JMGA Mountain Guide
Azumino (Nagano), Japan
I am a JMGA mountain guide, born and raised in Azumino at the foot of North Japan Alps. I've always played outdoors in the hills or rivers nearby and at the age of 10, my playground expanded into the North Japan Alps.
When I turned 23, I became passionate about alpine climbing and joined numerous expeditions abroad, including those in South America, Tibet and Nepal. In my late 20s, I returned to Nagano to join the mountain rescue team of the North Japan Alps and also started mountain guiding, and have been doing it now for over 20 years.
My work in the mountains is quite diverse - I work on mountain rescue, help with mountain hut logistics, maintenance of mountain trails etc. as a locally bred mountain guide.
Since 10 years ago, I've started my work in the mountainous and glaciated areas of Antarctica with the Japan Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), as a field guide /manager for researches in geology, geophysics, and meteorite research. I alternate my work between Antarctica and guiding domestically in Japan.
From 2017, I will join JARE again on an expedition crossing the Antarctica followed by an overwinter stay with the research team at the Syowa station. I will resume my guiding in Japan from April 2019. You can follow the Antarctic project I am involved in here - http://polaris.nipr.ac.jp/~icc/NC/htdocs/?page_id=149. We will be extracting an ancient (more than 800,000 years ago) ice core to recreate the environment then.
I will be able to guide you on whichever mountain you like in Japan but my favourite field of guiding is where I grew up, the North Japan Alps (in particular Mt Yari and the Hodaka ranges). I like to guide on uncrowded mountains and routes carrying tents for sleeping, but I also guide a lot on rocky climb routes.
For visitors to Japan wanting to experience the mountains here, in addition to the classic climbs, I'd recommend you to also enjoy something very 'Japanese' like Sawanobori (only offered in Japan!) and foraging!