It’s not as though I ever had any sort of special feeling about this mountain, or liked it or adored it in any conscious way. Whenever I encountered it through the train window, though, somehow the sight would seize my mind and I would spend the few moments until it sped out of view in a daze—all the while being compelled to recognize a faint restless something stirring within my heart, like a premonition. Ten years ago, on a day when the air was gloriously crisp and I could see autumn deepening all around me, I photographed the mountain from the shores of Lake Kawaguchi. Then, ten years later, I decided to climb. Despite my worries, the going turned out to be much easier than I had anticipated. An incredible number of people crowded the trails to the peak, trekking up the same mountainside that had seemed so empty when I looked on it from the window or the lake. The reality is that at any time, even from that distance, a telephoto lens will reveal a long colorful chain of climbers on what might appear to be a deserted solid-hued slope. And I, now, am one in that chain.
(translated by Chikako Imoto)