Mt. Yarigatake, Japan Alps, Nagano Prefecture, c. 1940.

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Mt. Yarigatake (sometimes “Yarigadake”), Japan Alps, Nagano Prefecture, c. 1940. Yarigatake-yama is considered to be one of the “100 Famous Japanese Mountains”, a list originally compiled and published in book form in 1964 by mountaineer and author Kyūya Fukada – a book that enjoyed renewed interest when it was revealed it was among the favorites of Crown Prince (now Emperor) Naruhito, an alpine climber himself. Yarigatake-yama is considered Japan’s “Matterhorn”, for its pyramid peak which reaches 3,180m, Japan’s fifth-highest summit.

See also:
Climbing Mt. Hakuba (Shiro-uma-yama), Nagano, 1928.
Skiers, Japan Alps, c. 1940.

“In 1871, there was a foreign engineer called William Gouland in the Osaka Mint. He was much interested in mountain climbing and once explored the Hida Mountain Range, which is now known as a part of the Japan Alps, he being the first [foreigner] to visit it.

“A record shows that he met the first snow on July 18th at the height of 4,700 feet on Oyaji-dake, saw the first snow at the height of 6,300 feet on Yari-ga-take, and discovered on July 28th a snow field 20 feet in thickness on the same mountain.

“The ‘Japan Alps’ were perhaps so named by Gouland. In Mr. [Walter] Weston’s Japanese Alps, published in 1896, it is stated that the name ‘Japanese Alps’ was learned from Mr. Gouland. It is unknown whether the name was started alone by Mr Gouland or jointly with other foreign mountain climbers.”

“Mountaineering in Japan”, The Japan Magazine, April 1924

Map: Northern Japan Alps.

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  1. Pingback: Kamikochi Imperial Hotel, Matsumoto, c. 1940. | Old TokyoOld Tokyo

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