Edition 4.0 (May 2011)



1. Introduction

These guidelines and rules have been designed for you, a member or soon to be member of the TWMC as you are already an important part of the TWMC. Initially, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the TWMC and what it has to offer, how to get involved with the club and how to get started. We hope these guidelines and information will help you get started and hope to answer a few of the questions you may have about the TWMC and what the TWMC has to offer you.


The TWMC is a young club that is evolving and will continue to evolve. We hope to use the experience of all our members to help provide a great atmosphere for all abilities to enjoy the stunning scenery and walking in Japan. However, our philosophies and purposes will never change...


Purposes of the TWMC


2. Disclaimer

We would like you to become aware of the safety issues while walking / mountaineering with the TWMC, as all outdoor activities have some element of risk. 

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, it is especially important to be aware of the currently heightened danger of aftershocks and landslides, as well as the risk of radioactive contamination as a result of the damage incurred by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor. Of course we shall not be going to Fukushima or Tohoku, and we are also avoiding the riskier high mountain walks, but it is not possible to eliminate all risk. For this reason, this year we are requiring anyone joining our mountain walks to take out personal insurance inclusive of helicopter rescue - we can suggest insurance schemes that we know about, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you are suitably covered.

Due to problems with legal requirements and responsibilities, it is essential that you agree to sign the disclaimer of the TWMC that ALL RISKS ARE TAKEN BY THE INDIVIDUAL NOT THE CLUB. We will ask you to sign a document on your first walk with the TWMC (which also includes the date, address, full print of name, accident contact person, etc..) which states that you understand that you may encounter some risks while walking with the TWMC and that you shall try your best to be prepared for such circumstances. We are always very happy to assist you in preparing for the risks involved during walking. If you do not agree to sign the document, then please refrain from joining our activities until contacting and consulting a current committee member. In all cases, the TWMC is here to attempt to help you have a great time in the outdoors, but we cannot be responsible for your safety - this responsibility can only be yours and yours alone. Please be sensible and use your common sense to maximize your safety during any trip.

Similarly, all equipment either owned by the TWMC or other persons must be used at the individual persons own risk on club and/or private walks. Any equipment damaged or lost must be replaced in full or paid for in full to the owner(s).


3. TWMC Organisation

The TWMC is a non-profit organisation and is run by a group (the committee) of volunteers whom are elected (see section 6) every year (during August). The committee consists of a Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and any amount of Assistant Organisers, whom are responsible for the smooth running of the club, determining policy, controlling all expenditures, making rules, and serving in the best interests of the entire club. There are no casting votes within the committee, and any decisions taken must be from a majority of committee members (abstentions are valid).

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the TWMC. We hope you become more involved with the club, and as you do so, then please consider what contributions you may make as a volunteer. Your enjoyment of, and connection to the club, will be enhanced by your volunteer activities and we are always delighted to hear from anyone willing to contribute to the club.

Roles of committee members


4. History

The TWMC was initially started in May 1998 by Kouichi Iwasaki, John Payne, and Paul Reay, to form the first committee serving as Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.


5. Fees

There is no yearly subscription or membership fee. Participants for each walk will be asked to pay 500 yen for a one-day walk and 1000 yen for a multi-day walk. The walk fee will be collected by the Treasurer or the Treasurer's representative (usually the walk organizer). These fees pay for club equipment needed for walking in Japan, organizational costs (such as telephone charges), the TWMC end of year and summer barbeque parties and any other items to support the generally agreed upon goals of the committee.

The following persons are exempt from the paying club fee for a specific walk:

1) The organiser of that walk,
2) Car owners whose car is used on that walk. This does NOT apply to car trips to a nearby train station.


6. Elections

Elections will only take place for contested positions (i.e. if more than one person applies) of Chairperson, Secretary and/or Treasurer.

Eligibility. Anyone who has taken part on one or more walk within the club is eligible to vote.

Each committee person must be elected for a fixed period of one year. Re-election of each individual can continue indefinitely. Elections must be held every year prior to the committee meeting to discuss the Autumn and Winter walks' schedule. At this time, the change in committee would take place at that meeting. Candidates must put themselves forward to the committee, and have the approval to stand from the majority of the committee. Nominations must be posted 2 weeks before elections. Voting should be conducted by email to the Secretary (who also posts a message to declare the election, and decides the timings and length of voting), where electors will always have the option of voting for "A.N.Other" as a fictitious person if none of the candidates are suitable. The majority decision will be used for election results.

If a committee member leaves Japan or resigns the position on the TWMC committee, then an election will be held as soon as possible to replace that person on the committee.

If possible, and having advanced notice of such events, co-operation between the outgoing and incoming committee member should be promoted. Any committee member leaving the TWMC must relinquish all information and equipment belonging to the TWMC to his/her successor or a suitable person within the committee.

TWMC Walks Organisers are non-elected positions. All Walks Organisers will automatically be committee members, and TWMC members are encouraged to volunteer as a Walks Organisers. To be selected, volunteers must have the approval of the majority of the committee. The selection process will be based on the volunteer's suitability and the number of Walks Organisers currently active.


7. Group Sizes and Walking

Group sizes should be dependent on conditions and on the walk organisers and leaders. For group walking, PLEASE stick together, where we realize this is dependent on conditions - but generally people should be in either visible, hearing, or timing distances and to be in constant communication with each other. While walking, you are responsible for your own safety. However, if you feel sick or cannot continue walking, please do not hesitate to ask for other people*s help, especially the leader of the group.

We will also rate the difficulty of each walk on a 5-star scale as follows:

* = easy walk suitable for all age groups and no special foot wear.

** = medium walk suitable for all age groups, boots recommended.

*** = medium walk, some strenuous activity, good boots required.

**** = difficult walk, strenuous activity, possibly some scrambling, good boots required.

***** = very difficult walk, strenuous activity, possibly some scrambling/snow walking, good boots required and possibly crampons/boot spikes


New walkers. If you are an inexperienced walker, we suggest you to try the easy walks initially, and then try more difficult walks later when you have gained some experience.

Skill levels in a group. If people joining a walk have different skill / fitness levels, then the group leader will suggest that the group be divided into smaller groups (minimum of 3 people) with similar skill / fitness levels. Each group should have an appointed leader, a deputy leader if appropriate, and at least one map and compass.


8. Comments about the TWMC

Please make sure that any comments about the TWMC should be emailed / posted to all committee members.


9. Transport

The TWMC is not responsible for any costs incurred during transport. When cars are used on a walk, the total cost for all cars are to be equally distributed between all participants. Car owners are responsible for calculating the cost for their car and will inform the walk organiser, who will collect an appropriate amount of money and distribute it to the car owners.

If any accidents occur while travelling, then please be collaborative and attempt to help the driver with the situation. However, the driver is responsible for any accidents using private or rental cars. Individual people should have their own form of insurance or be covered by the vehicle insurance. The TWMC is not responsible for any vehicle or person, and can provide no assistance for such costs.


10. Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any form of transport used by the TWMC unless everyone present agrees.


11. Environmental Day

We would like to put something back into the environment by performing an environmental day(s) - this would involve either 1 or 2 days helping maintain the environment in a way suitable to the aims of the TWMC (e.g. repairing footpaths). The TWMC (the secretary) will actively seek information and attempt to contact appropriate organisations / agencies for information to organise such an environmental event (e.g. contact with the environmental organisation "Friends of the Earth").


12. Discipline

In order to promote the respect and safety of all members when walking, the committee reserves the power to take the necessary action (suspension or expulsion from the TWMC) against any member who does any act while walking with the TWMC which is obnoxious/repugnant or endangers or is likely to endanger the safety of him/her, or any other TWMC member, or any other person, or any other animal. Any member accused of performing any such act will have the following rights: to have the full details of the specific act alleged; and to have reasonable opportunity to put his/her case orally to the committee at a meeting in private if he/she so wishes. Following the meeting, the committee will decide on the action to take and will notify all members of the TWMC within 1 week of the meeting.


13. Essential List of Things to Take When Walking


(You may think that some/all of the above items are not necessary for each walk. However, this list has been put together by experienced walkers who have recommended these items from their walking observations and practical skills. We would like you to be aware that it is better to be over prepared than under prepared in any emergency).


Leader of hike to carry: first aid kit, topographic map (preferably a 1:25,000 size map, and not bigger than 1:50,000 resolution) of the local area, compass.

Copies of maps should be distributed to walk leader and deputy leader (if appropriate).


TWMC - Tsukuba Walking & Mountaineering Club

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