The height of Mt Fuji is 12,388 feet. It is one of the most famous tourist spots in Japan. It is the highest mountain in the country. Mt Fuji is located 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Tokyo.
Mt. Fuji is one of the “Holy Mountains” in Japan. The other two are Mount Haku and Mount Tate. It is a stratovolcano. The first person to ascend the mountain was a monk in 663. Even before that period, Mt Fuji was already considered sacred. It is a staple in Japanese literature.
The base of Mt Fuji was used by the samurai for training (today’s Gotemba town). Historical records show the first foreigner to climb the mountain was Sir Rutherford Alcock in September 1860. Despite the height of Mt Fuji, he was able to climb the mountain with little difficulty.
Because of its height, the mountain has become very distinct. It is at the central Honshu’s Pacific Coast. It is at the boundary of the Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures.
The cities surrounding it are Fujinomiya to the southwest, Fujiyoshida to the north and Gotemba to the south. There are several lakes around it: Lake Shoji, Lake Motosu, Lake Sai, Lake Yamanaka and Lake Kawaguchi. These lakes offer a good view of the volcano.
Climate and Geology
At the higher altitudes, the temperature goes down. Most of the year, snow covers the cone. The highest temperature on record is 17.8 C on June 2008. The lowest is -38 C. The mountain was formed through four stages of volcanic activity.
The current mountain was formed over an “Old Fuji” 10,000 years ago. While it is active, there is little chance of it erupting. Its last recorded eruption was on December 16, 1707. The explosion formed a second peak and crater called Hoei-zan.
Routes for Climbers
Hundreds of thousands climb the mountain yearly. The peak season is from July up to August. From October to May, the weather becomes very cold and unsuitable for climbing. The most popular routes are Fujinomiya, Gotemba, Subashiri and Lake Kawaguchi. All are from the 5th station. The Kawaguchiko is the most widely used due to the presence of several huts. It also has a large parking lot.
The symmetry and height of Mt Fuji have drawn in tourists the world over. It is the subject of more paintings and pictures than any other mountain in Japan.