The Mount Fuji World Heritage Center in Yamanashi 富士山世界遺産センター
Between north and south
In June 2016, Yamanashi Prefecture inaugurated its new Mount Fuji World Heritage Center in Kawaguchiko celebrating the environment and the universal heritage value of the sacred mountain of the archipelago. This new museum offers a new museum experience thanks to many innovative digital devices.
In the heritage of humanity
By inscribing Mount Fuji as a sacred place and a source of artistic inspiration on the World Heritage List in 2013, Unesco asked the state and the prefectures concerned for additional management and protection measures for the entire site. Article 5 of the World Heritage Convention stipulates that it is necessary to "promote the creation or development of national or regional training centers in the field of the protection, conservation and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage and 'encourage scientific research in this field'. For Yamanashi Prefecture, it was done three years later with the opening of its Mount Fuji World Heritage Center.
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In the north, nature in the spotlight
However, this vast complex did not emerge from scratch. There has already been a study center dedicated to Mount Fuji in Kawaguchiko since 1998. The complex inaugurated in 2016 actually includes a new exhibition space (south hall) connected to the old building (north hall). The latter has been transformed into a Mount Fuji visitor center . Accessible free of charge, this north hall provides information on the nature and protected environment of Mount Fuji within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park through several exhibition halls and event spaces. It also houses the museum shop and its restaurant, the Lava Cafe ; the opportunity to taste a curry with the effigy of Mount Fuji while enjoying a magnificent view of the sacred mountain .
In the south, tradition and innovation
In the south hall, a state-of-the- art museum experience awaits you. Skillfully blending "classic" exhibition devices, traditional craftsmanship and the latest digital innovations, the place manages to create ideal conditions for visitors to experience the beauty of Mount Fuji . In the center stands the "Fugaku 360" . This 15 meter wide dome, made of washi paper , a perfect expression of the splendor of traditional Japanese craftsmanship, reproduces Mount Fuji in 1/1000 scale. Rewarded with a "Cool Japan Award" in 2017, this model bears the old name of Mount Fuji: "Fugaku".
Plays of light on its surface and sound backgrounds imitate the changing seasons and times of day for total immersion. A process that is reminiscent of the most famous series of prints by Hokusai “The 36 views of Mount Fuji” where the majestic volcano is successively adorned with blue, brown or red. On the screens placed inside the "Fugaku 360" a video presents its great spiritual value as an object of belief and devotion through the centuries. The second level of the museum exhibits the unique interaction between man and this environment (volcanic activity, climate change, etc.). Finally, let's mention the very beautiful library conserving an impressive fund of works documenting the sacred mountain of the archipelago. Collection of poetry, history books, novels, travel guides; everything is there !
See also: The Sumida Hokusai Museum in Tokyo
For a digital experience
Several digital tools will accompany your discovery of the places. The first of these is an application for smartphones called "Fuji-meguri" (pre-download). It offers themed tours in five languages, showing images and explanatory comments on the screen. Scanning the numerous markers of the printed map on the ground under the "Fugaku 360" allows additional content to be displayed and objects to be animated in augmented reality .
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In the “Fujisan sengen” space, you can send a message to Mount Fuji or other visitors for posterity along with the stylized seal of your place of birth, your date of visit and your photo. Can be read by anyone in the world on the dedicated site, these messages refer to an ancient tradition according to which the adherents of Fuji-ko societies left a wooden plaque or a cloth banner bearing their name at shrines and refuges. of Mount Fuji after their ascent. And you, what message will you send to the sacred mountain?
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Address, timetable & access
TimetableFrom Shinjuku, take the JR Chuo line to Otsuki (1h30) then the Fuji Kyuko line (40 minutes) to Kawaguchiko. Take the Retro bus (5 min) to the "Prefectural Fuji Visitor Center" stop
PriceAdult: 420 yen (3€20)Students and high school students: 210 yen (1€60)
AccessFrom April 1 to June 30, open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. From July 1 to September 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. From October 1 to March 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.