Fuji-san, the sacred mountain of Japan

My heart is extremely connected to Mount Fuji (富士山). I don’t know exactly why, but I know I can’t stop getting thrilled when I see him.


photo credits: animeclick.it

Spiritual beauty

Higher than 3700 meters, Mount Fuji is a perfectly symmetrical volcano. Listed among the 3 sacred mountains (三霊山) of all Japan and recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage.
This impressive wonder rises between the prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanashi, near the Pacific Ocean coast of the island of Honshu, between Hamamatsu and Tokyo.
Mount Fuji was feared and respected since the Heian period. Being a volcano, it was considered a real divinity, so much so that it possessed a very high number of sanctuaries (the sanctuaries of Asama) and became the training ground for samurai. In 664 his climb was first performed by a monk and was forbidden to women until the ban was lifted in 1872. In fact in 1868 during the Meiji period, Lady Fanny Parkes, wife of the British ambassador, began the climb proving that the Gods would not have unleashed any revenge.

Fuji Monte Fuji

photo credits: animeclick.it, David Hsu

The 5 Lakes Region

Mount Fuji is surrounded by 5 lakes, each one of them special.
Lake Kawaguchi (河口湖) is in the center of the region and the north face of the mountain is reflected on its surface like a mirror. Lake Yamanaka (中 中 湖), the largest of the five and located on the highest point is full of shops, restaurants and quiet bed & breakfasts where you can spend the night. The small and mysterious Sai (西湖) lake is what surrounds Jukai, the forest of Aokigahara. Lake Shōji (精進 湖), the smallest of the lakes, is the one that offers the most suggestive view of the mountain. And finally, Lake Motosu (本栖湖), the deepest and least touristy, is the one whose exceptional view on the Fuji-san is represented on the 1,000 yen banknotes.
Of course, all the lakes, except the Shōji, are navigable. Indeed, it is possible to take splendid cruises that allow you to admire the lush nature and peace under the watchful eye of the Sacred Mount.

Fujisan Fujisama

photo credits: animeclick.it, Daniel Ramirez

Climbing Mount Fuji: a challenge of love!

I don’t know if it ever happened to you, probably not everyone is as crazy as I am, but I have often say “for you I am ready to climb Mount Fuji”! And doing it is not so impossible after all, in fact, it is even open to children and the elderly! In the months of July and August you can reach the so-called “Fifth Station” with the Fuji Subaru bus in the early afternoon, stop in a shelter (bookable with a lot of advance) and reach the summit before dawn to see the Sun rising.
From the fifth station you can find the paths to choose to reach the top. The Kawaguchiko – Yoshida-guchi trail is the most popular and traditional one. The Gotemba-guchi path is the longest and most difficult, the Path of Fujinomiya-guchi or Mishima-guchi, the shortest but also least fascinating. And finally, the path of Subashiri-guchi that joins the eighth station with that of Yoshida-guchi. The average journey time varies between 5/8 hours of ascent and 3/4 hours of descent.

Fujiyama Fuji

photo credits: yamanashi-kankou.jp, Joe Jones

All the information to undertake this extraordinary adventure is available on the official website. I made a promise, so sooner or later I’ll climb the Fujisama, and you?

Fuji san

photo credits: giapponeviaggi-miki.it