Jennifer Lue / Mountain Guide
Under sunny blue skies and on rain-soaked days in the forest, Jennifer Lue puts on her outdoor gear and walks dashingly along Yakushima’s trails, her long arms and legs swinging freely. Ms. Lue works as a mountain guide on the island of Yakushima.
Ms. Lue majored in physics at MIT and studied kendo while getting a master’s degree in sport science at Tsukuba University. She moved to Japan fifteen years ago and has lived on Yakushima for six of those years. Originally from Florida, she was attracted by Japan’s nature because it is totally different from that of her hometown.
“I think mountains are present somewhere in the hearts and minds of the Japanese people. They are familiar and close, perhaps a place the Japanese are forever hoping to return to. I feel this especially here on Yakushima.” Ms. Lue says that the foreign tourists who visit Yakushima share the same feelings.
There is something that Ms. Lue emphasizes in her capacity as a mountain guide. From the moment her guest arrives at the airport she tries to determine what they want to do and how they are feeling. Then she decides which mountain is the best match for them.
“The mountains are a special space. They enable their own unique communication.” While she seems quiet in town, Ms. Lue comes alive in the mountains.
Before long, she will publish a book entitled “Yakushima: Journey from Sea to Sky.” Ms. Lue says that it will be an easily accessible book about Yakushima for foreign tourists. “Yakushima’s mountains each have their own distinct character and physique.”
I wonder what Ms. Lue’s perceptions of Yakushima will be. I hope her book will be read by foreigners and Japanese alike.
(written by Urara Ogata of the Sanpotei)
【Jennifer Lue / Mountain Guide】
Address: 914-33 Hara, Yakushima, Kumage District, Kagoshima, Japan