7 Facts About Mount Fuji 富士山の逸話
The wave off Kanagawa with Mount Fuji in the background of Hokusai (Under the wave off Kanagawa)
View of Mt. Fuji from Tateishi Park (Yokosuka)
Credit: Quercus acuta, Wikimedia
The ascent of Mount Fuji takes place in the summer season
Mount Fuji, interesting facts
Mount Fuji is the most famous mountain in Japan, its particular appearance of a secluded mountain with symmetrical sides and a snow-capped top have made it an emblematic place in Japan. However, even if the profile of the sacred mountain is familiar to all lovers of Japan, how much do you know about it?
1- MOUNT FUJI IS MADE UP OF THREE VOLCANOES
Although Mount Fuji looks like a mountain to us, it is in fact made up of three successive volcanoes. At the base of Mount Fuji the Komitake volcano, the first eruptions of which could have occurred almost 600,000 years ago. The “ko fuji” (or “old Fuji”) would have been superimposed on it about 100,000 years ago, and finally, the “shin fuji” (“new Fuji”) would have formed 10,000 years ago, to make up the mountain we know today.
Read more: Japanese volcanoes
2- UNTIL 1872, THE ASCENT WAS PROHIBITED FOR WOMEN
Mount Fuji is considered a sacred mountain by the Shinto from the 7th century, and ascension is the Japanese Buddhist way of purification. Traditionally these two religions, women are stained with impurity due to menstruation, which led the authorities to prohibit their ascent. A chapel called "Nyonin-do" was open for them to wait while the men of the family attempted to climb the mountain. A few years after a foreign woman, Fanny Parkes, completed the ascent in 1867, the Meiji government decided to officially lift the ban. Since 1872 women have been allowed to climb the mountain.
3- THE LAST VOLCANIC ERUPTION THAT TOOK PLACE AT MOUNT FUJI DATES FROM 1707
Mount Fuji is a volcano with a bubbling interior - 16 eruptions since 781 -. The last eruption was recorded in December 1707, some 49 days after the earthquake of the Hoei era, the most powerful earthquake in the country's history after that of Tohoku in 2011, and sent ashes to the city of Edo (modern Tokyo). Since then, Mount Fuji has remained calm, although it is still considered an active volcano.
4- THE HIGHEST TOILETS IN JAPAN ARE AT THE TOP OF MT FUJI
Because we are not always masters of our needs, the summit of Mount Fuji hosts the highest toilets in Japan, next to a post office! Located more than 3,700 meters, it also has the most expensive toilet fee in the country, so don't forget to bring a few yen just in case!
5- MOUNT FUJI IS THE MOST CLIMBED MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD
Although the official ascent season for Mount Fuji lasts just over two months, the mountain is the steepest in the world. It welcomes nearly 300,000 climbers on its slopes each year, a figure much higher than that of Mount Monadnock in the United States, the second most climbed mountain with around 125,000 people per year. Its unique character in Japan, its proximity to a city of Tokyo and its 13 million inhabitants and the possibility of climbing it in half a day explain this success.
6- THE FIRST KNOWN ASCENT DATES FROM 663
The first known ascent of Mount Fuji was in 663. It was made by the Buddhist monk En no Gyoja, considered as the founder of the syncretic sect Shugendo which mixes religious aspects of Buddhism, Taoism, Shinto, and Japanese shamanism. According to legend, the monk undertook the ascent of the mountain in order to escape a measure of exile that would have struck him.
Read also : Mount Fuji, to the 5th station
7- THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT FUJI WAS ACQUIRED BY A TEMPLE
The top of a mountain, private property? This astonishing statement is however true. The Fujisan Hongu Sengen-taisha Shinto shrine, located in the city of Fujinomiya at the foot of Mount Fuji acquired in 1606 from Ieyasu Tokugawa - to whom the mountain belonged - the top of the mountain. All the land between the 8th station and the summit is considered to be the temple's property .
Comments Read comments from our travellers
Wife and I climbed Mt. Fuji in 1990. Impressive thunderstorm in the evening, followed by a wonderful sun-rise from the summit. Toilets on the summit were amazing. Would highly recommend making the ascent if in the area.
I've climbed Mt Fuji twice (I'm a fool!). Once when I was 19, and once when I was 38. Both times I was terribly ill. As a friend once said to me "Mt Fuji, beautiful from afar but far from beautiful". I would concur. I remember how ugly it is when you're on it, and how sick I was!
Beautiful, aesome and amazing.