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MOUNT FUJI (Fujisan)
Mount Fuji - Fujisan (12,360 ft.) is the peerless, sacred mountain of Japan and one of the most beautiful in the world.
During the climbing season of July and August, the trails are crowded@with climbers and pilgrims who start at night so that they can reach the summit in time to see the sunrise. At the base of the mountain lie the Five Lakes of Fuji (Fuji Goko) - Yamanaka, Kawaguchi, Nishi, Motosu and Shoji. All are noted for their beauty. The last eruption happened in 1707. It is said Tokyo, 75 miles distant, was covered in ashes six inches deep. The crater is some 1,968 feet in diameter.

It takes two to three hours boarding an expressway bus outside the west exit of Shinjuku Station to reach the Fuji Five Lakes district which is the most popular route to climb Mt. Fuji.
Lake Kawaguchi Entrance Route takes average upward 5 hours and downward 3 hours.

Buses run throughout the year to the Fuji Five Lakes district.
Mt. Fuji Climbing Line Buses which run to the fifth uphill station are operated from April 25 through Nov. 3 (2010).
Fares: 1,700 yen to Lake Kawaguchi and 2,600 yen to the fifth uphill station.
All buses are reserved. For reservations, call Keio Highway Bus Reservation Center 03-5376-2222 and Fujikyu Highway Bus Reservation Center 0555-72-5111


Mt. Fuji viewed from the Panorama Lounge of Narukawa Art Museum at Lake Ashinoko
(Photos May 17, 2014)





Scenes at Mt. Fuji 5th Station and 6th Station Area
(Photos Oct. 11, 2010)









Mt. Fuji viewed from Lake Kawaguchi and Asagiri Kogen Highland
(Photos Oct. 23, 2010)








Mt. Fuji viewed from Lake Shoji and Lake Motosu
(Photos Nov. 10, 2010)







WINTER FUJI viewed from Nihondaira. Plus Kuno-zan Toshogu Shrine and Miho-no-Matsubara

Nihondaira
(Photos Jan. 9, 2011)

Nihondaira is a hill of 307 meters high located in the suburbs of Shizuoka City 112 miles west of Tokyo. The name of the hill comes from a legend that Nihon (Yamato) Takeru-no-Mikoto (81-113), one of the famous warriors of Japanese history and a prince of the Emperor Keiko (70-130), on his expedition against barbarians of the north climbed the hill and viewed around the area. Nihondaira is known as one of the best viewing spots of Mt. Fuji. The magnificent view spread out beneath one's eyes is Shimizu Port and City.
A ropeway runs from the top of the hill to Tokugawa's Kunozan Toshogu Shrine.

Kunozan Toshogu Shrine in Shizuoka
(Photos Jan. 9, 2011)
Kuno-zan Toshogu is dedicated to the deified spirit of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the greatest shogun in Japanese history. It was built in 1617 by the second shogun, Hidetada, the third son of Tokugawa Ieyasu on Kuno-zan hill in Sumpu (today's Shizuoka). There are thirteen structures within the sacred grounds. All of them are the original structures and they are designated as important cultural properties of Japan. Kuno-zan Toshogu was originally built in the mixed style of Shintoism and Buddhism. But after the shogunate government came to its end, the new government, led by the Meiji emperor, ordered the seperation of the two religions, and some Buddhist style structures were removed or remodeled. The remnants of the Buddhist style can still be seen in various locations. The same fundamental architectural style was copied by the Nikko Toshogu shrine which was built by the third shogun in 1636. Tens of other Toshogu shrines using the same architectural style were built by the local feudal lords all over Japan. (Shrines named Toshogu are all dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu). As you climb up the 1159 stone steps leading to the sacred grounds, it is believed you are purified by the magical power of Tokugawa Ieyasu. In the sacred grounds, you can meet the spirit of Tokugawa Ieyasu. (from the shrine pamphlet).



Miho-no-Matsubara (Pinary of Miho)
(Photos Jan. 9, 2011)
Miho-no-Matsubara (Pinary of Miho) is famous for its hagoromo legend and is made into a famous noh play, "Hagoromo." In the story, an angel (tennyo) comes down to Miho-no-Matsubara, the pine-covered promontory in Suruga Bay, and hangs her hagoromo (robe) on a pine tree while she goes to bathe in the sea. A young fisherman notices the robe by its strange fragrance. Attracted by its beauty, he takes the robe away. When the angel comes out of the sea and finds her robe gone, she begs him to return it. Finally the young man asks the angel to show him the heavenly dance. When she dances, he returns the robe, and she is then able to fly back to her own land.








Mount Fuji viewed from Oshino Hakkai
(Photos March 9, 2011)
Oshino Hakkai is designated as one of the 100 best water sites in Japan. Oshino Hakkai is made up of eight spring water ponds. These eight ponds are spring-fed by water running down from Mt. Fuji, and have long been revered as. "springs of the Gods." The water of the ponds takes 80 years for melted snow to flow down from Mt. Fuji between layers of lave flows underground and filtered out as clear spring water. Oshio Hakkai of Oshino Village is a popular place for photographers taking pictures of winter Fuji with well preserved old farm houses of Japan.







Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji at Kanukiyama in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture

(Photos April 13, 2011)
Numazu is a city located in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture. It is 80 miles west of Tokyo. The city has a population of about 200,000 and enjoys a mild climate. Numazu is a major center of Shizuoka prefecture's fishery industry.
. Mt. Kanuki of Numazu City is 193 meters above sea level and is located only 2.5 km from the center of the city making it a popular hiking spot for the citizens of Numazu. Scenes of the pagoda against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji in cherry blossom season produces magnificent beauty.







Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji viewed from Lake Kawaguchi

(Photos April 17, 2011)

Lake Kawaguchi is the most popular lake among Fuji Goko (Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji) located in Yamanashi Prefecture at the base of Mt. Fuji. VIsitors can enjoy fine view of Mt. Fuji, unique fine art gallery and museum, hot springs, play grounds, etc.

Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji viewed from Lake Kawaguchi
(Photos April 24, 2011)




Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji viewed from Fuji Sengen Shrine at Arakura Shimo-Yoshida
(Photos April 17, 2011)
There are several Fuji Sengen Shrines surrounding Mt. Fuji. Fuji Sengen Shrine at Arakura Shimo-Yoshida in Fuji Yoshida City is famous for its pagoda.and fine view of Mt. Fuji.






Mt. Fuji Climbing Season begins July 1 for two months.

(Photos July 23 and 24)
It takes about three hours by an express bus from the west exit of JR Shinjuku Station to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji. I took the first bus at 7:45 a.m. and arrived at Mt. Fuji fifth station at around 10:30 a.m. I found some lying on the ground. They are the people who came back from the summit of the mountain after seeing the sunrise. They are lying or taking a nap since they are sleepy or so much exhausted. It takes about 5 hours from the 5th station to the summit according to them. The return takes about the same hours. I did not intend to climb to the top of Fuji this time but wanted to climb as far as I could go. I was able to reach to the 7th station which is about 2,700 meters high. I gave up there since my heart started beating fast. Air was apparently thinner, I felt. For those who reached the 8th station or the top, there is a descending trail, if not, people have to return the same rocky course as they climbed and it is not easy.

The first bus from Kawaguchiko Station to the 5th station is at 7:20 a.m. and the second at 8:20 a.m. From Fuji Station the first bus is at 9:30 a.m. The buses run almost every hour during July and August. Those who want to climb to the top and return within the day are recommended to take these early buses. The last bus from the 5th station to Kawaguchiko Station is at 10:20 p.m. It cost 1,500 yen from the 5th station to Kawaguchiko Station. There are many mountain huts at the 7th station and above where climbers can sleep and can see the sunrise at the summit in the next morning but the huts are expensive (9,000 yen) and space is small.

I found many young ladies climbing Mt. Fuji in very fashionable attires. They are called "Yama Girls" (Yama means a mountain). Old folks as well as children are found in many. If the wheather is fine, climbing Mt. Fuji may not be very difficult for them and it will become a lifetime experience.

There are several routes to climb Mt. Fuji. Among them, Yoshida route is most popular and I took it.

There are climbers who are putting on masks. It is to avoid dusts blown up on the trails.Trails at 8th station and above are sands according to them.

During the summer, the days the Mt. Fuji seen fully clear are not often.. The weather tends to be cloudy and it is hazy since the warm temperature produces water vapor in the air.


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