The magnificent Mount Fuji on Honshu Island is often known to the locals as Fuji-san. Renowned globally for its perfectly symmetrical conical peak, this mountain in Japan is a symbol for this island country across the world. Considered as one of the most scenic peaks on the planet, Mount Fuji has been inspiring the Japanese art community for centuries. It has also been a place of worship for hundreds of years, and is one of the Three Holy Mountains in Japan (the other two being Mount Haku and Mount Tate, also on Honshu Island).
Mount Fuji was recently added to the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites for its cultural significance (June 22nd 2013). Though it is a natural site, UNESCO recognized its cultural importance in the form of art, tourism, and pilgrimage. It is an internationally renowned destination for trekking and mountain climbing.
Interesting Facts about Mount Fuji
Located about 60 miles from Tokyo, Japan capital city, Mount Fuji is flanked at the border by the Shizouka and Yamanashi Prefectures. It is considered as a must-see tourist destination in the country. If you are not in the mood to climb but just wish to the mountain from afar, the best time to visit would be in the winters. The sky is clearer in winter than in summer.
Geographically, Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 feet. Constituting a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, it is also an active stratovolcano that last showed activity in 1708. After the 2012 tsunami in the region, its volcanic tempers are being carefully monitored.
If you are a mountain climber or trekker, Mount Fuji is in your bucket list. It attracts trekkers from around the world during its peak season, i.e. July and August. During other months the weather is unstable here, due to which officials discourage any hiking activities. In 2009, the tourism officials calculated about 300,000 trekkers scaled the heights of Mount Fuji, of which most were from outside Japan. The best attraction of Mount Fuji is its sunrise. Trekkers prefer planning their climb in such a way so as to reach the summit before ‘goraiko’, which is Japanese for the arrival of light. You might , therefore, find trekkers scaling the heights at night! Popular trekking routes are Gotemba, Subashiri, Fujiyama and Lake Kawaguchi, which is the most popular due to its larger parking space and greater number of mountain huts. A fairly easy climb, an average person can take 4 to 8 hours to trek to the summit.
While trekking through the north-west base towards Mount Fuji, you can come across a forest. Known as Aokigahara, this wildlife-less forest is strangely very quiet. Statistically it is renowned for being the place with the most number of suicides in the country. It, in fact, ranks second in the world for such a dreadful activity. Officials request trekkers to use plastic tapes while hiking through the forest to avoid getting lost.
If you like riding on a horse, you can do that to the Mount Fuji summit. You can find horse riding services between the 5th and 7th stations in the Fujiguchiko Trail.
Do you like paragliding? Mount Fuji offers paragliding stations as well. To enjoy the sport, you can head to the 5th station of either Gotemba or Subhashiri.
Mount Fuji Influences
The picturesque shape of Mount Fuji has been one of the greatest influences in Japan. It has inspired Japanese paintings, music, poetry, movies, and even corporate logos. There are about 119 songs that mention Mount Fuji. Japanese classic stories like the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, and the Tales of Ise bring up Mount Fuji at pivotal parts of the tale. One of the most prominent artists inspired by Mount Fuji is Katsushika Hokusai who painted the 36 Views of Mt. Fuji.
Also Explore >> Places to visit in JapanPublished On: Friday, October 18th, 2013