The Seasons in 2009 (photographs)

Winter (20 March)

Our first visit to Horoka Tomamu was by snowmobile, guided by two members of the local forest owners cooperative association (shinrin kumiai).
1. The west side of Maruyama from the National Forest track
2. Looking south from the slope of Maruyama, the snowmobiles can be seen in the bottom left corner. Access to Maruyama is via the valley in the background. 
3. From the National Forest track on the west side, the lower (southern) slopes of Maruyama are on the left. (See 9. for the same view in early spring)
4. The west side of Maruyama from the National Forest track
Beginning of spring (20 April)
A month later a lot of the snow had melted, and it was possible to drive up to the foot of the mountain by car.


5. The south face of Maruyama from the main access track


6. The southern face of the mountain, an area affected by forest fire 50 years ago, now covered in dense evergreen dwarf bamboo (sasa).


7. The same slope from the south meadow.


8. The Horoka Tomamu River on the east side


Early spring (4 May)

By early May, most of the snow had gone. More of the evergreen dwarf bamboo (sasa) was exposed, but there were still no flowers to be seen, and the white birch and other deciduous trees were still bare.


9. From the National Forest track on the west side (same view as in 3.)


10. The two summits of Maruyama from the west, with National Forest in the foreground.


11. The main summit of Maruyama from the west 


12. The Yonnosawagawa on the west side of the mountain. This flows into the Horoka Tomamu, just south of the mountain.


Early autumn (18 September)

By mid September some of leaves were just beginning to turn. A week or two later there would have been more colour, though 2009 was not a spectacular year for autumn foliage. Under the right conditions the hillsides becomes a patchwork of scarlet, red, gold, orange and yellow leaves.


13. The west side of the mountain


14. The western slope (detail)


15. Looking towards the north side of the mountain

MMH and SCH, 22 April 2010