Mountainwatch | Video
Snowboard extraordinaire Travis Rice is out of the spotlight in his latest film, instead placing friend and Japanese snowboarder Shin Biyajima at the fore in an intimate portrait of Shin, his snowboarding and his culture.
Filmed on mainland Japan, in Hakuba’s backcountry and the surrounding Nagano region, Ikigai is everything we love about visiting the land of the rising sun to ski and snowboard.
“I was able to spend three years traveling and exploring the Japanese Alps with Nidecker rider Shin Biyajima during the production of “The Fourth Phase” film. During that time I shared so many adventures and conversations with this new friend of mine. After our film released, I really wanted to capture a more authentic portrait of Shin and his process of living and riding as a Japanese snowboarder. I spent about six weeks over two years following Shin around his backyard in the Nagano Prefecture hiking, inquiring and immersing myself in Shin’s universe. Joined by film maker Justin Smith, we wanted to capture an intimate portrait of a lifestyle that is quite foreign compared to the norms of North America, yet still strangely similar to the principles that most snowboarders share around the love of the mountains.