Bonsai Tonight

Fall Color in Central Japan

Posted in Excursions by Jonas Dupuich on October 23, 2012

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.

White Mountain Forest Road

Along the White Mountain Forest Road

White Mountain Forest Road

Pines, maples and beech

White Mountain Forest Road

Bright red Japanese maple

White Mountain Forest Road

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.

Fukubenootaki Falls

Fukubenootaki Falls

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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.

White Mountain Forest Road

Sheer canyon walls

White Mountain Forest Road

Maples growing on the cliffs

White Mountain Forest Road

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

White Mountain Forest Road

Great deadwood along 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.

White Mountain Forest Road

Literati style pines

White Mountain Forest Road

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.

Maple along White Mountain Forest Road

Japanese maple

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  1. owenbonsai said, on October 23, 2012 at 4:16 am

    That pine photo is amazing! Thanks for sharing it.

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