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My Private Tokyo – Monochrome Mt. Fuji


I’ve been in Japan for a little over 9 months already and tragically I have yet to head out to see Mt. Fuji up close and personal. I’ve enjoyed the view I’ve seen from the towers of Tokyo to it peaking out over the horizon lining the Shonan coast but I had thought to myself my first trip to Mt. Fuji would also involve climbing to the top, something I wasn’t entirely prepared for during summer.

Recently it has gained the status of being a world heritage and as such has become, more so than ever, a popular spot to visit and conquer. In the wake of that, summer for me felt like a less than ideal time to visit, given the recent heavy traffic brought on by the new title. Even then though it can get quite cool in the evenings so the fact it’s already Autumn here now brings about some further trepidation.  Perhaps conquering the mountain is no longer on the immediate agenda but it is such an iconic symbol of Japan that one can’t help but smile every time you get a glimpse of it.

This past September I took a flight to Korea. My flight was set for the 16th which happened to coincide with not only my birthday but also a typhoon. I feared my plane being delayed if not cancelled but one thing I did not bother to anticipate was being able to fly out, near sunset just after a typhoon swept over Tokyo. As you can probably imagine the view out the plane window was nothing short of majestic, especially once we flew over Mt. Fuji, a view I never before had a chance of seeing as my flights in and out of Japan were directly over the pacific ocean or Sea of Japan headed towards Seoul. This time my flight was to Busan, South Korea, a path that went right by the mountain.

For better or worse the only camera I had with me at the time was my trusty FE-2 loaded with some monochrome film. Personally it’s come to be one of my more cherished pictures, even if it didn’t quite capture the color of the atmosphere at the time. Regardless it made for quite a memorable birthday souvenir.

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