MARTIN KIRBY – NISEKO, JAPAN

 CHAMP FAM
Photographer / Musician

Martin Kirby

Marty is one of the most adventurous guys we know, from his sincere and unique presence to the most fascinating perspective. and one which he passionately captures on film. His many experiences give him a realism, fearlessness and honesty that is perfectly portrayed both in his writing and photography. In our latest Issue #7, you can read ‘Vietnam On A Minsk’ which was equally eye-widening.

Marty is currently in Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan. Perhaps one of the most popular snowboarding and skiing locations in Japan and the world, with a brilliant reputation for light powder and spectacular views. He shares with us what it’s about. His personal perspective and visual capture is captivating.

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“I’ve been living in a local accommodation of maybe 200 Japanese people, the building from the outside is a giant ugly grey block against the eternal whites and greys of the snow and forest surrounding it. Inside are corridors of terrible off yellows, pinks and greens and peeling wallpapers from the Japanese 70′s. There is a common room nicknamed the ‘ta-ba-ko’ room where the windows are always closed, heat always on, and cigarette smoke always thick and a ‘kitchen’ with only one electric hot plate. The bed rooms look like prison cells with metal doors, slanted wooden bunk beds and stained carpets. I am the only ‘gaijin’ living here while other foreigners are staying in boutique hotels and log cabins and eating at michelin star awarded restaurants.


I’m paying roughly $100USD a month for rent.
 I write this while sharing the gondola ski lift with a Japanese man in perhaps his 80′s, he’s wearing a vintage one piece ski-suit and has no doubt been doing this forever. We are two completely different people here for the same feeling, the same freedom, the same creative expression and right now I speak for both us in confidence knowing that we don’t have a care in the world.

There’s nothing comparable to the feeling of being chest deep in icing-sugar-like powder navigating your way through perfectly spaced trees down and across the diverse terrain. You can see it, hear it, feel it everywhere here. There is whistling and scream’s of ecstasy coming from everywhere around you as you know someone just finished their best line yet. There are photo-book’s in local coffee shops dedicated to the beauty and unique shape of the snow covered tree’s, hand made wooden snowboards made by local legends world famous for their ability to surf the earth in the mornings and by afternoon, the ocean, as they brave the true definition of cold to search for that same feeling in the Sea of Japan.

I’ve taken photos every day of the three months I’ve been here and although they are still to be developed I know that the surreal beauty of this place will never be captured. I’ll take from here a dozen rolls of film to remember the handful of beautiful friendships. I’ve gained a greater respect for nature, a further understanding of myself and the art of learning.” 

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MARTY NISEKO


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