Posted by: tsubakuro | January 19, 2010

Gallery: Tsurugi Dake 剣岳

Among the photographs going into the book proposal is this image of Tsurugi Dake (剣岳) as seen from below the south summit of Jiigatake (爺ヶ岳) in the Ushirotateyama Range of the Kita Alps. The photo was captured in early November of 2007, not long before sunset.

Tsurugidake is one of the most impressive mountains of the Japan Alps. From the Tateyama area it looks like a rocky pyramid set atop a steep and rugged climb. From Senjin Pond it shows a serrated ridge of multiple crags. From Jiigatake, the mountain appears massive and rocky, and this photograph has often fooled Japanese into believing that it is a scene from abroad.

Tsurugi Dake is one of my four favourite mountains in the Japan Alps.



  1. With the clouds setting off the rugged profile of the mountain, this photo definitely captures the essence of Tsurugi – this is what Nihon Hyakumeizan has to say about the mountain: “Thus has Tsurugi inspired all who have ever looked up at the mountain. Its appearance is, above all, rugged and dynamic. Each of the high peaks in the Japan Alps has its own distinct character, but only two, Tsurugi and Kaikoma, culminate in pyramidal summits that are almost thrillingly sharp. Yes, as its name suggests, Tsurugi has all the sharpness and rigour of a sword. Its steel-grey flanks rise abruptly and sheer, shrugging off the snow so that this mountain alone shows off its dark sinews while all the others around are shrouded in white.”

    • That is a very eloquent description of what has to be one of Japan’s most exotic (if not the most exotic) uplifted mountain (distinguishing it from exotic looking volcanoes). I agree that only Kaikoma comes close to matching its eye-catching beauty in form, though the Hotakas viewed from Chogatake or Kasagatake are undoubtedly breathtaking and impressive.

      It looks like I’ll be requesting to borrow quotes from your book as well if mine ever gets the go ahead. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

  2. Peter – you are very welcome to use quotations from the Hyakumeizan translation. In fact, there have been many photo editions of the book in Japanese, so this will be following in very established tradition. Let’s hope we can get the Hyakumeizan translation published before too long…. I’m working on it.

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