From my ongoing Mt. Ontake/Chubu project (that I’m never going to finish)
Fuji Provia 100F
On the climb up Mt. Norikura, central Japan. I don’t cycle up it as much as I should.
After returning from India I promised myself that I would try to see more of Japan, preferably by bicycle and with a camera. These are far from great shots – I have know idea how to take a good landscape – but it doesn’t matter. It’s the getting outdoors part that’s the most enjoyable.
I’m taking a week long trip to Shikoku next week to travel around both Kochi and Tokushima prefectures (I used to live in Tokushima) and to catch the wonderful Awa Odori for what I think will be my 5th time. I’ll be taking my Leicas, a huge Mamiya RB67 borrowed from Darren, and of course my bicycle(s).
(The title is far more dramatic than I intended but it’s the only one I can think of at the moment)
There isn’t anything special about these photos. I’ve uploaded them because I think the Japanese countryside is one of the most beautiful places on the planet (if you give it a chance). Unfortunately it’s dying a very slow death and few people seem to care. The young people from the countryside are leaving for the big cities and only occasionally swap places with the youth from the big cities.
It’s depressing. It’s also frustrating.
Especially when you throw Fukushima into the equation. Why? Japan’s nuclear power plants are built either on the Pacific or Sea of Japan coast and quite often a stones throw away from similar scenery to this. Everything could be destroyed at any time, and it’s our own fault.
I try to spend as much time in the countryside as possible riding in the mountains. Taking a camera along is a bonus but nearly always worth it.
Every year my friends and I cycle up Mt. Norikura – usually three times over a weekend. It’s one of the biggest mountains in the Japanese Alps and renowned among cyclists throughout the country. The summit, just over 3000m, is higher than anything the Tour de France usually goes over and it takes at least 17kms of continual climbing to get there.
Strange as it seems it’s usually one of the highlights of my year. I’m yet to discover anything that compares with the satisfaction of reaching the summit and the anticipation of the awesome decent that always awaits.
I took a film camera with me but it stopped working at the start of the climb. So I hid it in the bushes and relied on my iPhone.
By the way, we’ve just moved apartments so don’t have the Internet yet. Consequently this is post is directly from my iPhone.