Though the south of Japan’s memorably scenic archipelago experiences a sub-tropical climate the northernmost parts of this island chain have more in common with Siberia. Early spring bulbs bloom where the snows are still receding whilst lower latitudes and elevations host a more exotic flora.
Hakuba-jiri’s famous snowy valley holds Glaucidium palmatum, Anemone flaccida, Primula jesoana, Paris japonica and the delicate palest pink Pogonia japonica. A cable car allows an easy ascent of Mount Nyugasa in the centre of the Honshu Highlands. Here are Convallaria keiskei, Primula japonica, and Rhododendron kaempferi. At Oyomi Bog deepest blue Iris laevigata is found with Iris sanguinea. Lilies will be a major feature of this tour. We’ll see Lilium rubellum growing amongst Rhododendron japonicum, whilst Oonokame hosts both Hemerocallis middendorffii and Lilium maculatum. We’ll use the Shinkansen (Japanese Bullet Train) to pass back through Tokyo en route to Odawara and the famous spa at Hakone-Yumoto. This is a great base to explore the botanically rich Izu Peninsula where Lilium auratum, Arisaema serratum and Astilbe simplicifolia will be among the highlights.
An extension takes us across the Sea of Okhotsk to the Eastern shores of Siberia where we’ll spend a few days exploring the wonderfully rich region between Lake Khanka and the southern end of the great Sikhote-Alin Mountains. The fiery blooms of Lilium tenuifolium emerge from amongst a variety of Honeysuckles and Solomon’s Seals. The white blooms of Clematis hexapetala and the dark maroon urns of Clematis fusca will soon be eclipsed by the furry bells of Pulsatilla duhurica and gorgeous patches of Polemonium racemosum. This is great country for Lady’s-slipper Orchids with our very own Cypripedium calceolus joining by the little Cypripedium guttatum and the showy Cypripedium macranthum, and there’s even some fascinating hybrids between macranthum and calceolus! We’ll see elegantly trifoliate Anemone udensis and altogether coarser Anemone dichotoma, and other fine plants include Androscae filiformis, Lloydia triflora, and pink and white Paeonia lactiflora and Paeonia obovata.
Ian Green, Shigeto Tsukie (Japan), Andrey Kozhevnikov (Vladivostok),
Easy to occasionally moderate. Usually no more than three or four miles a day, maybe up to five or six on a couple of days, and always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers.
Included in the Price
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in Japan and Vladivostok. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature including insurance, Russian visas, and tips, are not included.
Two leaders will accompany a group of up to 8, three leaders up the maximum of 15.
Available in early October