Mount Fuji

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Mount Fuji, located on Honshu Island, is the highest mountain in Japan. Mount Fuji’s exceptionally symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped several months a year, is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.

 

As per UNESCO, Mount Fuji has “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries”. Mount Fuji is a distinctive feature of the geography of Japan.

 

It stands 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft) high and is located near the Pacific coast of central Honshu, just west of Tokyo. It straddles the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. Three small cities surround it, namely, Gotemba to the east, Fujiyoshida to the north, and Fujinomiya to the southwest.

 

Fuji is a perfect, beautiful strato-volcano about 60 miles south-west of Tokyo, with an exceptionally symmetrical shape making it into famous symbol of Japan and an important element in Japanese art.

 

Fuji is a perfect, beautiful stratovolcano about 60 miles south-west of Tokyo, with an exceptionally symmetrical shape making it into famous symbol of Japan and an important element in Japanese art.

 

Mount Fuji is the single most popular tourist site in Japan, for both Japanese and foreign tourists. More than 200,000 people climb to the summit every year, mostly during the warmer summer months. “Huts” on the route up the mountain caters to climbers, providing refreshments, basic medical supplies, and room to rest.

 

Shinto is the indigenous faith or spirituality of Japan. Many Shinto shrines dot the base and ascent of Mount Fuji. Shinto shrines honor kami, the supernatural deities of the Shinto faith. The kami of Mount Fuji is Princess Konohanasakuya, whose symbol is the cherry blossom. Konohanasakuya has an entire series of shrines, called Segen shrines.

 

Mt. Fuji has long been the center of mountain worship of ancient Japan. Today, it is a popular mountain to climb, and many people climb Mt. Fuji to watch the sunrise called Goraiko from the top.

 

The four routes from the foot of the mountain offer historical sites as well. The Murayama is the oldest Mount Fuji route and the Yoshida route still has many old shrines, teahouses, and huts along its path.

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These routes are gaining popularity recently and are being restored, but climbing from the foot of the mountain is still relatively uncommon. Huts at and above the fifth stations are usually manned during the climbing season, but huts below fifth stations are not usually manned for climbers.

 

The number of open huts on routes is proportional to the number of climbers—Kawaguchi-ko has the most while Gotemba has the least. The huts along the Gotemba route also tend to start later and close earlier than those along the Kawaguchi-ko route.

 

In order not to encounter large crowds or too small, it is best to climb Mount Fuji on a weekday in the first half of July before the start of the school vacations. The downside of a climb in early July is the weather, which tends to be somewhat more unstable than later in the season.