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Alpine Route: Approaching Peak

Today, I visited the popular Alpine Route to check out the autumn colours (koyo) from 1400-2450 meters above sea level. I started at Murodo, at 2450 meters, and found that the colours there were approaching peak. The autumn colours were just starting to show at the 2000-meter mark, and beyond that elevation, the foilage were still green. Given the huge range in elevation, visitors can look forward to a relatively long koyo viewing period, starting from now until around end October, as the colours make their way down the mountain.

Schauwecker kicked off the koyo reporting from Daisetsuzan in Hokkaido last week, and reported that the fall colour spectacular is in full swing at the highest peaks in the north.

Murodo

Approaching Peak

I started my day at Murodo, which stands at an elevation of 2450 meters. It was a chilly 8 degrees Celsius when I arrived, but it did not take me long to warm up. I ended up going on an easy 2.5 hour hike around Murodo, crossing from Ichinokoshi to Raichozawa where I found the colours to be the best, and back up towards Mikurigaike. Overall, I found the autumn colours at Murodo to be fast approaching their peak and expect the best viewing period to continue till at least the end of September.

The road that leads to the mountain; Mount Tateyama on the right
Hikers making their way up the winding road
Chinguruma that looks like it has a toupee
Christmas colours
Photographer in action
Autumn on the mountain
My excellent mountain trail
Nanakamado bushes
Fall palette 1
Man and autumn colors
Fall palette 2
First look at Raichozawa in the distance
Kusamomiji, alpine shrubbery and mountains
Follow the koyo-lined path
Lots of these yellow plants which made the trail look very cheery
Raichozawa campsite
Mikurigaike Pond

Daikanbo

Starting to Change

Moving down in the direction of Nagano, I stopped at Daikanbo, the upper station of the Tateyama Ropeway, at an elevation of 2316 meters. The most popular autumn colour spot at Daikanbo is the valley the Tateyama Ropeway crosses. Today, it was still green with a hint of colour around the upper station. It should be another week or so before more trees take on some colour.

You can see Lake Kurobe from here
Showing a hint of colour in the valley

Kurobedaira

Still Green

Kurobedaira is at the lower station of the Tateyama Ropeway. At the peak of the autumn colour season, the Nanakamado bushes around the station show off their fiery red leaves. Today, they were all still green, and it should be another week or two before the leaves develop their autumn hues.

First look at Kurobedaira from the ropeway
Looking back at the upper station
Still green here at Kurobedaira

Kurobedam

Still Green

Finally, I made my way to Kurobe Dam. The foilage around the dam was still green, but the view of the dam discharging water was impressive enough to cover for the lack of autumn colours. I expect the flora here to take on their autumn coat over the next few weeks and reach their best viewing in the second half of October.

Kurobe Dam
Green around the river
Discharging water and a rainbow

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