Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer Retreat

It was hot or rainy this summer here. To escape from summer heat and above all to enjoy family reunion, my husband planned to take a trip to our favorite destination; Shinshu, Nagano Prefecture.
Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a very popular tourist attraction. I had wanted to go there.

The thing I was worried was how the weather would be during the trip because it had been very unstable in most part of the country.

When we left the hotel for the highland in the early morning because the weather forecast said it was likely to rain in the afternoon, we saw thick mists covering the mountain ranges.  The weather makes or breaks the pleasure of Alpine views. Poor visibility due to a bad weather could spoil this holiday…
However, Lady Luck was with us.
When we came out of  Kurobe Dam station(1470 meter above sea level) after a 16-minute trolly bus ride through the tunnel followed by climbing up 200 stairs, to my joy, a clear grand view came into my eyes.


Kurobe Lake

Kurobe Dam(1450m) discharges more than 10 tons of water per second from the gate every day from late June to mid October.


After a while, sunshine in the morning made a rainbow over clouds of spray.

We walked over the dam to Kurobeko(黒部湖)station to take a cable car to kurobedaira(黒部平)

Mount. Tateyama Range (3015m), a part of Northern Japan Alps, with mists rising up was clearly seen from there. 

It seems ages since my family took a trip altogether last time. This time a 17-month-old Sho joined. It made his grandpa all the happier. Sho is his pride and joy!

at the obsevation deck at Kurobe Dam

Can you see a square framed grayish structure in the mid right of this picture? 

That is Daikanbo(大観峰 2316m) station on the side of the Tateyamas, where a ropeway carries us tourists up to. The 1.7km long ropeway connecting Kurobedaira (黒部平1828m) station with Daikanbo station has no single support towers between the two to protect surrounding mountain scenery.

This photo was taken on the way back 

Kurobe Lake seen from higher observation deck

At Daikanbo we again changed from a ropeway to a trolly bus running through the tunnel crossing just below the Tateyamas to the other side of it. That was our destination: Murodo(室堂2450m), the highest point of the route. This whole route directly connects Nagano Prefecture with neighboring Toyama Prefecture, however, we left our car at the hotel so we had to return from there.

The scenery before us was beyond my wildest dreams. 

Mikuriga-ike Pond; caldera lake
Mikuri means “the kitchen for the deity”. They say the dishes for an offering to the deity of Mount.Tateyama were made here by using this water.
As you can see from the picture, this place offers accommodation facilities such as Japan's highest situated hotel or lodges or camp grounds.

There are a variety of hiking trails leading to the summit of the mountain(3015m). You can enjoy leisure walk as well. With little Sho with us, we took one hour walk around the Mikurigaike Pond. A patch of snow still remains.  

I recognized a volcanic activity by a sulfurous odor in the air near Hell Valley (地獄谷)

Through telephoto lens, hikers looked like a procession of ants on the ridge line.


"Here's looking at you, kid" 

It was a perfect day. Among others, I was happy to share the joy with my family

Nagano Prefecture via Wikipedia


Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Fascinating Midsummer Night in Nara

Nara Toka-e (奈良燈花会; the candle festival) is an annual event held at Nara Park for ten days from August 5th to 14th. 20,000 candles at several venues gently adorn an ancient capital of Japan 1300 years ago. They are lit up by volunteers one by one to pray for people’s happiness by candlelight. .

 After going to the concert, my husband and I strolled around the Nara Park to enjoy Tokae.

Candlelights set on the green grass and around the pond were suitable to surroundings, making a soothing, peaceful ambience.

looking down at Sarusawa-ike Pond

Candles were lined along the bridge leading to the pavilion. The reflection in the water turned the pond to a heavenly place. Can you see some people paddling ?  


Ukimido pavilion with a hexagonal cypress bark roof over Sagiike Pond

                     Let light stream forth into the minds of men.

              Let light descend on earth (from The Great Invocation)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...