Veteran shutterbug hooked on Mount Fuji

Come rain or shine, Kenji Yasukawa can be found focusing his lenses on the slopes of Japan’s most famous mountain and adding to his collection of more than 8,000 photographs of Mount Fuji.

On a company outing to Mount Fuji 18 years ago, he ran off a few shots that he later showed to his photography teacher.

Impressed, his teacher suggested Yasukawa return to get more images.

Since then, the 64-year-old Tokyo native has returned to capture the mountain on 340 occasions — most recently last weekend — in every season.

Titled “Mount Fuji in all Seasons,” a selection of Yasukawa’s favorite photos are being displayed in the main bar and sushi restaurant at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, in Tokyo’s Yurakucho district, until Oct. 31.

Those on display are in color, including a remarkable nighttime shot with a shooting star against a pale green and black sky, but Yasukawa also has an extensive collection of black and white images.

“Early in the morning, when it is still quite dark, is my favorite time to photograph Mount Fuji,” he said.

“I keep going back there because the opportunities to take so many different pictures of Mount Fuji are endless. My work will never be finished.”

Yasukawa’s fascination with photography dates back to when he joined the Associated Press in 1984, and when he is not framing Mount Fuji, he is busy negotiating Tokyo’s streets as a driver for the AP bureau in Tokyo.