Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

Nature (general)

Alpine Zone in Japan; where it is so cold that no tree can grow.

The trees that grow in the coldest places are coniferous trees such as firs and spruces, which can widely be seen in extremely cold regions such as Siberia and Canada. Further north, trees cannot grow and lichens form a tundra area that extends over the ground surface.

Because there are high mountains in Japan, we can see the scenery without trees there.  Tree lines exist at the altitude of about 2500m in the central Honshu and about 1000m in Hokkaido. Above these, a world with a good view spreads out. The flowers of the alpine plants in summer are very pretty.

Usually, we have to make a lot of preparations to climb the mountain. But we can reach the heavenly world very easily where the transportation is already established. However, you have to be careful about your clothes when you go because it is very cold even in mid summer. Depending on the weather, it turns very quickly to winter. I once saw an ignorant young man climbing up in shorts, a T-shirt and sandals. He was trembling in the cold at the station.

Murodo in Tateyama Town, Toyama Prefecture is 2450m above sea level. It is very easy to get to the heavenly world above the tree line by transportation. To climb Mt. Tateyama (elevation 3015 m above sea level) center in the photo, you need to prepare well in advance. Photo by myself on Oct. 13, 2010.


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