Mt. Takatsuka and Mt. Otakine from Kawauchi, May 26, 2018. (川内村 から 高塚山 と大滝根山 へ 2018年5月26日)

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(Enkianthus campanulatus at Takatsuka-kogen, May 26, 2018. 川内村 高塚高原 の 紅更紗満天星 5/26/2018)
Early this morning, I left the inn at the center of Kawauchi Village and headed toward Takatsuka-kogen Height which was within the area of the village. It was a hard bike climbing of 17km to the height but hundreds of Sarasa-dodan or Enkianthus campanulatus trees in best season welcomed me. Photo above shows red variety of Enkianthus campanulatus shining under the blue sky.

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(Enkianthus campanulatus at Takatsuka-kogen, May 26, 2018. 川内村 高塚高原 の 更紗満天星 5/26/2018)
Photo above shows normal type of Enkianthus campanulatus.

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In about 5-minute walk along the trail from there I could reach the top of Mt. Takatsuka which was 1,066m high above sea level as shown above.

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(Rhododendron quinquefolium at Mt. Takatsuka, May 26, 2018. 川内村 高塚高原 の シロヤシオ 5/26/2018)
On the top area there was cool and beautiful white azalea just in season called Shiroyashio or Rhododendron quinquefolium as shown above.

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Ordinary wild azalea shown above was also in best season.

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Toward a different angle from the top I could look down almost all the area of Takine-Ojiroi Windfarm as shown above.

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Then I started to walk toward my second destination today which was Mt. Otakine (1,192m). Most of the trail looked like shown above.

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But as I approached close to the summit, I had to take a clockwise long path around the SDF Air Force Base as shown in the pictures above.

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(Shrine garden on top of Mt. Otakine, May 26, 2018. 大嶽根山 の 峯霊神社 5/26/2018)
Finally I arrived at the summit where a traditional shrine from more than 1000 years ago existed as shown above. It took more than 1.5hr to get here from Mt. Takatsuka.

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(Summit point of Mt. Otakine, May 26, 2018. 大滝根山 の 1等三角点 5/26/2018)
The actual summit point which was one of first order triangulation points in Japan was inside the fence of SDF Air Force. I took the picture through the fence as shown above. This was the highest summit of Abukuma Mountains.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20180526高塚山と大滝根山 (560x420)

You can trace the route and altitude in the map below.

Nikkokisuge habitat at Kawauchi Village, May 25, 2018. (川内村のニッコウキスゲ自生地 2018年5月25日)

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(Nikkokisuge at Kawauchi, May 25, 2018. 川内村 の ニッコウキスゲ 5/25/2018)
The weather seemed to be fine for consecutive three days from today, so I decided to travel by bike for the first time in several months. Today I pedaled from Koriyama to Kawauchi Village which was roughly 60km away. I found a beautiful habitat of Nikkokisuge or day lily, a variety of Hemerocallis, along Prefectural Road 36 in the village as shown above. It was not a large area, but the flowers have just started to bloom here and there on a roadside slope.

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On the way to Kawauchi, I found large wind turbines rotating on Abukuma Heights as shown above. These were part of Hiyamakogen Windfarm.

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There was a pass of 760m above sea level on the border from Tamura to Kawauchi, where a welcome sign stood as shown above.

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It was a lunch time when I arrived at the village center and I took a break at Café Amazon shown above. This was the first one of Thailand based café chain stores opened in Japan in 2017. The original Amazon coffee was excellent.

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I strolled around the village area and noticed that many of the paddy fields were ready to grow rice of this year as shown above.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20180525川内村へ (560x420)

You can trace the route and altitude in the map below.

【2014年6月29日】 川内村 平伏沼 の モリアオガエル 観察会 (Forest green tree frogs at Hebusu Pond, Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Pref.)

本日は、川内村 の 平伏沼 (へぶすぬま)を訪ねました。川内村 主催の モリアオガエル 観察会で、かわうちの湯 から、マイクロバスで往復します。 観察会の講師は、南相馬市博物館 の 稲葉 先生です。
Today I visited Hebusu Pond at Kawauchi Village. Kawauchi Village hosted this event at which participants might find and watch forest green tree frogs. They prepared a microbus to and back from the pond.

The location and the actual route from Kawauchinoyu Spa were shown in the map below. (The route data were from GPS log data. The details of the map and the altitude data can be seen by clicking the map.)
20140629平伏沼 (560x421)

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平伏沼 は、川内村 の山間部(標高800m)にあり、モリアオガエル の繁殖地として、1941年に国の 天然記念物 に指定されました。(上の写真を参照)
Hebusu Pond was located in mountainous area (altitude=800m) of Kawauchi Village and the pond had been declared National Natural Monument since 1941.

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Above photo shows the entrance to Hebusu Pond. The location was red asterisk 1 in the map. There were two ways up to the pond, southern path and northern path. Southern path which was new may be easier to go with moderate slope.

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観察会のメンバーが、平伏沼 に到着です。
Participants of the event arrived at Hebusu Pond as shown above. The location was red asterisk 2 in the map.

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本日の、平伏沼のモリアオガエルです。昨夜からの雨で、カエルの活動が活発になり、写真のように、何匹も見られました。通常は、昼間は木々の間に潜んでいて、なかなか見付けるのが難しい。 (川内村 平伏沼 モリアオガエル 2014/6/29 )
雨続き カエル喜ぶ 平伏沼 木の葉のあいだ カカカカコココ
Above photos show today's forest green tree frogs at Hebusu Pond. Thanks to the rain from yesterday the frogs became very active and we could see some of them on trees. Usually they are hidden among trees and are difficult to find out.

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モリアオガエル の、池に張り出した木の枝に、産卵 する様子も、見られました。卵塊の上に、何匹もいます。
(川内村 平伏沼 モリアオガエル 産卵 2014/6/29 )
We also could see spawning by the frogs on tree branches above the pond. Many frogs gathered on top of the egg cluster as shown above.

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平伏沼 の モリアオガエル の卵塊の様子です。木の枝から下がる白い卵塊が各所に見られます。国の天然記念物だけあり、ピーク時は100個以上見られるとのことです。
Above photo shows a view which shows many clusters of eggs spawn by the frogs hanging from tree blanches. The number of egg clusters became up to more than 100 at peak stage.

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モリアオガエル の天敵は、池の中にいるイモリです。卵塊から落ちてくる、おたまじゃくしを食べます。写真は、平伏沼 にいた、アカハライモリ です。 (川内村 平伏沼 アカハライモリ 2014/6/29 )
Natural enemy of forest green tree frogs were newts in the pond. The newts eat tadpoles dropped from egg clusters. Above photo shows Japanese fire belly newt caught in the pond today.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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