美ヶ原（Utukusigahara) plateau locates in the east of Matumoto city(松本市） in Nagano prefecture and it's about 2000meters high.
As 美ヶ原 is like field or meadow and there is no landmark when a dense fog lay all around, there seemed to be people who got lost. So the small tower (美しの塔)with a bell was build in the center of the field to tell its place for visitor.
Just after sunset fog run around there with deadly speed and closed in over there. I was surprised with its speed and thought if I was walking there I couldn't escape out of it. At that time I was taking photos on the roof in the hotel and I also was wrapped in the fog in a flash. I couldn't get to see nothing and felt chill,scariness.
美ヶ原is said "Observatory of Alps". We can see high mountains of 360 degrees around from here. At the south, Mt.Fuji, 八ヶ岳連峰（the Yatugatake peaks),中央アルプス連峰（the Central- Alps peaks),南アルプス連峰（the Southern-Alps peaks) etc. At the west , 北アルプス連峰（the Northern-Alps peaks),etc. At the north, 剣立山連峰（the Turugi-Tateyama peaks),etc. At the east, Mt.Asama etc.
I have climbed 西穂高岳(Nishi-hodaka-mountain),乗鞍岳（Norikura-mountain)or Mt.Fuji,etc. Seeing those peaks with white snow, I satisfied by myself that how could I attain such a high place.
According to a hotel driver, " Mt.Fuji locates near the Pacific Ocean and Mt. 白馬岳（Sirouma-dake)locates near the Sea of Japan. As you can see Mt.Fuji and Mt.Sirouma-dake from here, you can recognize roughly the breadth of the Japanese archipelago." Don't you think this idea is interesting?
|Mt.Fuji was designated for World Heritage Site this year. Before daybreak. The back trapezoid silhouette.|
At sunrise, many peaks have white snow are colored pink and those feet are filled with the field of clouds.
Here 美ヶ原is famous for the field of clouds. They closed down to near the hotel we stayed. We could see them through the window of the dining room at the breakfast. I felt like I can walk on them.
Also they change to mild pink at the part that sun right reflect for short minutes just after sunrise.
Here we could see stars bigger than on the ground. Autumn's constellation--the Pegasus, vestige of Summer's constellation--the Swan, Winter's ---the Orion etc, its quiet twinkle fascinated me.
During Summer season, milk cows that built up stress are carried to the meadow here. They are pastured and given salt but not a barn. I wonder where he shelter at heavy rain or cold days but after living here they can get to produce milk. This surroundings also heal cows as well as human.
We came across many wild deers for night drive by the hotel. Only their eyes shone in the weak light of a flashlight. I heard Matumusiso( a plant that have pale purple flowers in the early Autumn) here or some plants are decreasing because the increasing deers eat. Even in this strict environmental preservation the food chain is changing little by little. I wonder if we can have foods in 22century though it's exaggerated idea.
As the hotel stands in the nature reserve, one's own car can't enter this reserve and no buses. Only one option to reach the hotel is to use the courtesy bus of the hotel. Excluding cars is one of those way that leave this beautiful country.
So here is literally another world on the clouds surrounded by nature.
It seemed I was in a country of the fairy tale.
The mountains were painted gorgeous pattern by colored leaves.