|Lovely Summer Flowers Color the Highlands
At the northern end of the Japan Alps among 3,000-meter (9,842-foot) peaks is Mt. Shirouma (2,932 meters (9,619 feet)) of Shirouma Mountains. "Shirouma" means "white horse." In late April when the snow starts to melt, a shape of a horse appears on the east side of the mountain due to remaining snow between rocks. In ancient times, the mountain served as a natural calendar as this horse showed that the time for preparing beds for rice seedlings had come. Grand Snowy Gorge on the east side of Mt. Shirouma is completely covered with snow in winter, but in the short summer from July to August, a variety of alpine flowers bloom here. Some of them are endemic and rare species, and the flora of this area is designated as a Special Natural Monument.
Photos: Alpine Plants seen in Mt. Shirouma (Gunma Prefecture, Ishikawa Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture)
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