Best time to view a large colony of rhododendrons swaying in the breeze
Pretty, white spherical flowers sway in the breeze as the peak of the rhododendron season approaches in the Tsutsujigahara meadow that stretches from Atosanupri (Mt. Io) to Kawayu Onsen in the town of Teshikaga in eastern Hokkaido.
Rhododendrons are 1-m-high alpine shrubs. Despite the severe environment for vegetation, such as the volcanic gas emitted from Mt. Io and the acidic soil in the area, Tsutsujigahara – which covers approx. 100 hectares – also boasts large colonies of crowberry and Siberian dwarf pine.
According to the head of the Kawayu Eco-Museum Center, “It’s unusual to see a colony as big as this. It’s an environment unique to Tsutsujigahara.”
A 2.7-km-long nature exploration path, complete with terrace and deck, stretches from the Eco-Museum Center to the Mt, Io Rest House. The Center wants “people to enjoy walking on the path while avoiding close contact with other visitors”.
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