Forget the ice ax and $500 climbing boots. The mode du jour for today’s female mountain hikers in Japan is a miniskirt and leggings.
The North Face, a maker of Gore-Tex waterproof jackets, and Alpine Tour Service Co. are targeting “yama girls,” or mountain girls, the nickname for the growing number of women who are taking to the hills of Japan wearing short pants or fleece skirts with leggings and designer trekking boots.
“I want to wear something cute like a skirt,” said Machiko Miyauchi, 25, who made her first ascent of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak, earlier this year after buying new equipment and shoes. “Climbing is healing. You can breathe fresh, clean air.”
“It was amazing when we saw the sun rise at the top of Mount Fuji,” said Yumiko Hongo, 25, who works at a recruiting company and spent almost $500 on a climbing jacket and shoes for the hike. “I could really enjoy the nature.”