Taisetsu Mountain Range "alpine plant path" in full bloom

The full bloom season has arrived for flowers all along the Taisetsu Mountain Range. The path from the Ginsendai trailhead in the Northern Hokkaido Kamikawa region town of Kamikawa to Mt. Hakuundake (2,230 meters high) is an alpine plant trail ascending through the heavens, and is lavishly populated by the indigenous and rare plants that grow wild in the area. Amidst the beautiful weather of July 17, many mountain hikers visited the trail.

The Komakusa Daira plain, located one and a half hours on foot from the Ginsendai trailhead, is a natural komakusa flower habitat. Bees and butterflies were flying to and fro amidst the pink petals. Walking a little farther along, right next to a white snowy gorge, purple wedgeleaf primroses (ezokozakura) were blooming, and white and yellow Aleutian avens (chinguruma) together with pink colored purple mountain heather (ezonotsugazakura) contrasted beautifully against the blue sky.

The ridge surpassing Mt. Akadake (2,078 meters high) and heading towards Mt. Koizumidake (2,158 meters high) is dotted with blue-purple Lagotis yesoensis (hosobauruppusou), a Taisetsu Mountain Range indigenous flower. And nearby grows the rare mountain avens (chounosukesou) as well. Passing over Mt. Koizumidake, the Pedicularis oederi (kibanashiogama) is in bloom. The only place this flower grows wild in Japan is the Taisetsu Mountain Range. In the view from the summit of Mt. Hakuundake looking out towards Mt. Asahidake (2,291 meters high), the white of the snow gorges and green of the Japanese stone pine trees along the ridges form a multi-layered zebra pattern.

The temperature was about 15 degrees Celsius. This is the hottest time of the year, but the first snows of winter will start falling here in only two months from now. This is just a “momentary summer” for the Taisetsu Mountain Range.

Pedicularis oederi (kibanashiogama) blooms amidst the gravelly area directly under the Mt. Koizumidake summit. Mt. Tomuraushi is visible in the distance. (Approx. 8:00 a.m. July 17)
Pink colored purple mountain heather (ezonotsugazakura) and white and yellow Aleutian avens (chinguruma) blooming near the Mt. Akadake summit. (Approx. 6:40 a.m. July 17)
The view from Mt. Hakuundake summit towards Mt. Asahidake. The zebra pattern is amazing. (Approx. 8:55 a.m. July 17)