Photo credit: Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) Chureito Pagoda – Fujiyoshida-shi, Japan – Travel photography via photopin (license)
Mount Fuji is easily one of the most iconic sites in Japan, and not only a geographical point but a cultural symbol for the country. Although the unmistakable peak can be spotted from a variety of locations, each vantage point offers its own special view of the often snowy top.
The mountain peak, which is the tallest in Japan is, in fact, a volcano which has not erupted in 1707. Both tourists and locals flock here to marvel at its distinguishing cone shape all year long, however in the winter months the snowy peak juxtaposes the metropolis city even more, but for those travellers looking to climb the mountain, the summer months make it more accessible. Regardless of the time of year, here are a few reasons to visit:
Not just for climbers
Mount Fuji and is easily accessible for tourists and can be enjoyed from the base of the mountain or from a variety of viewpoints. Whether it is viewed from the windows of the bullet train, the serene ’Five Lakes’ region surrounding it or even from the city of Tokyo, the view can be enjoyed by all types of travellers. One way is to take tours from Tokyo to Mount Fuji in order to enjoy some of the highlights of the region.
One of the Three Holy Mountains in Japan
Along with Mount Haku and Mount Tate, Mount Fuji is highly regarded as one of the Three Holy Mountains. According to Japanese tradition, the three mountains are believed to house spirits and gods are sacredly respected this way, since ancient times. The characteristics of the mountains are also spiritual and symbolic. Visiting them is an important way to connect to Japanese culture and tradition and feel the sacred elements.
Depicted for 1000 years, it appears in Japanese art and literature
Artistic interpretations can be seen in both the past and present. The emblematic peak has appeared in ancient texts and art pieces and continues to be portrayed in modern art exhibits and works. One of the most famous artworks The Great Wave at Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai has been noted for making this Japanese viewpoint recognizable across the world.
A must-do for hikers and climbers
Regardless of hiking abilities, climbing Mount Fuji is a powerful experience. Climbing season falls during the summer months of July and August and sometimes into mid- September depending on the climate. The peak is some 3776 meters high and is known to give altitude sickness and takes an average of six hours to reach the summit. Given that it is a very popular spot for tourists, the hiking paths can be quite crowded with both local and foreign climbers.
Whether the intention is to climb, hike or just admire the stunning peak, the region is appealing during all seasons. In fact, based on the time of year, the peak can appear different but regardless it always worth looking at.
Mount Fuji is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and is recognized worldwide for its cultural significance as of June 26, 2013.
If travelling to Japan in the near future, Mount Fuji will certainly be a focal point while visiting. Some other excellent places to see the peak from include the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Lake Kawaguchiko and Hakone.