If you were to ask me what part of the US does the Japan Alps resemble, I would have to say the North Cascades in Washington. The elevation, the steepness of the slopes and the way the glaciers carved out the mountains are very similar in both sets of mountains. They are probably at a similar latitude as the North Cascades. That said, I was really surprised at all the familiar flowers and plants I ran into. Here are a few:
Probably some type of Larkspur
This is a wild version of a common old-timey garden plant found in the Pacific Northwest. Its name escapes me now.
Not sure what this is. Kinda cool.
Definitely at Twinberry (B00bberry to some). We have this in the Marble Mountains northward
The familiar Huckleberry
Probably a polygonnum of some sort
Not sure what this is, but saw similar in the Marble Mountains
Obviously a Bleeding Heart, Dicentra
A favorite of mine in the NW, Mountain Ash.
Not sure what this is.
Yours truly on the top of Hakuba Yarigatake (White Horse Spear Peak), elevation 9652. I believe this was the second highest of the peaks on the route. Shirouma Dake (White Horse Peak) was 9749' Goryu Dake (Five Dragons Peak) was 9450'.
Lastly, a photo of a typical scene outside of one of the busier mountain inns, Kiretto-Goya Sanso. The benches you see were full of people who were cooking their dinners and breakfasts at meal time. As you can see this fellow is packing up his cooking gear. Other groups are staging for the day's climb. They did group calisthenics and stretching before heading out, which was somewhat impressive, considering how I just load up my pack and go. You can also see some of the fixtures for window covers for the winter. The hill to the right is where the chains (ugg!) started.
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