Born in Akita Prefecture in northern Honshu in 1950, Watanabe is currently residing in Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture, not far from Mount Fuji. After graduating from the Agriculture Department of Tokyo Agricultural University, he joined the Shizuoka Prefectural Government and took responsibility for agricultural infrastructure development projects. In 2007, he received his Doctorate in Agricultural Studies and began work in 2008 at Tsuru University where he lectures on regional environmental planning and “Fujiology”, his own specialist field. In addition, he lectures on Mount Fuji at other universities and high schools and is attached to a number of NPOs related to the environment in general and Mount Fuji in particular. He is also active in collecting relevant information from around the world.