa Cirque - Kamikouchi : Northern Japanese Alps

5:04 am. Sirius, Orion, Taurus and Pleiads above Mt.Hotaka

3 am. Woke up in chilly air. At the bottom of the Karasawa cirque.
Got out of the tent and looked up at the arch of stars. No wind.
Orion. A brilliant giant above Suspension Ridge.
Orionid meteor shower was supposed to be the peak at the dawn.
But I didn't see any shooting star.
I found a trace of light crossing the sky. But it wasn't an Orionid. A satellite.

4:50 am - 5:10 am - 5:16 am. The Great Winter Triangle over Suspension Ridge of Mt.Hotaka
The sky turned into indigo then become paler and paler as I watched.
Soon opaque blue canopy was dropped and hided the stars.

Burning up snow and rock
Morgenrot of Hotaka mountains

Completely the day broke. Started on my way home.

Soon the cirque will be filled with 10 m snow which gathered by hundreds of avalanches.
See you Karasawa cirque in next May.

Lofty white wall over 3000 m.
8:48 am
Suspension Ridge - Mt.Okuhotaka - Col of Shiradashi - Mt.Karasawa
Can see karasawa Hütte's roof in the shadow. Karasawa Hut is hide in the birch bush.

Trail to Yokoo - Screen Rock : the front of Mt.Maehotaka north ridge - Mt.Kitahotaka from Yokoo valley

Smoothly descended the trail along Karasawa valley then along Yokoo valley
In 1:45, arrived to Yokoo.
After lunch, took a side trip to Yarimidai (Spear lookout)

Mt.Maehotaka from Yokoo - Trail to Yarimidai

Mt.of Spear (Yarigatake), a landmark of Northern Japan Alps.

Screen Rock - Mt.Minami - Col of Tengu - Mt.Naka - Yokoo Ridge - Mt.of Yari - Mt.Akazawa

I was in a hurry. I wanted to have a bath before I took trains.
The trail was almost flat from Yokoo to Kamikouchi. I just kept striding down toward south.

The Konashi tree which was in the full bloom when I saw in June
laden with vivid red fruits. Should I say "cherries"?

Malus sieboldii (Konashi) at the front of Myoujinkan

After Myoujin, passing through under golden autumn leaves of larch,
soon arrived to Kamikouchi. It took about 2 hours from Yokoo.

Mt.Myoujin - Karamatsu (Larix kaempferi) forest near Konashidaira

Konashidaira Camp Site - Kappa Bridge over Azusa River

Mt.Okuotaka and Dakesawa Valley from Kappa Bridge

Kamikouchi was very crowded with neatly dressed tourists. Unusual as a week day of that season.
Took bus to Hirayu Onsen bus terminal. The first bus became full. I waited for the relief bus.
Yes, I had time to dip into Onsen at Hirayu. It was so good.

English Map of Karasawa-Kamikouchi area - English Map of Japan Northern Alps (South part)
http://wikimapia.org : wikimapia page of Karasawa-Kamikouchi area
http://wikimapia.org : wikimapia page of South part of Northern Japanese Alps

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