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Road Trip with tokyo grapher

A trip to the Fuji Five Lakes in the early spring vol.1

May, 02, 2016

毎年のことだが、長い冬が終わりを告げる3月になると、車でどこかへ写真を撮る旅に出たくて、居ても立ってもいられなくなる。
ちょうど去年の今頃に訪れた富士五湖は、霧に包まれた湖や森、高原の風景に出会えた。その非日常的な美しい光景を思い出す度に、今もすぐにでもあの場所へ車を走らせたくなる。その、ずっと頭の中に残っている、今や幻想のようになっている風景を求めて、また今年も早春の富士五湖に友人たちと向かうことにした。

今回のロードトリップは車中泊を含めると3泊4日の旅。
大阪を夜に出発して富士の裾野にある田貫湖に明け方に到着。そこで東京組、新潟組と合流し、総勢13人の写真好き仲間が、富士五湖周辺をフォトジェニックなロケーションを探しながら、車で巡る旅をする。
聞かずもがな、目的は「自分が思い描いたイメージを捕えるため」に。

This happens to me every year, but in March when spring comes, I become quite eager to journey to somewhere else to take photos.
When I visited the Fuji Five Lakes in this time last year, I was able to see lakes and forests folded in mist, and picturesque highland sceneries. Whenever I think of such extraordinary sceneries, I want to drive to there at any moment. Those sceneries have got stuck in my mind almost like illusions. Looking for seeing them again, I decided to go to the Fuji Five Lakes in the early spring this year again with my friends.

It was a four-day and three-night trip including nights staying in the car.
Leaving Osaka in the night, we arrived at the Lake Tanukiko situated at the foot of Mt. Fuji in the dawn. There the parties from Tokyo and Niigata joined us. A total of 13 photography enthusiasts went on a road trip around the Fuji Five Lakes to seek for some photogenic locations.
Our goal was to supplement images in our imaginations.


Mt. Fuji viewed from the lake at dawn


前日の夜遅くに大阪を経って、集合場所の田貫湖に着いたのが4時半。当日の日の出は5時35分なので、仮眠はあきらめ、珈琲で眠気をさましながら他のチームの到着を待つ。
今朝は、期待していた霧には見放されたようだが、湖面に映る逆さ富士が期待できそうな天気だ。
実は、ここ田貫湖は、富士五湖には数えられていない人造湖で、今のような大きさに拡張されたのは、ほんの数十年前のことなのだそうだ。正面に見える富士山は、ちょうど大崩れがある西側の姿が望める。

そろそろ空が白み出した5時。東京組が到着した。
今回のメンバーは、男が9人に女性が4人。撮影に使う機材もiPhoneだけにこだわる私のようなiPhoneographerもいれば、DSLR、ハッセルブラッドなどの中判フィルムカメラまで幅広い。
初顔合わせのメンバーと挨拶を交わしたら、早速、明るくなりはじめた湖畔に向かう。

Leaving Osaka late at the night on the previous day, we arrived at Lake Tanukiko, a meet-up spot, at 4:30 am. The sunrise on that day was 5:35 am, so we gave up taking a nap and waited for other parties to arrive having some coffee to stay awake.
Our expectations were betrayed, because there was no mist. Instead, it was so clear with pleasant weather that we could expect to see an inverted image of Mt. Fuji reflected in the lake.
This Lake Tanukiko is actually an artificial lake which is not counted in the Fuji Five Lakes. This lake was expanded to the current scale just a few decades ago. Mt. Fuji stood in front of us showing its west side where we could see the Osawa Kuzure collapse valley.

In 5:00 am, the sky gradually grew brighter, when the party from Tokyo arrived.
Our party had nine men and four women. We used such a wide variety of cameras, from iPhone which was my particular photo-shooting device to medium format cameras such as DSLR and Hasselblad.
After greeting with those members we met for the first time, we started to move toward the lake side that grew brighter with sunlight.



流れる雲で、富士山は現れたり隠れたり。でも、湖面は凪いでいるので朝日を背景にした富士山が美しく映り込んで見えた。
田貫湖でお気に入りの撮影スポットの桟橋には、すでに先客の釣り人が陣取っていた。どけとも言えず、こうなったらと釣り人を被写体に色々撮ってみる。湖面にかかる靄と映る空が幻想的だった。

Mt. Fuji appeared or hid because of the driving clouds. But the surface of the lake was calm, where Mt. Fuji was beautifully reflected against a background of the sunshine.
There were already some anglers on the landing bridge which was one of our favorite photography spots. Being unable to tell them “would you get out of the way?”, we surely had to incorporate these anglers into our photos. The haze covering the surface of the lake and the sky reflected in the lake were unreal.



The best part of the road trip


太陽が少し高くなってきた。次の目的地に向かうことにして車を走らせる。
時間はたっぷりあるので、わざと走ったことのない道を通ってみる。田貫湖からほんの10分も走っただろうか。先行する車がハザードランプを点滅させながらスローダウンした。

The sun rose a bit higher. We drove to the next destination.
Since we had plenty of time, we took side roads where we had not driven. About 10 minutes after we left Lake Tanukiko, the preceding car turned on its hazard lights and slowed down.

やっぱりそうだ。車を路肩に停めて降りてみると、そこには少し靄がかかった素敵な林道があった。
言うまでもなく、ロードトリップの醍醐味のひとつは、好きなように旅ができること。面白そうな場所、美しい風景を見つけたら、路肩に車を停めてちょっと寄り道すればいい。
それがたとえ出発点からわずか10分の場所だとしても(笑)

Yes, just as I thought. I pulled over and got out of the car. There was a fantastic forest road covered with haze.
Needless to say, one of the best parts of a road trip is that we can go anywhere we want. When finding an interesting location or a beautiful scenery, we can pull over to stop at, even if it is just 10-minute drive from the starting point.

To be continued

Text by Koichi Miyase / Photography by Koichi Miyase and Akihito Nagata
Photographic equipment / iPhone 6S + tokyo grapher, Canon EOS 5D Mark2
Vehicle / Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara