NARA – The summit of Mount Fuji for the first time has been successfully photographed in far-away Kyoto Prefecture, one of 20 prefectures where, given the right conditions, the mountaintop can be viewed.
According to Hiroshi Tashiro, a geographer and part-time lecturer at Meiji Gakuin University, Kyoto is the last location without any record of photographs of the mountaintop.
“I never thought someone could actually photograph” the summit from Kyoto Prefecture, given how far away it is, Tashiro said.
“It’s the first time and it’s unbelievable,” he said.
Shoshin Shinbayashi, a 45-year-old chief priest from the city of Tenri in Nara Prefecture, took the photo of the summit from a wooded area in Sakyo Ward in Kyoto, about 260 km west of the iconic peak.
Shinbayashi shot the summit through a gap in the trees at around 5:20 a.m. Sunday. Tashiro’s analysis determined that the photo shows the top 36 meters of Mount Fuji, which rises 3,776 meters above sea level.
According to Tashiro, the top of the mountain had before Sunday been captured from locations in 19 prefectures, including Fukushima Prefecture, the northernmost of the prefectures, as well as a spot in Wakayama Prefecture, which at 322 km away is the farthest from the mountain.
While cartographic calculations and data from geographic analysis software suggested that the summit can been observed from the location where Shinbayashi succeeded in taking the photo, it had not yet been captured in a photograph.
“There was only one location from where the mountaintop was photographed and it looks as if it was linked to the summit. It’s an act of God,” said Tashiro.
“When I looked through the viewfinder of my camera with a telephoto lens, I noticed a stretch of the mountain through a gap in the trees,” Shinbayashi said. “I was surprised I was able to capture it.”