Japan Atlas: Nature 
Alpine Flowers in Shirouma Mountains

Location: Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture 

Height: 2,932 m (9,619 ft) 

Designated on December 4, 1934. 
Area: 1743 sq km   (673 sq mi) 
Number of visitors: 13,090,000 (1995) 



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.  

Because the high mountains of Japan have been spared from pasturage, they have maintained their ancient vegetation and thus many unique plant species are to be found. Among these mountains, the alpine flora in Shirouma Mountains is said to have the richest variety.  

Photos: Alpine Plants seen in Mt. Shirouma (Gunma Prefecture, Ishikawa Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture)  

Unauthorized reproduction of the photos in this page is prohibited. 

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