Shinji Tamura: Travel Agent, Expedition Guide, Photographer

I’m Shinji Tamura – travel agent, mountain guide, photographer based in Zermatt, focused on Japanese Tourists.

Shinji Tamura has been missing since August 2023 after an accident in the mountains of Pakistan and is presumed deceased.

We mourn the loss of a likeable personality whose life was dedicated to nature and the mountains. But also, we mourn a person who was popular in our community and therefore leaves a large void in his second home.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and relatives.
With heartfelt condolences.

“Shinji, wherever you are, you remain in our hearts and minds”.

About Shinji:

Name: Shinji Tamura
Profession: Travel Agent, Expedition Guide, Photographer
In this profession since: 1989
Company: Active Mountain Tamura & Co.

7 questions for Shinji Tamura

Tell us about your job!
I mostly organise hiking, skiing, sightseeing and mountaineering expeditions around Zermatt for Japanese tourists. Having worked with adventure skier from Japan, I also organize ski trips and work as a ski guide in Japan, and I organise some expeditions in the Himalayan mountains. By request, I also work as a photographer.

What makes you love your job?
I simply like to work outside! Travelling is always exciting, there’s always something to discover.

Mt. Everest expedition ©Shinji Tamura
During a recent expedition to Mt. Everest ©Shinji Tamura

What’s your next big project?
I have planned to climb an unclimbed 6000m mountain in Pakistan in May next year. I have tried to go in June 2021, but unfortunately we did not reach the summit. The day we tried to go all the way for the summit there was simply too much snow, and it was getting slightly dangerous in regards to potential avalanches so we decided to come down.

However, we’d really like to try again. The local people call it “Bondit Peak” but until now, there’s no official name for the mountain. The area does not have an accurate map like we have them in Switzerland. Additionally, we had to find out the online map is not accurate enough to use for navigation, so we must go up on ourselves and constantly look for a way to climb. That’s tiring but fun! There are still a lot of unknown mountains in Pakistan – I will also climb another one with a Japanese client who has lots of experience on the continent.

Why live in Zermatt?
Here in Zermatt, I can go skiing and climbing all year around. There’s so many mountains to climb! Also, living here allows me to work with tourists, and I’m able to learn from local mountain guides.

Exploring an ice cave in Zermatt ©Shinji Tamura
Exploring an ice cave in Zermatt ©Shinji Tamura

How does your free time look like?
I mostly spend my time skiing, climbing, mountaineering, hiking or scuba diving. I normally don’t have much free time. I’m working almost 7 days a week during the season – and when I got time for myself, I go up some mountains or spend time at the sea with my family.   

View of the mountains around Zermatt, the impressive Zinalrothorn in the middle. ©Shinji Tamura
View from a recent climb around Zermatt, the Zinalrothorn located in the middle. ©Shinji Tamura

What insider tip do you have for visitors to Zermatt?
If you are a mountaineer, but have little experience in mountaineering, I recommend that you don’t overdo it and climb with a local guide. The mountains around here are very high and sometimes difficult to climb!

For me, Zermatt is…
…my second home. I spent over 30 years living in Zermatt by now.

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