Tamotsu Nakamura

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Tamotsu Nakamura
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Alma materHitotsubashi University
  • Explorer
  • Alpinist
  • Photographer
  • Author

Tamotsu Nakamura in London at the award ceremony 2008 for the Busk Medal, Royal Geographical Society Tamotsu (Tom) Nakamura (born 1934) is a Japanese explorer, alpinist, photographer and author. Since 1990 he has explored the mountain areas between the Himalaya and the Sichuan basin and has documented by photographs and mapping work more than 250 peaks higher than 6000m.

Personal life

Nakamura was born in Tokyo. After studying business administration at the prestigious Hitotsubashi University he worked for Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., Ltd, ultimately as Managing Director of IHI Hong Kong Ltd.

Nakamura is married and has two children. After stays in Pakistan (1967-1971), Mexico (1975-1982), New-Zealand (1984-1989) and Hongkong (1989-1994) he now lives again in Tokyo.

His mountaineering career started in 1953 as member of the Hitotsubashi University Mountaineering Club with climbing in Japanese mountain areas. He made the second ascent of Pucajirca Norte[1] (6046 m, Cordillera Blanca/Peru) in 1961, followed by three first ascents and various second ascents in Cordillera Apolobamba and Pupuya in Bolivia.

Exploring the Alps of Tibet

Since 1990 Nakamura has conducted more than 40 travels exploring the mountain areas of the south-eastern part of the Tibetan high plateau (status as of 2020). The Alps of Tibet cover the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains, Kangri Garpo range and the Hengduan Mountains including the so-called Deep Gorge Country structured by the three parallel running rivers Salween River, Mekong and Yangtze. Nakamura has identified and photographed hundreds of peaks, more than 200 peaks exceeding 6000m still unclimbed. He has published numerous articles in mountaineering journals like Alpine Journal, American Alpine Journal, Himalayan Journal, Altitudes, Vertical and Japanese Alpine News. By the US-Magazin Alpinist (magazine) he was named Steward of Unclimbed Peaks.

Nakamura is editor of the Japanese Alpine News[2]. He is author of several books about the Alps of Tibet that have been published in Japanese, English and German.


  • 2003 The Prince Chichibu Memorial Mountaineering Award 2003[3] of Japanese Alpine Club for field exploration in Eastern Tibet
  • 2007 UIAA Award for contributions to international mountaineering[4]
  • 2008 Busk Medal, Royal Geographical Society, London[5][6], for field exploration in the mountain ranges of west China and Tibet
  • 2016 Piolets d’Or Asia Lifetime Achievement Award[7]

Honorary Memberships in Himalayan Club[8] (India), American Alpine Club[9] (USA), Alpine Club (UK), Japanese Alpine Club (Japan), UIAA honorary member[10]


East of the Himalaya (in Japanese). Yamakei Publishers, Tokyo 1996, ISBN 4-635-28037-3

Deep Gorge Country (in Japanese). Yamakei Publishers, Tokyo 2000, ISBN 4-635-28038-1

The Alps of Tibet (in Japanese). Yamakei Publishers, Tokyo 2004, ISBN 4-635-28062-4

East of the Himalayas - To the Alps of Tibet. Japanese Alpine News, Vol. 4 Mai 2003 Special Submission

Die Alpen Tibets (in German). Detjen-Verlag. Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-937597-25-6

East of the Himalaya - Mountain Peak Maps. Nakanishiya Shuppan Co., Ltd., Kyoto 2016, ISBN 978-4-7795-0994-0

Flying over the Himalaya - Peak Identifikation. Nakanishiya Shuppan Co., Ltd., Kyoto 2016 2019, ISBN 978-4-7795-1360-2


  1. "Ari's Base Camp: Cordillera Blanca". ari.rdx.net. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  2. "VOL.1". www.jac.or.jp. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  3. "Tamotsu Nakamura – UIAA". Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  4. "Tamotsu Nakamura – UIAA". Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  5. "Tamotsu Nakamura – UIAA". Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  6. "Royal Geographical Society - Medals and awards". www.rgs.org. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  7. "2016 Piolets d'Or Asia winners announced – UIAA". Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  8. "The Himalayan Club". The Himalayan Club. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  9. "Honorary Members". The American Alpine Club. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  10. "Tamotsu Nakamura – UIAA". Retrieved 2021-01-01.

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