Midagahara Wetlands Ramsar Site

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In July, 2012 Tateyama Midagahara and Dainichidaira were registered under the Ramsar Convention

Fresh Verdure

[image] Eriophorum vaginatum in the wetlands overlooking Dainichi Ranges

The feature of Tateyama Midagahara and Dainichidaira

Tateyama Midagahara and Dainichidaira stretch over the gently sloping lava plateau and they are located 1,040-2,120 meters above sea level, at very high attitude in the wetlands of Japan.

Tateyama Midagahara and Dainichidaira have snow patch glasslands formed by meltwater after being covered with thick snow for about half of a year. Small ponds called "Gakita" are scattered and make a unique landscape.
Meltwater is used to make good rice in Tateyama, and the famous tallest waterfall in Japan (350 meters) is called "Shomyo Falls".

[Image] : The tallest waterfall in Japan "Shomyo Falls"(left) and Hannoki Falls which only has water from April to July (right).

The mountains names are derived from mountain worship and folk tales

·The mountains names are derived from mountain worship and folk tales Mount Tateyama is one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains", along with Mount Fuji and Mount Hakusan. It used to be a center of mountain worship where only Ascetic Buddhist monks were allowed to climb up. Today there are still many places with names that are derived from mountain worship. For example, “Gakita” is said to be named after rice fields where demons from hell called “Gaki” and planted into, in order to avoid starvation, mistook Miyama-Scirpus hotarui for rice Chito (small ponds). Syomyo Falls is said to be named because the waterfall made a sound like Buddhist chant, “Namuamidabutsu”.

“Un-kai” (cloud sea)

[image]: The mysterious view of “Un-kai” (cloud sea) in the glow of the sunset

The importance of preserving nature
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“Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route” which spreads out through Midagahara and Dainichidaira is a tourist route where about 1 million tourists come to visit every year.It is important to preserve the rich natural environment which attracts many tourists and pass it on to next generation. Locals make efforts to keep a balance between tourism and protecting the environment by introducing hybrid buses, decreasing exhaust gas by regulating cars, removing alien species of plants, and protecting plants and animals by restoring vegetation.
 [image]: Chito (small ponds) reflecting the blue sky in autumn

What is the Ramsar Convention?

The Convention on Wetlands, known as the Ramsar Convention, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The formal name is: “the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat”, and it is called the “Ramsar Convention” because it was concluded in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971.Wetlands are habitats for various animals and plants, and are also one of the precious resources that supports our lives. Tateyama Midagahara and Dainichidaira were registered in The 11th Ramsar Convention contracting party meeting. There have been 50 wetland conventions in Japan as of May, 2015.

The Ramsar Convention of wetlands registration certificate

The Ramsar Convention of wetlands registration certificate

Fresh Snow

[Image] Midagahara covered with fresh snow in November

Taking a walk in Midagahara and Dainichidaira

Midagahara and Daicichidaira are very rich with alpine flora.

 There are small alpine plants flourishing in summer and changs color in the autumn.

In Midagahara, there are courses of inner and outer tracks that you can walk along easily while admiring the majestic Dainichi range of mountains in North.

It takes about 3 hours to Dainichidaira by hiking along the trail path from the starting point in order to climb up Mount Dainichi near Syomyo Falls. After climbing the steep slope, you will have a magnificent and beautiful view. There is also a mountain-range traversing route between Dainichidaira and Murodo.




Image (top): Dainichidaira spreading out at the foot of Mount Dainichi.

Image (bottom): Chito (Small ponds) (Gakita) repeating the cycle of forming, developing, and disappearing over a long period of time

Rules for safe and enioyable hiking

As the alpine weather varies, be sure to carry rain gear and warm clothes.
Be aware that the boardwalk becomes slippery in wet weather.
Do not stray from the walking trails. Do not damage or pick the plants.

  Raicho (Ptarmigan) is said to have existed since an ice age (Protected animal)