Just a few days into my visit to Japan last year, our host, Mr. Oomura, took me and Boon on a drive to see trees in fall color. The season had yet to hit the lower elevations, so we got in the car and drove several hours from Shimpukuji Temple to traverse the White Mountain Forest Road. As we climbed into the main canyon, colorful maples spread out against the mountains before giving way to beech that had already lost their leaves. The views were beautiful.
Along the White Mountain Forest Road
Pines, maples and beech
Bright red Japanese maple
The afternoon sun behind the southern edge of the canyon
One of the chief attractions in the area, just past the ski resorts, is Fukubenootaki Falls. The falls received no lack of attention from the many tourists in the area.
Photographing the falls
We took our time, spending a couple of hours wending our way towards the pass and getting out of the van to take photos at every other turnout along the way. It was the most relaxing day of my visit.
Sheer canyon walls
Maples growing on the cliffs
It really was that picturesque
The road was carved from the mountainside along the north wall of the canyon – safe, and in good shape, but at times hundreds of meters above the canyon floor.
White Mountain Forest Road
Impressive deadwood and a much younger deciduous tree on the canyon rim
The area provided many opportunities to see common Japanese varieties where nature put them. Long, slender white pines were not an uncommon sight.
Literati style pines
Looking towards beech above – more about that on Friday
The color itself was wonderful, by turns crimson, gold and orange, with green and brown close by. Blue skies and grey stone mountains made a perfect backdrop.