“Koyo” Autumn Foliage 2016: Norikuradake

"Koyo," Japanese Maple, Norikuradake   Japan Alps

Japanese maple

burning up the countryside

autumn foliage.

See more pictures from Norikuradake, in Japan’s North Alps, during autumn’s “koyo” foliage season on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tokyoaaron/?hl=en

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Japan Photo Hike: Kiso-Komagatake, Chuo Middle Alps

An easy 40-minute climb from the ropeway station at Senjojiki Cirque,  the approach to KomagatakeKiso-Komagatake, “Horse Head Mountain,” and surrounding peaks make an easy day-trip adventure into the alpine zone and thin air of high-mountain adventure. I’d write it up, but wes at Hiking in Japan has already nailed it. The only thing I’d add, and this is true any time you’re high up, is to remember the hat and sunblock. The air is thinner up here, and the sun’s rays stronger. Both R. and I were a little negligent, and we both ended up with sun- and windburn, and blistered lips. Continue reading “Japan Photo Hike: Kiso-Komagatake, Chuo Middle Alps”

Japan Photo Hikes: Senjojiki Cirque

Senjojiki, @Aaron Paulson 2014

Hiking Senjojiki Cirque

It still feels like late summer/early autumn here in The Big Sushi, but in the mountains to the west of Tokyo koyo autumn foliage season is already burning up the forests, all Halloween reds and yellows. Last weekend R. and I took a (longish) four-and-a-half-hour bus ride to Senjojiki Cirque, on the slope of Komagatake, in Nagano prefecture’s Chuo Middle Alps for a long weekend of hiking and photography. We stayed at Hotel Senjojiki, a fancypants mountain hut/rustic hotel attached to the ropeway station at 2,662 meters: the highest ropeway station in Japan (and Japan has ropeway stations!). Continue reading “Japan Photo Hikes: Senjojiki Cirque”

Japan Photo Hikes: “Koyo,” Autumn Leaves at Kogamane, Nagano

Koyo Autumn Leaves, Komagane
Koyo Autumn Leaves, Komagane

Koyo Autumn Leaves, Komagane

Autumn is settling over Tokyo, but in the town of Kogamane — four and a half by bus from Tokyo — in the highlands of Nagano prefecture, it’s in full flourish. Kogamane is at1660 meters (4,980 feet) elevation, and is home base to the cable car ropeway that carries hikers up to Senjojiki Cirque and the peaks of the Chuo Central Alps. But Senjojiki is another story… coming soon! Continue reading “Japan Photo Hikes: “Koyo,” Autumn Leaves at Kogamane, Nagano”