The Abe Pass. Go deep into the forest!

Exploring Shizuoka on foot is the best way to discover the city. One day last week, I had an occasion to look for one of the sources of the Abe River. We took a stroll along the stream and found it inside a rich green forest. The place is called the Abe Pass. 

First of all, let me explain the pass briefly.

The Abe Pass, a basin-shaped mountain pass, is located at the southern end of the Shirane Mountain Range which is part of the Akaishi Mountain Range between Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures. It had played a key role in trade and especially in gold-mining since the 16th century. The pass is also famous for its autumn foliage, and is covered with snow in winter.

Now, are you ready for walking? Let’s get started!

We began our field study at a hot-spring village called Umegashima, 40 Km north of central Shizuoka City.

Wild plants and flowers were abundant there.

This is a kind of thistle that is found around Mt. Fuji.

Let’s go deep into the forest!

The trail has been well developed.

Found fallen trees here and there.

Everything was covered with moss.

Thick moss felt like my fluffy teddy!

These were lichens. They are not related to mosses or any plants.

We walked across the shallow stream many times.

Sometimes we crossed it through wooden bridges.

Lovely haircap mosses!

This old tree is estimated to date back to the 18th century.

The water reflected the beautiful forest.

We almost reached the headwaters.

The sign said it was a source of the Abe River.

It was clean and cold.

Mosses on a rock.

First signs of the autumn.

The two elevated points can be seen on the side. I took this picture at the saddle point.

Finally, we reached the Abe Pass. It took us about an hour according to sign boards.

You can also walk up to the Mt. O- Pikkari. It’s a cute name, isn’t it?

It will take only 15 minutes to reach the place where many Shiro-Yashio trees are growing. These trees belong to the Azalea family.

Look at the fruit! It is Sarunashi, also called hardy kiwi or baby kiwi.

It is used for fruits liquor and jam. Did you know that it signify “temptation” in the language of flowers?

The tree reminded me of the tale of Timmy Tiptoes.

We found ourselves near the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures.

Oitayameigetsu, acer japonicum, is a species of maple native to Japan. Actually, the Abe Pass is famous for its autumn foliage.

It was getting foggy.

Watch out! Don’t fall down.

This beech spreads roots as wide as its branches. 

Bears love to eat beech nuts, but they produced poor crops this year.

Found mashrooms  around the roots.

It was a beautiful, but a poisonous mashroom.

We walked along the trekking route.

I will pitch a tent and spend my days trekking through somewhere, sometime in the future!

Or I wish I could predict weather by observing coulds formations!

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