When we think of snowboarding (or skiing) in Japan we think of gliding effortlessly through beautiful, soft, waist deep snow that curls over your head at every turn, leaving you visionless for a second or two. We think of sharing the memories from that all-time day over just one (ha-ha) beer with your good, new or foreign friends atop or below the mountains. Taking it all in as euphoria engulfs our bodies.
I experienced this for four of the days in the first week of my one-month trip in Japan over February, in Myoko Kogen. I only pulled my camera out for two of those days because I just wanted to ride, enjoy the snow and not hold the crew up every time I wanted to shoot. Unfortunately, these days were the only ones that I scored powder in Japan but I can surely guarantee that it was worth it. Riding the day after a 75cm dump was so much fun, also dangerous, but lapping the same chair on untouched powder is something I will remember forever.
From Myoko I made my way to Hakuba for three weeks to meet up with some other friends. Rain, sun and ice (no snow for the whole time) kept me off the mountain a little bit more than I hoped… but hey, you get that on snow holidays. I never got to experience Hakuba to its full potential but the small town vibe of Myoko definitely appealed to me more.
Anyway, I let my photography drive the trips that I embark on which has primarily led me to the mountains wherever they may be. I like the beauty of cloud formations around peaks and feeling so vulnerable to mother natures giants. But most of all I enjoy capturing the light as it hits different peaks and ridges – creating dramatic settings of contrast and colours.
Here is a series of my favourite images from my time spent in the Japanese Alps – inclusive of three street shots in Tokyo.
Check out more of Tom’s work on his Instagram – @tomhy_