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Central Japan Alps Trip Essay
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Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/09/2011 13:03:47 MDT Print View

Just posted the newest Central Japan Alps trip photoessay on my blog, Laughing Knees. Have a gander!

James Castleberry
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/09/2011 13:26:12 MDT Print View

Unbelievable amazing photos! Great essay! The best part is, I think many people will be blown away by Japan as a hiking destination. Not "wilderness" exactly, but undeniably beautiful alpine scenery. In addition to the Chuo-Alps which you photographed so well, there are lots of beautiful mountains with challenging trails. The Minami Alps, Shira-uma dake, Aka-dake, Kumotori-yama, and Yatsu-ga-take were all mountains I climbed while in Japan. It is a fantastic place to hike, though trail signs in Japanese can obviously slow foreign visitors down a bit.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/09/2011 14:13:50 MDT Print View


Your words are a joy to read and encouraging. Thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing 35 years in the making. Well done.

The photographs are amazing, beautiful. Richo GXR?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/10/2011 09:28:39 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone. I'm really glad you liked the read. I have another trip report coming out, this one a bit more hiking intensive and wild.

James, yes, Japan is a fabulous place to walk, mountains everywhere, and some of them very much wilder than any of the Japan Alps (except perhaps the southern portion of the South Japan Alps). The best places to walk are in Tohoku, many of them appearing on no maps and requiring local knowledge to get to. Two of my friends are serious sawanobori walkers and want to show me these wild places. I've been to a lot of mountains here. Some of them have been written about in the blog.

Eugene, yes, the Ricoh GXR. It's a wonderful little camera, but with the longer telephoto shots requiring the use of the older, smaller-sensor sized lens module, the quality of the images is quite badly compromised when blowing the images up. Too much noise and not enough resolution for editing. Many of the cloud shots were done with the smaller sensor module. For some reason the lightbox plugin isn't working with the site, so you can't see the images in their larger sizes as they were meant to be seen.

Thanks for the compliments!

And my next blog post the images will be with the Nikon D7000. Let's see how much of a difference it makes.

Edited by butuki on 10/10/2011 09:32:00 MDT.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/11/2011 11:20:28 MDT Print View


Very beautiful. The more I see of Japan, the more I want to find a way to get there. Great work on the essay.


Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/11/2011 11:49:39 MDT Print View

Excellent Stuff-- I like it all!

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/12/2011 03:00:12 MDT Print View

Beautiful photos Miguel.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/12/2011 05:09:40 MDT Print View

Jacob, Jay, and Arapiles... thanks for your compliments! I'm glad you liked the story and the photos. It was fun doing the walk and then working on the photos and the writing afterwards.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/16/2011 23:24:32 MDT Print View

Hi Miguel,

Great photos and great essay. Thanks for posting, I really enjoyed them.

I may consider doing this hike myself. Do you have anything in the way of a gear list?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Central Japan Alps Trip Essay on 10/17/2011 01:43:36 MDT Print View

Thanks Chris! Are you in Japan? If you are, there is chance that the Japan ultralighters will get together sometime soon. If they do, I'll let you know.

You know, I've been with BPL for years and yet I've never posted any of my gear lists in all this time. It's high time I do! Give me a little time and I'll get one together and post it.

Ismail Faruqi
(ismailfaruqi) - F
Beautiful Photographs on 10/17/2011 02:05:05 MDT Print View

Fantastic photographs and congrats for your trip!

I agree that pitching a tarp is challenging in rocky/hard soil. I was forced to stake my Hexamid by rocks fully when going to Minami Alps this month...

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Beautiful Photographs on 10/17/2011 07:47:39 MDT Print View

Ismail, I've been having trouble with getting stakes in the ground on all my trips this summer. I should probably lengthen the guylines so that I can wrap them around rocks, or else use light net bags to put rocks into.

Where did you go in the Minami Alps? Kita-dake?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Beautifully done on 10/17/2011 17:24:56 MDT Print View

An excellent report. Superb pictures, as usual, but I enjoyed the narrative even more. Many things to appreciate, many to reflect on at length.

Thanks for sharing this one, Miguel.

Ismail Faruqi
(ismailfaruqi) - F
Re: Re: Beautiful Photographs on 10/18/2011 01:53:12 MDT Print View

Yes, Kita-dake -> Aino-dake -> Noutori-dake, and then go home to Osaka. I wish I could go to Chuo and then Kita Alps too but I should go back to Indonesia next year... unless I mnaaged to find a job here :(

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Beautiful Photographs on 10/18/2011 02:58:53 MDT Print View

The Chuo Alps are still very possible, even now. You can take the gondola up and do a one day walk, or extend it to a two-day walk. The only thing you'd have to be careful of is the cold, possible typhoons (getting rare at the end of October), and light snow. It's one of the most beautiful times of the year to go right now. You should be able to go until the middle of November.

The Kita Alps you have to be a bit more careful with. They are quite a lot colder and already snow is very possible. However, it is still a good time to go right now, with the autumn colors full right now. Depending where you go you can do one-day, two-day. three-day, and up to six day walks. The mountains huts are still open and, except for places like Karasawa and Hakuba Daiichi mostly not so crowded anymore. If you want to go before you return to Indonesia, now is the time to go. Next spring will be very hard unless you are a very experienced winter mountaineer. I wouldn't advise going then. The snows are extremely deep and avalanches are common. If you haven't seen them yet, I really recommend Kamikochi, Yarigatake, Sugoroku, and Kurobegoro.