Posted by: tsubakuro | September 14, 2010

The Japan Alps Photo Book

The book arrived at my house already three weeks ago and it has taken time to get a post up about it – the completed project, but perhaps having waited a little has provided time enough to gauge the responses of the general public (my friends and students).

I had no doubt that I would receive favourable comments from my adult students but I was pleased to see some teenaged students and even elementary school children enjoyed the photographs. It seems the pristine snow captured in some of the photos in particular attracted the interest young and old alike.

I have been posting photographs on Flickr and FaceBook and the compliments have been coming in. But as I always have said, compliments are greatly appreciated; however, they do not put money in the pockets. Sales would be appreciated even more!

That said, a few people here in Japan have requested copies and I am awaiting the delivery of an order of hard cover and soft cover copies. The price is a little higher than I would like, despite the low dollar, because the shipping is still costly, even choosing the cheapest method.

One of my favourite bloggers, mountaineer and translator (he has translated Kyuya Fukuda’s book Nihon Hyakumeizan into English), Project Hyakumeizan is my first international customer and he has been very kind and written positive review of my photography in the book on his blog. I extend a warm thank you to him for that and hope to return the favour someday soon when his book is published.

A few words about the photographs: all were captured on film, almost exclusively Velvia 50, and in formats 35mm, 6×4.5cm, 6x7cm, and 4×5 inches. I tried to capture scenes from all three ranges throughout the year, making a point of heading out at least once each month to capture alpine scenery. It was important also to cover as much ground as possible and so, consulting the maps in my guidebooks, I tried to spread my foot prints as far and wide as possible.

The project, however, is not complete.

Though I put this book together and I think I have done a fairly nice job, it is, as I stated before, only a test. My original intention was not to produce my own book of the Japan Alps but to test the quality of for future projects that I would do more for personal enjoyment than a kind of business venture. This completed book here will also serve as a vehicle to advertise my work and abilities along with my proposal for a book, Sanmyaku: Photographs from the Japan Alps, which I fully intend to continue submitting to the publishing companies of Japan.

For that matter, the photo collection is incomplete. I still have a dozen more locations I wish to photograph to feel I have captured a more satisfactory and complete view of the Japan Alps. Naturally, this will mean an even greater selection of images from which to choose and already many photos I really like were not able to fit in the blurb book. Some were also away in a calendar submission, and even though some images would have been highlights of the book they had to be omitted due to their unavailability.

If possible, I would like to include the following locations in a professionally published project:

From the Kita Alps – the Hotakas viewed from Chogatake in April; Tsurugidake viewed from Senjinike in autumn; autumn scenery and the Shirouma Mountains from Tsugaike Shinzen Kouen; the glacial cirques of Kurobe-gorodake and Yakushidake in summer with wildflowers; the area around Harinokidake and Eboushidake.

From the Chuo Alps – the view from the north of Kiso-komagatake; an ascent of Sengairei and Kosumoyama.

From the Minami Alps – a summer view from the cirques of Senjougatake or a re-attempt for a winter view; an ascent of Hijiridake; a re-attempt for a winter view of Shiomidake; a visit to Aseyomine for a shot of Kitadake and Kai-komagatake; a visit to one of the lower mountains in the sub-ranges of the Minami Alps around Kamikouchidake and Tekaridake.

My current financial situation, sadly enough, makes completing these hikes a three-year project at least. But I guess I have time. Finding a taker for this project may require a few more years of perseverance. In the mean time, I hope people will enjoy my photographs and book The Japan Alps, which is for now, as far as I know, the only book in English about the Japan Alps.


  1. […] a comment The book arrived three weeks ago and I finally got a post up about it. Please see the Project: Sanmyaku post to read about how the book turned out or go to to preview and order the book. […]

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