Here are top 24 interesting and fun facts about Mount Fuji:
#1 Located on Honshu Island (Japan’s largest island), Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,389 ft (3,776.24 m) and the 35th most prominent mountains in the world.
#2 This mountain is just about 100 km away from the capital city of Japan – Tokyo.
#3 It is a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu Nationwide Park, a 474 square miles nationwide park that was established on February 2, 1936.
#4 This mountain is actually 3 separate volcanoes placed on top of one another. The bottom layer is the Komitake volcano (can be seen from the north face of the mountain), then the Kofuji volcano, then Fuji, that is the youngest. This latest layer, known as “New Fuji” to geologists, is believed to have formed around 10,000 years ago.
#5 Nobody knows for sure how the mountain got its name. However, according to a popular theory, it was named after the Buddhist goddess of fire, Fuchi.
#6 In the present day, more than 200,000 people climb to the top of the mountain every summer, and approximately 25 percent of all the climbers on the mountain are foreign tourists and residents.
#7 The best view of the mountain can be appreciated from around Shin-Fuji Station (a railway station on the Tokaido Shinkansen) on the right-hand side of the train, about 40-45 minutes into the journey.
#8 This volcano has erupted at least 16 times since 781 AD. Interestingly, the volcano last erupted around 300 years ago, in 1707. It deposited ash as far as present-day Tokyo and formed a large new crater on the east flank.
#9 Scientists consider that the last eruption was triggered by an earthquake and are worried that current earthquake activity could lead to a new eruption at virtually any time. Some scientists even describe the volcano as being in a “critical state.”
#10 The 1st ascent to the summit was by a local monk in the seventh century. The 1st European to climb it was Rutherford Alcock (the first British diplomatic representative to live in Japan) in 1868 and it took him eight hours to reach the top and about three hours to descend.
#11 The Fujiko sect believes the mountain is a being with a soul, while the Shintoists consider this mountain sacred to the goddess Sengen-Sama, who embodies nature. The main Sengen shrines are at the base and summit of the mountain, however, there are more than 1,000 shrines across all of Japan.
#12 Women were forbidden to climb this mountain until the 19th century because of how sacred the summit is considered.
#13 Moreover, this mountain is thought to be a gathering point for the spirits of deceased ancestors, and prayers are offered to them and also for the safety from fire, volcanic eruption, and childbirth.
#14 At the summit of this mountain, the crater sinks to a depth of about 250 meters (820 feet) and spans approximately 500 meters (1,600 feet) in surface diameter.
#15 The summit is usually covered in snow and has a tundra climate. For instance, it reaches around 7°C during the summer and as low as -21°C in the winter months.
#16 This mountain is also the site of training for Buddhists and Samurai Warriors.
#17 On June 22, 2013, it was included in the list of World Heritage Sites.
#18 There is a forest named Aokigahara, that is located at the bottom of the mountain. This spooky forest is known to be the suicide spot with an average of 30 suicides per year. It ranks 2nd in the world for such a dreadful activity. Officials request tourists to use plastic tapes while hiking through the forest to avoid getting lost.
How To Get There
#19 It can be approached from all sides, nevertheless, transport schedules are sharply cut outside the official climbing season in July and August. Also, when planning your schedule, please remember that the roads are usually jammed during the tourist season.
#20 You may have to battle the crowds for the most popular route head to Kowaguchiko (starting point: 2,300m/7,545ft), however, you’ll be assured of a smooth path. Furthermore, you will enjoy the best sunrise of any of the routes. For a complete trip, you should expect to spend around nine hours.
#21 An interesting plan is to take a break at the hut halfway up the mountain and to set off again in the middle of the night so that you can reach the summit in time for the sunrise.
#22 Apart from this amazing mountain, two of Japan’s especially well-known mountains include Mount Tate (Tate-yama, translating as – ”standing mountain”) and Mount Haku (Haku-san, translating as – ”white mountain). These 3 mountains together are known as the Three Holy Mountains of Japan.
Fun Facts About Mt. Fuji
#23 This mountain may be the source of the oldest known Sci-Fi story: the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, that dates back to the 9th or 10th century.
#24 In the 1960s, Fuji Kyuko had some plans to construct a tunnel through the southwest side of the mountain with a cable car which would take you to the summit in just under thirteen minutes.