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There’s an undeniable sense of accomplishment you get from making it to the top of a mountain. Maybe it comes from putting such a long series of steps, each insignificant on its own, to rise to a height where the whole world appears differently.

But perhaps a hike doesn’t figure into your plans for the near future due to your busy schedule, flat-as-a-pancake local geography, or crippling fear of grizzly bears. If you can’t climb a mountain, though, the next best thing is to build one, also one step at a time, with this awesome series of paper craft models of Japanese mountains.

Just like a flat piece of paper makes for an imperfect representation of the globe, ordinary topography maps don’t really convey all of the contours that make up a majestic mountain. That’s not a problem for these cartographic model-building kits from Hokkaido-based company QRC, though.

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Called Yamatsumi (from yama/mountain and tsumu/stack), each kit contains a number of paper outlines based on data from Japan’s National Geographical Survey Institute. Each sheet is backed with adhesive, and by piling one on top of the other, you can build a dynamic 3-D recreation of the mountain of your choice.

▼ The kits also come with positioning sticks to hold the mountains in place during construction.

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QRC produces kits in a variety of scales ranging from 1:25,000 to 1:150,000, with finished models generally around 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) in length and 3.6 centimeters in height. In keeping with the theme of the beauty of nature, the paper used in Yamatsumi is made with recycled materials such as old milk cartons.

Currently, the model line consists of more than two dozen different kits. Of course, any discussion of Japanese mountains has to start with Mt. Fuji, and so naturally Japan’s highest peak is represented.

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It’s not just individual mountains that you can choose from, but also expansive mountain ranges. Here’s Kanagawa Prefecture’s Hakone.

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Each kit is assigned a difficulty rating in putting together QRC’s five-point scale. Mt. Fuji is a 2, while Hakone is a 5.

And then there’s Nagano Prefecture’s Hotaka, which the company lists as a 5+1.

▼ You can kind of see why.

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Prices vary by scale and complexity, but start at around 4,000 yen (US$32) and climb to a lofty 30,000 yen-plus. If you’re ready Yamatsumi kits are available through Amazon Japan (follow the links from the product list here on the Yamatsumi official website) or here from appropriately named online map retailer Map Shop.

Source: Internet Watch
Top image: Yamatsumi official website (1, 2) (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Yamatsumi official website (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (edited by RocketNews24)