Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking
Display Avatars Sort By:
eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/11/2010 02:29:44 MST Print View

looks like TNF is going yama ... lol

im not complaining if all the hawt gurls here wear miniskirts up the mountain ...

yuppiefication at its best ... just waiting for the hello kitty mountain boots

Forget the ice ax and $500 climbing boots. The mode du jour for today’s female mountain hikers in Japan is a miniskirt and leggings.

The North Face, a maker of Gore-Tex waterproof jackets, and Alpine Tour Service Co. are targeting “yama girls,” or mountain girls, the nickname for the growing number of women who are taking to the hills of Japan wearing short pants or fleece skirts with leggings and designer trekking boots.

“I want to wear something cute like a skirt,” said Machiko Miyauchi, 25, who made her first ascent of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak, earlier this year after buying new equipment and shoes. “Climbing is healing. You can breathe fresh, clean air.”

Visitors to Mount Fuji in the two months ended Aug. 31, the busiest climbing season, were the most since the government began tracking traffic using infrared sensors in 2005. The number of women applying for Alpine’s treks jumped sixfold from last year, prompting the Tokyo-based company to increase women- only tours to 13 this year from six in 2009, spokesman Yasushi Kodama said.

Clothing companies have hired mountain fashion pioneers such as Yuri Yosumi to promote new women’s lines for mountaineers. Yosumi’s “Love Trek” website includes red mini dresses and pink bush hats from Paris-based Aigle.

Berghaus Ltd., a U.K. outdoor wear maker, introduced skirts jointly developed with Yosumi in 2009, while Jarden Corp.’s Marmot Mountain LLC, a U.S. outdoor clothing company, followed this year, according to Yosumi’s husband Daisuke.

Pants Only

“We’re giving an option to the market where only pants were available before,” Daisuke Yosumi said. He said his wife wasn’t available to comment.

Japan’s fashion scene has a record of establishing cult trends that sweep the industry, typically for a few years, such as the “ganguro” look that mixed deep fake tans with white lipstick, brightly colored clothes and orange-to-blond hair. Tokyo ranked 14th this year in Global Language Monitor’s annual list of world fashion capitals, trailing Hong Kong and Shanghai in Asia.

The nation’s top climbing spot is the 3,776 meters-high (12,388 feet) Mount Fuji, within sight of Tokyo, where the number of trekkers rose 9.9 percent to 320,975 in July and August, according to a report by the Environment Ministry. About 12.3 million people hiked Japan’s mountains last year, compared with 590,000 in 2008, according to a 2010 Japan Productivity Center White Paper on Leisure, published in July.

Fuji Catalyst

“Mount Fuji seems to be a catalyst for many people,” said Machiko Ito, who plans trekking tours at Yama-kei Publishers Co. “It’s like going to Tokyo Disneyland -- people get this feeling that everyone else is going, so they will too.”

Alpine Tour and Yama-kei offered a women-only tour to Fuji for 28,000 yen ($347) in July, and plan two more all-female tours to other locations in December.

“Single women are spending their spare time on something fashionable and good for their health, as they can’t do it once they get married,” said Toshihiro Nagahama, chief economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo. “Mountaineering is luring in female fans.”

Yamato International Inc., which sells the Aigle brand in Japan, attributed its profit gain to the “yama girls,” President Tomoki Hannya said on Oct. 15, when the company posted net income of 522 million yen in the nine months ended Aug. 31, beating its estimate by 19 percent.

Shares of Yamato rose 2.6 percent to close at 352 yen in Osaka trading today, extending their gain this year to 7 percent. That compares with an 8 percent decline by the benchmark Topix index in the same period. Tokyo-based Goldwin Inc., which has a licensing agreement to sell The North Face’s clothing in Japan, advanced 2.5 percent to 164 yen, trimming its loss to 4.7 percent in 2010.

Continuing Trend

With more women remaining in the workforce, the trend may continue. The average age for Japanese women to get married for the first time rose to 28.6 last year from 26.3 in 1995, while the birth rate dropped to 1.37 from 1.42 in the same period, according to Japan’s health ministry.

“It was amazing when we saw the sun rise at the top of Mount Fuji,” said Yumiko Hongo, 25, who works at a recruiting company and spent almost $500 on a climbing jacket and shoes for the hike. “I could really enjoy the nature.”

Sales of The North Face’s women’s apparel rose to 35 percent of total revenue this year from less than 30 percent a couple of years ago, said Hikari Mori, general manager for the brand at Goldwin. Sales have risen at least 10 percent so far this fiscal year, he said.

“Mountaineering is a real trend now, tapping into a flow from yoga and running, and this is only happening in Japan,” said Mori. “We want to make outdoor activities a lifetime sport, not just a one-time boom.”

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/11/2010 04:19:42 MST Print View

A while back I was going to post some cover shots of several of the now popular yama-girl fashion magazines, but never got around to it. The yama-girl fashion trend is catching on like wildfire here in Japan and when you visit outdoor stores now you see a lot more younger women than you did in the past.

While it's cool seeing more women get into mountain walking, it's also quite scary to see the fashion being touted over the realities of being in the mountains. Too many of these young women have never spent any time outdoors and their heading into the mountains wearing what is often very inappropriate (in terms of safety) clothing makes me concerned that fatalities in the mountains here are going to go on a rise. Already I've had about 10 of my female (college) students excitedly show me the cotton t-shirts and pants they bought for climbing. I feel that the yama-girl magazines, being responsible for the trend, have a much bigger responsibility in getting the information out that mountains are dangerous and appropriate knowledge and gear is more important than fashion.

For myself, one thing I really dislike about the trend is the astronomical numbers of walkers it will now encourage to get into the mountains. The record-setting, huge numbers of walkers up Mt. Fuji this year is just the beginning of other mountains (albeit more difficult to climb) getting overrun with more people. I go to the mountains to get away from the idiocy and crowds of the cities below and having mountains overrun with fashion-crazy young women (I teach them everyday and believe me they are "fashion-crazy") will cut into something that I value. The fashions are not "discreet" either... if you visit the women's sections of the outdoor stores now, the colors are so loud and clashing that you can see anyone who wears the fashions from literally kilometers away.

My only hope is that mountains themselves couldn't care less about fashion and that the young women who follow the trend will learn something from their experiences and 1) learn to dress more appropriately, both for safety and out of consideration for others and for the natural world, 2) learn to love the mountains and continue the activities for the rest of their lives, not just following a fashion trend, and 3) not just focus on themselves as women, but help to encourage young men in Japan, who have reached an all-time low in self-esteem and motivation, to get out there, too.

yama girl 1

yama girl 2

yama girl 3

yama girl 4

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
:) on 11/11/2010 04:53:21 MST Print View

So where can I get a "Yama Girl," then? Are they available through Patagonia Import Division?

And are they considered part of the "Common Threads Recycling Program?"

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
So strange on 11/11/2010 05:19:21 MST Print View

Proves the power of the media to influence how people dress. I would be most of them dont hike, just wear hiker clothes. Crazy stuff.

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
no need to go to Japan :) on 11/11/2010 05:33:11 MST Print View

From Simon website :


Edited by Fre49 on 11/11/2010 05:36:44 MST.

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Yama Girls on 11/11/2010 13:02:47 MST Print View

I was searching the other day for info on Wild Things' epic wind shirt and noticed their Yama Girl colors.

Wild Things Yama-Girl

Edited by akajut on 11/11/2010 13:32:02 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/12/2010 08:36:48 MST Print View

Instead of whining about it you would think some of you horn dogs would be happy that:
Pretty girls
Pretty girls
That pretty girls want to go hiking

So who cares if it is a trend? Some of it might stick on said women.

You know what? Many women like to be pretty even when sweating. It isn't weird. Or dumb.

But you are all men, not women so you wouldn't get it!

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
whining on 11/12/2010 08:58:24 MST Print View

Im not whining, I just think fashion in general is dumb. Would love to hikenwith some yama girls, I would let them lead the way of course, would make the uphills more enjoyable. : D

Edited by isaac.mouser on 11/12/2010 09:00:47 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/12/2010 10:13:59 MST Print View

Hi Sarah, I knew you'd chime in. I was just waiting for when.

I have nothing against women looking nice or enjoying it as they walk. Hell, I think it is great when men do it, too. I'm not of the Anglo-Saxon "I only wear black or camo" crowd. And not being a North American white man who wouldn't have a clue or care a fig about fashion I do understand about fashion. I am very careful about what and how I wear my clothes, especially in the city. I live in one of the fashion capitols of the world.

If men did the same thing with making the hiking into a fashion trend and overran the hills with the sheer, astronomical numbers that you get in Japan, I'd criticize them, too. but they don't. That's not the women's doing, of course.

But you don't live here. You don't have the kinds of crowds out there in the PNW that you get here in Japan. It is common to be walking along a mountain trail and every five minutes (literally, I'm not kidding) meet a hiking group of 100 members strong whom you have to wait for to pass by on the steep, narrow trails. After the first group passes by five minutes pass and another 100 member strong group shows up. And from this year, with this fashion boom, literally tens of thousands of young women who don't have a clue are taking to the trails. Sure the women are cute, but, c'mon Sarah I'd like to think that I think about other things besides pretty girls sometimes. Just like a horde of cute kitties loses its appeal after the ten thousandth one surrounds you, so do hordes of young women all chattering away on a mountain trail when you're trying to be out there alone, enjoying the quiet and the birds that have all been scared away. Things are done in large numbers here. And when all of those members in the horde are wearing fluorescent colors I'd think even you would get irritated. My criticism has nothing to do with their being women (I wrote that I was happy that women are now finally getting out to the mountains more), but to the sheer numbers and the utter insensitivity to the environment. Just because you are a woman doesn't mean that you have to automatically take the yama girls' side, especially when both you and I love the natural world and surely we both, through our long association with it, feel there are things that are not appropriate there, no? Or are you saying that just because they are women anything is okay?

David T
(DaveT) - F
sometimes. on 11/12/2010 11:13:24 MST Print View

Sometimes we really have to work hard to find things to complain about.

To this, I can only reference the common BPL acronym of:


(Hike your own hike surrounded by hordes of young fashionable Asian trekker girls.)

Edited by DaveT on 11/12/2010 11:14:14 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: sometimes. on 11/12/2010 11:16:19 MST Print View

"Sometimes we really have to work hard to find things to complain about."

Oh, I don't know Dave, it seems rather easy for some folks here......

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/12/2010 11:35:47 MST Print View

Please tell me why I find those women in kilts strangely arousing.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/12/2010 11:43:33 MST Print View

Ummmmmmmmm, only one of the them is a woman........ ;-)

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking" on 11/12/2010 12:08:26 MST Print View

Oh man, Doug, I thought they both were men wearing kilts in that image!.... not that there's anything wrong with that.

On a positive note Miguel, the local Japanese search and rescue efforts should have a fairly easy time locating a group of 100 "Yama Girl" hikers wearing heinous neon attire while simultaneously updating their social networking pages with their status from their individual iPhones. Although that neon pink and teal Wildthings jacket is kind of growing on me in a vintage kind of way.

Edited by Eugeneius on 11/12/2010 12:09:20 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
yama on 11/12/2010 12:21:38 MST Print View

the more hawt yamma gurls ... the better

even better if they wear cotton ... that way if they get soaked, they can always share my sleeping bag ;)

as to colors .... i climb and hike in my classic pink neor spandex .... lol

the problem lies in the yuppiefication of some serious outdoor activities ... more people die on fuji than any other mountain in the world ... it might be a cake walk, but any 3700m peak is no joke

if you go outdoors have the skillset to survive, rather than worry about whether you look yama enough to hit the next edition of Outdoor mag ... or be someone who pressed the SPOT button for a broken nail =P

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/12/2010 12:24:01 MST Print View

News in Japan, but it looks like college campus stuff in the Pacific Northwest to me--- maybe lighter on the footgear. You see Patagonia, TNF and Arcteryx on the bus and in the malls. TNF book packs are a staple and everyone has a water bottle of some sort-- commuters have more travel coffee mugs and more messenger bags than packs. REI stuff is almost working class :)

I did note that Gregory produced a whole line of retro packs and bags for sale in Japan. Some samples and overstock ended up for sale in Seattle.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Miniskirts on Mount Fuji as Japan's `Yama Girls' Spur Trekking on 11/12/2010 12:34:44 MST Print View

Oh, I don't know Dave, it seems rather easy for some folks here......

Yes, I know I'm making a lot of moralizing comments here lately. Sorry. I've been working 7 day weeks for three weeks straight, I have to work again tomorrow and Sunday, with no break next week either, been inside all that time, and am getting pretty stir crazy.

And yes I am being silly about the girls.

But none of you LIVE here. I'm serious. If you haven't been on the trails in Japan midsummer you don't know what crowded means. And this new fashion trend has swollen the numbers to breaking point this year.

These are the kinds of crowds I'm talking about:





This year, because of the yama girl trend touted by the magazines, the numbers have swelled to the greatest on record. It isn't just some trivial event. Yama to Keikoku, the most respected outdoor magazine in Japan, devoted an entire article this month to the problem of the overburdened trails, mountain huts, and people who work on the mountains. This year had the greatest number of fatalities and injuries, including people "playing" with "cute" bears and wild boars, in the history of mountain walking in Japan. I'm concerned about this. Shouldn't I be?

Edited by butuki on 11/12/2010 13:10:57 MST.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
cute bears on 11/12/2010 13:26:58 MST Print View

If you play with cute bears your in the shallow end of the gene pool. It wqs inevitable.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Ok, but lets talk bias here on 11/12/2010 13:28:25 MST Print View

What you'd rather not want is the crowds. Since they crowd up YOUR time in the mountains. That is being greedy though. Everyone else has just as much rights to being there as you - even if you don't like the crowds.

Even the ladies in neon miniskirts.

David T
(DaveT) - F
yama. on 11/12/2010 13:38:17 MST Print View

Those crazy lines on Fuji seem like a uniquely Japanese phenomenon (well, and maybe Half Dome).

But everyone at one place must mean that other places have few people, right? That's why I hike up Langley and Pickering instead of Whitney.

And there's also something to more folks getting out in "nature" instead of staying inside an antiseptic urban bubble.

Anyway, the Yama Trekker Girl of today will be tomorrow's Gothic Futuristic Little Bo-Peep or whatever's next, and you'll have (some) of your mountains back.