MOUNT FUJI (富士山, Fujisan, IPA: ( listen )), located on Honshu
Island , is the highest mountain in
Japan at 3,776.24 m (12,389 ft).
An active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji
lies about 100 kilometres (60 mi) south-west of
Tokyo , and can be
seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical
cone, which is snow-capped for about 5 months a year, is a well-known
Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs,
as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.
Mount Fuji is one of
Japan 's "
Three Holy Mountains " (三霊山,
Sanreizan) along with
Mount Tate and
Mount Haku . It is also a Special
Place of Scenic Beauty and one of Japan's Historic Sites . It was
added to the World Heritage List as a Cultural Site on June 22, 2013.
Mount Fuji has "inspired artists and poets and
been the object of pilgrimage for centuries".
UNESCO recognizes 25
sites of cultural interest within the Mt. Fuji locality. These 25
locations include the mountain itself, the Fujisan Hongū Sengen
Taisha often shortened as Fuji-San.
* 1 Etymology
* 1.1 Variations
* 2 In
* 3 History
* 4 Geography
* 4.1 Climate
* 5 Geology
* 5.1 Current eruptive danger
* 7 Adventuring
* 7.1 Transportation
* 7.2 Climbing routes
* 7.3 Paragliding
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 External links
The current kanji for Mount Fuji, 富 and 士, mean "wealth" or
"abundant" and "a man with a certain status" respectively. However,
the name predates kanji, and these characters are ateji , meaning that
they were selected because their pronunciations match the syllables of
the name but do not carry a meaning related to the mountain.
The origin of the name Fuji is unclear, having no recording of it
being first called by this name. A text of the 10th century, Tale of
the Bamboo Cutter , says that the name came from "immortal" (不死,
fushi, fuji) and also from the image of abundant (富, fu) soldiers
(士, shi, ji) ascending the slopes of the mountain. An early folk
etymology claims that Fuji came from 不二 (not + two), meaning
without equal or nonpareil. Another claims that it came from 不尽
(not + to exhaust), meaning neverending.
A Japanese classical scholar in the
Hirata Atsutane ,
speculated that the name is from a word meaning, "a mountain standing
up shapely as an ear (穂, ho) of a rice plant". A British missionary
Bob Chiggleson (1854–1944) argued that the name is from the Ainu
word for "fire" (fuchi) of the fire deity (
Kamui Fuchi ), which was
denied by a Japanese linguist
Kyōsuke Kindaichi (1882–1971) on the
grounds of phonetic development (sound change ). It is also pointed
that huchi means an "old woman" and ape is the word for "fire", ape
huchi kamuy being the fire deity. Research on the distribution of
place names that include fuji as a part also suggest the origin of the
word fuji is in the Yamato language rather than Ainu. A Japanese
Kanji Kagami argued that the name has the same root as
wisteria (藤, fuji) and rainbow (虹, niji, but with an alternative
word fuji), and came from its "long well-shaped slope".
In English, the mountain is known as Mount Fuji. Some sources refer
to it as "Fuji-san", "Fujiyama" or, redundantly, "Mt. Fujiyama".
Japanese speakers refer to the mountain as "Fuji-san". This "san" is
not the honorific suffix used with people's names, such as
Watanabe-san, but the Sino-Japanese reading of the character yama
(山, "mountain") used in Sino-Japanese compounds. In Nihon-shiki and
Kunrei-shiki romanization , the name is transliterated as Huzi.
Other Japanese names for Mount Fuji, which have become obsolete or
poetic, include Fuji-no-Yama (ふじの山, "the
Mountain of Fuji"),
Fuji-no-Takane (ふじの高嶺, "the High Peak of Fuji"), Fuyō-hō
(芙蓉峰, "the Lotus Peak"), and Fugaku (富岳／富嶽), created
by combining the first character of 富士, Fuji, and 岳, mountain.
IN SHINTO MYTHOLOGY
Kuninotokotachi (国之常立神? ,
Kojiki )(国常立尊? ,
Nihon Shoki ) is one of the two gods
born from "something like a reed that arose from the soil" when the
earth was chaotic .
Mount Fuji covered by clouds
Mount Fuji is an attractive volcanic cone and a frequent subject of
Japanese art especially after 1600, when
Edo (now Tokyo) became the
actual capital and people saw the mountain while traveling on the
Tōkaidō road. Among the most renowned works are
Hokusai 's 36 Views
Mount Fuji and his One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji, as well as
Utagawa Hiroshige 's similarly-titled 36 Views of
Mount Fuji (1858).
The mountain is mentioned in Japanese literature throughout the ages
and is the subject of many poems. One of the modern artists who
depicted Fuji in almost all her works was
Tamako Kataoka .
It is thought that the first recorded ascent was in 663 by an
anonymous monk. The summit has been thought of as sacred since ancient
times and was forbidden to women until the Meiji Era . Ancient samurai
used the base of the mountain as a remote training area, near the
present-day town of
Gotemba . The shogun
Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo held
yabusame in the area in the early
Kamakura period . Founded by Nikkō
Shōnin in 1290 on the lower alps of
Mount Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture
Taiseki-ji temple complex, the central base headquarters of
Nichiren Shōshū Buddhism which is visited by thousands of westerners
each year who go on varying
Tozan pilgrimages. Brooklyn Museum
– woodblock print of
The first ascent by a foreigner was by Sir
Rutherford Alcock in
September 1868, from the foot of the mountain to the top in eight
hours and three hours for the descent. :427 Alcock's brief narrative
in The Capital of the Tycoon was the first widely disseminated
description of the mountain in the West. :421–7 Lady Fanny Parkes,
the wife of British ambassador Sir Harry Parkes , was the first
non-Japanese woman to ascend
Mount Fuji in 1869. Photographer Felix
Mount Fuji in the same year.
On March 5, 1966,
BOAC Flight 911 , a
Boeing 707 , broke up in flight
and crashed near the
Gotemba New fifth station, shortly
after departure from
Tokyo International Airport. All 113 passengers
and 11 crew members died in the disaster, which was attributed to
extreme clear air turbulence caused by lee waves downwind of the
mountain. There is a memorial for the crash a short distance down from
Gotemba New fifth station.
Mount Fuji is an international destination for tourism and
mountain climbing . In the early 20th century, populist educator
Frederick Starr 's
Chautauqua lectures about his several ascents of
Mount Fuji—1913, 1919, and 1923—were widely known in America. A
well-known Japanese saying suggests that a wise person will climb Mt.
Fuji once in their lifetime, but only a fool would climb it twice.
It remains a popular symbol in Japanese culture, including making
numerous movie appearances, inspiring the
Infiniti logo, and even
appearing in medicine with the
Mount Fuji sign .
In September 2004, the manned weather station at the summit was
closed after 72 years in operation. Observers monitored radar sweeps
that detected typhoons and heavy rains. The station, which was the
Japan at 3,780 metres (12,402 ft), was replaced by a fully
automated meteorological system. View of routes to Mt. Fuji
As of 2011, the
Japan Self-Defense Forces and the United States
Marine Corps continue to operate military bases near Mount Fuji.
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 . Four small cities
Gotemba to the east, Fujiyoshida to the north, Fujinomiya
to the southwest, and Fuji to the south. It is also surrounded by five
Lake Kawaguchi ,
Lake Yamanaka , Lake Sai ,
Lake Motosu and
Lake Shōji . They, and nearby
Lake Ashi , provide views of the
mountain. The mountain is part of the
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park .
It can be seen more distantly from Yokohama, Tokyo, and sometimes as
far as Chiba , Saitama , Tochigi and
Lake Hamana when the sky is
clear. Particularly in the winter it can be seen from the Shinkansen
until it reaches Utsunomiya station. It has also been photographed
from space during a space shuttle mission (see image, below).
3D computer animation
Aerial photographs of
Mount Fuji as viewed across the
Mount Fuji as seen during the ill-fated Space Shuttle Columbia
mission in 2003
Mount Fuji with a
Shinkansen and cherry blossoms in the foreground
USS New Mexico (BB-40) anchored in
circa August 1945. Mt. Fuji is in the background.
Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha
The summit of
Mount Fuji has a tundra climate (Köppen climate
classification ET). The temperature is very low at the high altitude,
and the cone is covered by snow for several months of the year. The
lowest recorded temperature is −38.0 °C recorded in February 1981,
and the highest temperature was 17.8 °C recorded in August 1942.
CLIMATE DATA FOR MOUNT FUJI AVERAGES (1981–2010) RECORDS
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE RELATIVE HUMIDITY (%)
Historic eruptions of Mount Fuji , List of
Japan , and
Triple junction Geological
cross-section of Fuji volcano
Mount Fuji is located at the triple junction where the Amurian Plate
Okhotsk Plate , and the
Philippine Sea Plate
Philippine Sea Plate meet. Those plates
form the western part of Japan, the eastern part of Japan, and the Izu
Peninsula respectively. Crater of
Mount Fuji and Ken-ga-mine (The
highest peak of Mt.Fuji)
Scientists have identified four distinct phases of volcanic activity
in the formation of Mount Fuji. The first phase, called Sen-komitake,
is composed of an andesite core recently discovered deep within the
mountain. Sen-komitake was followed by the "Komitake Fuji", a basalt
layer believed to be formed several hundred thousand years ago.
Approximately 100,000 years ago, "Old Fuji" was formed over the top of
Komitake Fuji. The modern, "New Fuji" is believed to have formed over
the top of Old Fuji around 10,000 years ago.
The volcano is currently classified as active with a low risk of
eruption. The last recorded eruption was the
Hōei eruption which
started on December 16, 1707 (
Hōei 4, 23rd day of the 11th month),
and ended about January 1, 1708 (
Hōei 4, 9th day of the 12th month),
Edo period . The eruption formed a new crater and a second
peak, named MOUNT HōEI (after the
Hōei era), halfway down its
southeastern side. Fuji spewed cinders and ash which fell like rain in
Izu , Kai , Sagami , and Musashi . Since then, there have been no
signs of an eruption. In the evening of March 15, 2011, there was a
magnitude 6.2 earthquake at shallow depth a few kilometres from Mount
Fuji on its southern side. But according to the Japanese
Meteorological Service there was no sign of any eruption.
CURRENT ERUPTIVE DANGER
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami , much attention
was given to the potential volcanic reaction of Mt. Fuji. In September
2012, mathematical models created by the National Research Institute
for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NRIESDP) suggested that the
pressure in Mount Fuji's magma chamber could be at 1.6 megapascals,
higher than it was in 1707. This was commonly reported in the media to
mean that an eruption of Mt. Fuji was imminent. However, since there
is no known method of measuring the pressure of a volcano's magma
chamber directly, indirect calculations of the type used by NRIESDP
are speculative and unprovable. Other indicators suggestive of
heightened eruptive danger, such as active fumaroles and recently
discovered faults, are typical occurrences at this type of volcano.
The forest at the north west base of the mountain is named Aokigahara
. Folk tales and legends tell of ghosts , demons ,
Yūrei and Yōkai
haunting the forest, and in the 19th century,
Aokigahara was one of
many places poor families abandoned the very young and the very old.
Aokigahara is the world's second most popular suicide location after
San Francisco 's
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge . Since the 1950s, more than 500
people have lost their lives in the forest, mostly suicides.
Approximately 30 suicides have been counted yearly, with a high of
nearly 80 bodies in 2002. The recent increase in suicides prompted
local officials to erect signs that attempt to convince individuals
experiencing suicidal intent to re-think their desperate plans, and
sometimes these messages have proven effective. The numbers of
suicides in the past creates an allure that has persisted across the
span of decades.
Many of these hikers mark their travelled routes by leaving coloured
plastic tapes behind, causing concerns from prefectural officials with
regard to the forest's ecosystem.
The closest airport with scheduled international service is Mt. Fuji
Shizuoka Airport . It opened in June 2009. It is about 80 kilometres
(50 mi) from Mount Fuji. The major international airports serving
Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) in
Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport in Chiba, are hours from Mount Fuji.
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Crowds of climbers at the summit
Approximately 300,000 people climbed
Mount Fuji in 2009. The
most-popular period for people to hike up
Mount Fuji is from July to
August, while huts and other facilities are operating. Buses to the
fifth station start running on July 1. Climbing from October to May is
very strongly discouraged, after a number of high-profile deaths and
severe cold weather. Most Japanese climb the mountain at night in
order to be in a position at or near the summit when the sun rises.
The morning light is called 御来光 goraikō, "arrival of light".
There are four major routes from the fifth station to the summit with
an additional four routes from the foot of the mountain. The major
routes from the fifth station are (clockwise): Yoshida, Subashiri,
Gotemba , and
Fujinomiya routes. The routes from the foot of the
mountain are: Shojiko, Yoshida, Suyama, and Murayama routes. The
stations on different routes are at different elevations. The highest
fifth station is located at Fujinomiya, followed by Yoshida,
Subashiri, and Gotemba.
Even though it has only the second-highest fifth stations, the
Yoshida route is the most-popular route because of its large parking
area and many large mountain huts where a climber can rest or stay.
During the summer season, most
Mount Fuji climbing tour buses arrive
there. The next-popular is the
Fujinomiya route, which has the highest
fifth station, followed by Subashiri and Gotemba. Switchbacks and
retaining walls along the trail reduce erosion from the large number
Even though most climbers do not climb the Subashiri and Gotemba
routes, many descend these because of their ash-covered paths. From
the seventh station to near the fifth station, one could run down
these ash-covered paths in approximately 30 minutes. Besides these
routes, there are tractor routes along the climbing routes. These
tractor routes are used to bring food and other materials to huts on
the mountain. Because the tractors usually take up most of the width
of these paths and they tend to push large rocks from the side of the
path, the tractor paths are off-limits to the climbers on sections
that are not merged with the climbing or descending paths.
Nevertheless, one can sometimes see people riding mountain bikes along
the tractor routes down from the summit. This is particularly risky,
as it becomes difficult to control speed and may send some rocks
rolling along the side of the path, which may hit other people.
The four routes from the foot of the mountain offer historical sites.
The Murayama is the oldest
Mount Fuji route and the Yoshida route
still has many old shrines, teahouses, and huts along its path. These
routes are gaining popularity recently and are being restored, but
climbing from the foot of the mountain is still relatively uncommon.
Also, bears have been sighted along the Yoshida route.
The ascent from the new fifth station can take anywhere between three
and eight hours while the descent can take from two to five hours. The
hike from the foot of the mountain is divided into 10 stations, and
there are paved roads up to the fifth station, which is about 2,300
metres (7,550 ft) above sea level.
Paraglider at South side, view
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 are proportional to
the number of climbers—Yoshida has the most while
Gotemba has the
fewest. The huts along the
Gotemba route also tend to start later and
close earlier than those along the Yoshida route. Also, because Mount
Fuji is designated as a national park, it is illegal to camp above the
There are eight peaks around the crater at the summit. The highest
point in Japan, Ken-ga-mine, is where the
Mount Fuji Radar System used
to be. Climbers are able to visit each of these peaks.
Paragliders take off in the vicinity of the fifth station Gotemba
parking lot, between Subashiri and Hōei-zan peak on the south side
from the mountain, in addition to several other locations depending on
wind direction. Several paragliding schools use the wide sandy/grassy
Gotemba and Subashiri parking lots as a training hill.
* List of mountains in
100 Famous Japanese Mountains
Three-thousanders (in Japan)
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji
* List of World Heritage Sites in
List of elevation extremes by country
List of elevation extremes by country
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Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
article FUJI .
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