Japanese women seem to be discovering hiking in droves.
We have seen the Golfing Boom.
The Farming Boom.
And now the Mountain Girls.
The first and most important thing to become a Mountain Girl is, of course, to have the right fashion.
There seems to be a general increase in interest in outdoor activities in Japan with the economic down turn. The economic down turn does not however women spending money on clothes for their new hobby. The "Must have item" appears to be the "Yama suka-to" or the Mountain skirt...and a pair of brightly coloured and patterned tights or leggings.
I grew up in areas synonymous with hiking and mountain climbing. I have all the gear (I think I asked for a 80L backpack for my 17th birthday and a -20 degree down sleeping bag for Christmas). None of it matches anything else and I would never have been caught dead wearing a skirt in the bush.
I hope that the girls of Japan don't discover camping....