Japan has some very pretty mountains.
I am from Minnesota, and while Minnesota has many trees and parks, it only has one mountain (pictured to the right). It is called Sugarloaf because the funny nub on top looks like a sugar cube. Minnesota’s only mountain is very small and funny looking because a long time ago a town was built near it and they mined the mountain down to almost nothing.
But in Japan, beautiful mountains are ubiquitous. I’ve heard that more than 70% of Japan consists of mountains, including around 200 volcanoes. I like to take pictures of them (like the one on the left) and even have friends in America that have asked if I can send them any photos I take of Japan’s wonderful landscapes. And sometimes, while driving to work, their beauty will bring tears to my eyes. Once, while going to Akita, as I was driving through the mountains when I saw a festival shooting fireworks up between the mountains. It was a wonderful sight.
In America, living by mountains is not very popular. People appreciate mountains, sure, but don’t like living by them. Many people stop seeing the beauty of the mountains and just start to see them as something isolating them from the rest of the world. But in Japan, mountains are celebrated. Japan even has a (relatively new) public holiday on August 11th called “Mountain Day.” The purpose is to give people “opportunities to get familiar with mountains and appreciate blessings from mountains.”
I have climbed some mountains back home in America and want to try climbing some in Japan too. Wish me luck.
Written by Colin Thies
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