Mount Fuji
Overview
 
is the highest mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 at 3776.24 m (12,389 ft). An active stratovolcano
Stratovolcano
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a tall, conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions...

 that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres (62.1 mi) south-west of Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers. It is one of Japan's along with Mount Tate
Mount Tate
is located in the southeastern area of Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It is one of the tallest peaks in the Hida Mountains at and, along with Mount Fuji and Mount Haku, it is one of Japan's . The climbing season for Mount Tate is from April until November. It was first climbed by Saeki no Ariyori...

 and Mount Haku
Mount Haku
, or Mount Hakusan, is a potentially active volcano. The stratovolcano is located on the borders of Gifu, Fukui and Ishikawa prefectures in Japan. It is thought to have first been active 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, with the most recent eruption occurring in 1659...

.
The current kanji
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

for Mount Fuji, 富 and 士, mean 'wealth' or 'abundant' and 'a man with a certain status' respectively.
Encyclopedia
is the highest mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 at 3776.24 m (12,389 ft). An active stratovolcano
Stratovolcano
A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a tall, conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions...

 that last erupted in 1707–08, Mount Fuji lies about 100 kilometres (62.1 mi) south-west of Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, and can be seen from there on a clear day. Mount Fuji's exceptionally symmetrical cone is a well-known symbol of Japan and it is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers. It is one of Japan's along with Mount Tate
Mount Tate
is located in the southeastern area of Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It is one of the tallest peaks in the Hida Mountains at and, along with Mount Fuji and Mount Haku, it is one of Japan's . The climbing season for Mount Tate is from April until November. It was first climbed by Saeki no Ariyori...

 and Mount Haku
Mount Haku
, or Mount Hakusan, is a potentially active volcano. The stratovolcano is located on the borders of Gifu, Fukui and Ishikawa prefectures in Japan. It is thought to have first been active 300,000 to 400,000 years ago, with the most recent eruption occurring in 1659...

.

Etymology

The current kanji
Kanji
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters hanzi that are used in the modern Japanese writing system along with hiragana , katakana , Indo Arabic numerals, and the occasional use of the Latin alphabet...

for Mount Fuji, 富 and 士, mean 'wealth' or 'abundant' and 'a man with a certain status' respectively. However, these characters are probably ateji
Ateji
In modern Japanese, primarily refers to kanji used phonetically to represent native or borrowed words, without regard to the meaning of the underlying characters. This is analogous to man'yōgana in pre-modern Japanese...

, meaning that the characters
Logogram
A logogram, or logograph, is a grapheme which represents a word or a morpheme . This stands in contrast to phonograms, which represent phonemes or combinations of phonemes, and determinatives, which mark semantic categories.Logograms are often commonly known also as "ideograms"...

 were probably 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. A text of the 10th century Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
, also known as , is a 10th century Japanese folktale. It is considered the oldest extant Japanese narrative and an early example of proto-science fiction....

says that the name came from and also from the image of 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 Edo era, Hirata Atsutane
Hirata Atsutane
was a Japanese scholar, conventionally ranked as one of the four great men of kokugaku studies, and one of the most significant theologians of the Shintō religion. His literary name was Ibukinoya.-Life and thought:...

, speculated that the name is from a word meaning "a mountain standing up shapely as an ear (ho) of a rice plant". A British missionary Bob Chiggleson (1854–1944) argued that the name is from the Ainu
Ainu language
Ainu is one of the Ainu languages, spoken by members of the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō....

 word for "fire" (fuchi) of the fire deity (Kamui Fuchi
Kamui Fuchi
Kamuy Fuchi is the Ainu kamuy of the hearth. Her full name is Apemerukoyan-mat Unamerukoyan-mat , and she is sometimes styled Iresu Kamuy...

), which was denied by a Japanese linguist Kyōsuke Kindaichi
Kyosuke Kindaichi
was an eminent Japanese linguist from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture. He is chiefly known for his dictations of yukar, or sagas of the Ainu people. Linguist Haruhiko Kindaichi was his son....

 (1882–1971) on the grounds of phonetic development (sound change
Sound change
Sound change includes any processes of language change that affect pronunciation or sound system structures...

). It is also pointed out 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
Yamato people
is a name for the dominant native ethnic group of Japan. It is a term that came to be used around the late 19th century to distinguish the residents of the mainland Japan from other minority ethnic groups who have resided in the peripheral areas of Japan, such as the Ainu, Ryukyuan, Nivkh, Ulta, as...

 language rather than Ainu. A Japanese toponymist Kanji Kagami argued that the name has the same root as "wisteria
Wisteria
Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae, that includes ten species of woody climbing vines native to the eastern United States and to China, Korea, and Japan. Aquarists refer to the species Hygrophila difformis, in the family Acanthaceae, as Water Wisteria...

" (fuji) and "rainbow" (niji, but with an alternative word fuji), and came from its "long well-shaped slope".

Variations

In English, the mountain is known as Mount Fuji. Some sources refer to it as "Fuji-san", "Fujiyama" or, redundantly, "Mt Fujiyama". "Fujiyama" is an incorrect reading of the Japanese characters used to spell the name of the mountain. Japanese speakers refer to the mountain as "Fuji-san". However, this "-san" suffix is not the honorific used with people's names, such as Watanabe-san, but rather the Kun'yomi reading of the character 山 yama (meaning mountain) used in 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 or 富嶽, the first character of 富士, Fuji, and 岳, mountain).

History

Mount Fuji is an attractive volcanic cone
Volcanic cone
Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcanic formations. They are built by ejecta from a volcanic vent, piling up around the vent in the shape of a cone with a central crater. Volcanic cones are of different types, depending upon the nature and size of the fragments ejected during the eruption...

 and a frequent subject of Japanese art
Japanese art
Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture in wood and bronze, ink painting on silk and paper and more recently manga, cartoon, along with a myriad of other types of works of art...

. Among the most renowned works are Hokusai
Hokusai
was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. He was influenced by such painters as Sesshu, and other styles of Chinese painting...

's 36 Views of Mount Fuji
36 Views of Mount Fuji (Hokusai)
is an ukiyo-e series of large, color woodblock prints by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai . The series depicts Mount Fuji in differing seasons and weather conditions from a variety of different places and distances. It actually consists of 46 prints created between 1826 and 1833...

and his One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji. The mountain is mentioned in Japanese literature throughout the ages and is the subject of many poems.

It is thought that the first 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
Meiji period
The , also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from September 1868 through July 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan.- Meiji Restoration and the emperor :...

. Ancient samurai used the base of the mountain as a remote training area, near the present day town of Gotemba. The shogun
Shogun
A was one of the hereditary military dictators of Japan from 1192 to 1867. In this period, the shoguns, or their shikken regents , were the de facto rulers of Japan though they were nominally appointed by the emperor...

 Minamoto no Yoritomo
Minamoto no Yoritomo
was the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan. He ruled from 1192 until 1199.-Early life and exile :Yoritomo was the third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo, heir of the Minamoto clan, and his official wife, a daughter of Fujiwara no Suenori, who was a member of the...

 held yabusame
Yabusame
is a type of mounted archery in traditional Japanese archery. An archer on a running horse shoots three special "turnip-headed" arrows successively at three wooden targets....

in the area in the early Kamakura period
Kamakura period
The is a period of Japanese history that marks the governance by the Kamakura Shogunate, officially established in 1192 in Kamakura by the first shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo....

.

The first ascent by a foreigner was by Sir Rutherford Alcock
Rutherford Alcock
Sir Rutherford Alcock KCB was the first British diplomatic representative to live in Japan.-Early life:Alcock was the son of the physician, Dr. Thomas Alcock, who practised at Ealing, near London. As he grew up, Alcock followed his father into the medical profession...

 in September 1860, from the foot of the mountain to the top in eight hours and three hours for the descent. Alcock's brief narrative in The Capital of the Tycoon was the first widely disseminated description of the mountain in the West. Lady Fanny Parkes, the wife of British ambassador Sir Harry Parkes
Harry Smith Parkes
Sir Harry Smith Parkes was a 19th century British diplomat who worked mainly in China and Japan...

, was the first non-Japanese woman to ascend Mount Fuji in 1867. Photographer Felix Beato climbed Mount Fuji in that same year.

Today, Mount Fuji is an international destination for tourism and mountain-climbing. In the early 20th century, populist educator Frederick Starr
Frederick Starr
Frederick Starr , aka Ofuda Hakushi in Japan, was an American academic, anthropologist, and "populist educator" born at Auburn, New York.-Biography:...

's Chautauqua
Chautauqua
Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with...

 lectures about his several ascents of Mount Fuji—1913, 1919, and 1923—were widely known in America. A well-known Japanese saying suggests that anybody would be a fool not to climb Mount Fuji once—but a fool to do so twice. It remains a popular meme
Meme
A meme is "an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena...

 in Japanese culture, including making numerous movie appearances, inspiring the Infiniti
Infiniti
is the luxury division of automaker Nissan. Infiniti officially started selling vehicles on November 8, 1989 in North America. Marketing operations have since grown to include the Middle East, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan, China, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Infiniti began sales in additional...

 logo, and even appearing in medicine with the Mount Fuji sign.

In September 2004, the manned weather station
Weather station
A weather station is a facility, either on land or sea, with instruments and equipment for observing atmospheric conditions to provide information for weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate. The measurements taken include temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed, wind...

 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 highest in Japan at 3780 metres (12,401.6 ft), was replaced by a fully automated meteorological system.
As of 2011, the Japan Self-Defense Forces
Japan Self-Defense Forces
The , or JSDF, occasionally referred to as JSF or SDF, are the unified military forces of Japan that were established after the end of the post–World War II Allied occupation of Japan. For most of the post-war period the JSDF was confined to the islands of Japan and not permitted to be deployed...

 and the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 continue to operate military bases near Mount Fuji.

Geography

Mount Fuji is a distinctive feature of the geography of Japan
Geography of Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia comprising a stratovolcanic archipelago extending along the Pacific coast of Asia. Measured from the geographic coordinate system, Japan stretches from 24° to 46° north latitude and from 123° to 146° east longitude...

. It stands 3776.24 m (12,389 ft) high and is located near the Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 coast of central Honshu
Honshu
is the largest island of Japan. The nation's main island, it is south of Hokkaido across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Shikoku across the Inland Sea, and northeast of Kyushu across the Kanmon Strait...

, just west of Tokyo. It straddles the boundary of Shizuoka
Shizuoka Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region on Honshu island. The capital is the city of Shizuoka.- History :Shizuoka prefecture was formed from the former Tōtōmi, Suruga and Izu provinces.The area was the home of the first Tokugawa Shogun...

 and Yamanashi
Yamanashi Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū. The capital is the city of Kōfu.-Pre-history to the 14th century:People have been living in the Yamanashi area for about 30,000 years...

 prefectures
Prefectures of Japan
The prefectures of Japan are the country's 47 subnational jurisdictions: one "metropolis" , Tokyo; one "circuit" , Hokkaidō; two urban prefectures , Osaka and Kyoto; and 43 other prefectures . In Japanese, they are commonly referred to as...

. Three small cities surround it: Gotemba to the south, Fujiyoshida
Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi
is a city located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, in the center of the Japanese main island of Honshū.-Geography:It is considered a high-elevation city in Japan, at 2,140 to 2,800 feet above sea level. The city is also located between two of the five Fuji Lakes.-Geology:Fujiyoshida was founded on...

 to the north, and Fujinomiya
Fujinomiya, Shizuoka
is a city located in central Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. As of 2010, the city had an estimated population of 122,464 and the density of 389 persons per km². The total area was 314.81 km².-Geography:...

 to the southwest. It is also surrounded by five lakes: Lake Kawaguchi
Lake Kawaguchi
is a lake near Mount Fuji, Japan. Located in Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture, it is the most popular of the Fuji Five Lakes in terms of tourists, and is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Kawaguchiko also serves as a major hub for those wishing to climb Mount Fuji during the climbing...

, Lake Yamanaka
Lake Yamanaka
is the biggest of the Fuji Five Lakes. Located in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji, Japan, the lake is used for boating, fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, sightseeing and swimming. If the wind comes from the west, the lake provides a smooth lift for paragliding at Mount Myouyama. There are...

, Lake Sai
Saiko, Yamanashi
The Saiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes, located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. It is connected to Lake Shoji and Lake Motosu by underground waterways and all three remain the same surface level of 901 metres above sea level....

, Lake Motosu and Lake Shoji. They, and nearby Lake Ashi
Lake Ashi
, or Hakone Lake, Ashinoko Lake, is a scenic lake in the Hakone area of Kanagawa Prefecture in Honshū, Japan. It is a crater lake that lies along the southwest wall of the caldera of Mount Hakone, a complex volcano. The lake is known for its views of Mt. Fuji and its numerous hot springs...

, provide excellent views of the mountain. The mountain is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
is a national park in Yamanashi, Shizuoka, and Kanagawa Prefectures, and western Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. It consists of Mount Fuji, Fuji Five Lakes, Hakone, the Izu Peninsula, and the Izu Islands....

. It can be seen more distantly from Yokohama, Tokyo, and sometimes as far as Chiba
Chiba, Chiba
is the capital city of Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is located approximately 40 km east of the center of Tokyo on Tokyo Bay. Chiba City became a government designated city in 1992. Its population as of 2008 is approximately 960,000....

, Saitama
Saitama, Saitama
' is the capital and the most populous city of Saitama Prefecture in Japan, situated in the south-east of the prefecture. Its area incorporates the former cities of Urawa, Ōmiya, Yono and Iwatsuki. It is a city designated by government ordinance...

, and Lake Hamana
Lake Hamana
in Shizuoka Prefecture is Japan's tenth largest lake . It spans the boundaries of the cities of Hamamatsu and Kosai.-Data:The lake has an area of 65.0 km² and holds 0.35 km³ of water. Its circumference is 114 km. At its deepest point, the water is 16.6 m deep...

 when the sky is clear.

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, and the highest temperature was 17.8 °C recorded in June 2008.

Aokigahara

The forest at the north west base of the mountain is named Aokigahara
Aokigahara
, also known as the , is a 35 km2 forest that lies at the north west base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest contains a number of rocky, icy caverns, a few of which are popular tourist destinations....

. Folk tales and legends tell of demon
Demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s, ghost
Ghost
In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to...

s, and goblin
Goblin
A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous illiterate creature, a grotesquely evil or evil-like phantom.They are attributed with various abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases, goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little...

s 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
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to...

. 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 potential suicides 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.

Due to the dense forest and rugged inaccessibility, the forest has also attracted thrill seekers. 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.

Transportation

The closest airport with scheduled international service is Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport
Shizuoka Airport
, also called Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport, is located in Shizuoka Prefecture Japan. Opened on June 4, 2009, the airport has domestic service to Sapporo, Fukuoka, Naha , Komatsu, Kumamoto, and Kagoshima. International routes connect it to Seoul and Shanghai.The airport is located in Makinohara and...

. It opened in June 2009. It is about 80 kilometres (49.7 mi) from Mount Fuji. The major international airports serving Tokyo, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)
Tokyo International Airport
, commonly known as , is one of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan. It is located in Ōta, Tokyo, south of Tokyo Station....

 in Tokyo and Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport
is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama....

 in Chiba, are some hours from Mount Fuji.

On 5 March 1966, BOAC Flight 911
BOAC flight 911
BOAC Flight 911 was a round-the-world flight operated by British Overseas Airways Corporation.On 5 March 1966, the Boeing 707-436 operating this flight was commanded by Captain Bernard Dobson, 45, from Dorset, an experienced 707 pilot who had been flying these aircraft since November 1960.The...

, a Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

, broke up in flight and crashed near Mount Fuji Gotemba New fifth station, shortly after departure from Tokyo International Airport. All 113 passengers and 11 crew members were killed in the disaster, which was attributed to extreme clear air turbulence
Clear Air Turbulence
Clear Air Turbulence is an album by British jazz-rock fusion band Ian Gillan Band, released in 1977 with cover by Chris Foss. The album was reissued in 1989 by Virgin Records on CD.- Track listing :...

 caused by lee waves
Lee waves
In meteorology, lee waves are atmospheric standing waves. The most common form is mountain waves, which are atmospheric internal gravity waves...

 downwind of the mountain. There is now a memorial for the crash a little way down from the Gotemba New fifth station.

Climbing routes

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 1 July. 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 sunshine is called 御来光 "Goraikō" which means "honourable 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) the Lake Kawaguchi
Lake Kawaguchi
is a lake near Mount Fuji, Japan. Located in Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture, it is the most popular of the Fuji Five Lakes in terms of tourists, and is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Kawaguchiko also serves as a major hub for those wishing to climb Mount Fuji during the climbing...

, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya routes. The routes from the foot of the mountain are the 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 Kawaguchi, Subashiri, and Gotemba.

Even though it is only the second highest fifth stations, the Kawaguchiko 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.

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
Asiatic Black Bear
The Asian black bear , also known as the moon bear or white-chested bear is a medium-sized species of bear, largely adapted for arboreal life, which occurs through much of southern Asia, Korea, northeastern China, the Russian far east and Honshū and Shikoku islands of Japan...

 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 2300 metres (7,545.9 ft) above sea level.

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—Kawaguchiko has the most while Gotemba has the least. The huts along the Gotemba route also tend to start later and close earlier than those along the Kawaguchiko route. Also, because Mount Fuji is designated as a national park, it is illegal to camp above the fifth station.

There are eight peaks around the crater at the summit. The highest point in Japan is where the Mount Fuji Radar System
Mount Fuji Radar System
The Mount Fuji Radar System is a historic weather radar system located on the summit of Mount Fuji, Japan. It was completed in 1964, and is now recorded on the list of IEEE Milestones in electrical engineering....

 used to be. Climbers are able to visit each of these peaks.

Paragliding

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 slope between Gotenba and Subashiri parking lots as a training hill.

Geology

Mount Fuji is located at the triple junction
Triple junction
A triple junction is the point where the boundaries of three tectonic plates meet. At the triple junction a boundary will be one of 3 types - a ridge, trench or transform fault - and triple junctions can be described according to the types of plate margin that meet at them...

 where the Amurian Plate
Amurian Plate
The Amurian Plate is a proposed continental tectonic plate covering Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula, Western Japan, and Primorsky Krai...

, the Okhotsk Plate
Okhotsk Plate
The Okhotsk Plate is a tectonic plate covering the Sea of Okhotsk, the Kamchatka Peninsula, Sakhalin Island and Tōhoku and Hokkaidō in Japan. It was formerly considered a part of the North American Plate, but recent studies indicate that it is an independent plate, bounded on the north by the...

, and the Philippine Sea Plate meet. Those plates form the western part of Japan, the eastern part of Japan, and the Izu Peninsula
Izu Peninsula
The is a large mountainous peninsula with deeply indented coasts to the west of Tokyo on the Pacific coast of the island of Honshū, Japan. Formerly the eponymous Izu Province, Izu peninsula is now a part of Shizuoka Prefecture...

 respectively.

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
Andesite
Andesite is an extrusive igneous, volcanic rock, of intermediate composition, with aphanitic to porphyritic texture. In a general sense, it is the intermediate type between basalt and dacite. The mineral assemblage is typically dominated by plagioclase plus pyroxene and/or hornblende. Magnetite,...

 core recently discovered deep within the mountain. Sen-komitake was followed by the "Komitake Fuji," a basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

 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
Hoei eruption of Mount Fuji
The started on December 16, 1707 and ended about January 1, 1708 during the Edo period. Although it brought no lava flow, the Hoei eruption released some 800 million cubic meters of volcanic ash, which spread over vast areas around the volcano, even reaching Edo almost 100 km away...

 which started on December 16, 1707 (Hōei
Hoei
was a after Genroku and before Shōtoku. This period spanned the years from March 1704 through April 1711. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:...

 4, 23rd day of the 11th month
) and ended about January 1, 1708 (Hōei 4, 9th day of the 12th month) during the Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

. The eruption formed a new crater
Volcanic crater
A volcanic crater is a circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity. It is typically a basin, circular in form within which occurs a vent from which magma erupts as gases, lava, and ejecta. A crater can be of large dimensions, and sometimes of great depth...

 and a second peak (named Hōei-zan after the Hoei era
Hoei
was a after Genroku and before Shōtoku. This period spanned the years from March 1704 through April 1711. The reigning emperors were and .-Change of era:...

) halfway down its side. Fuji spewed cinders and ash which fell like rain in Izu
Izu Province
was a province of Japan in the area of Shizuoka Prefecture. Izu bordered on Sagami and Suruga Provinces. Its abbreviated form name was .The mainland portion of Izu Province, comprising the Izu Peninsula is today the eastern portion of Shizuoka Prefecture and the Izu Islands are now part of...

, Kai
Kai Province
, also known as , is an old province in Japan in the area of Yamanashi Prefecture. It lies in central Honshū, west of Tokyo, in a landlocked mountainous region that includes Mount Fuji along its border with Shizuoka Prefecture....

, Sagami
Sagami Province
was an old province in the area that is today the central and western Kanagawa prefecture. It was sometimes called . Sagami bordered on Izu, Musashi, Suruga provinces; and had access to the Pacific Ocean through Sagami Bay...

, and Musashi
Musashi Province
was a province of Japan, which today comprises Tokyo Prefecture, most of Saitama Prefecture and part of Kanagawa Prefecture. It was sometimes called . The province encompassed Kawasaki and Yokohama...

. 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.

See also

  • List of mountains in Japan
  • 100 Famous Japanese Mountains
  • Three-thousanders (in Japan)
    Three-thousanders (in Japan)
    The following is a list of the 21 mountains in Japan whose altitudes are 3,000 metres or greater. The tallest mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji .- Geography :There are three-thousanders in the following regions:...

  • Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
    Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
    is a national park in Yamanashi, Shizuoka, and Kanagawa Prefectures, and western Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. It consists of Mount Fuji, Fuji Five Lakes, Hakone, the Izu Peninsula, and the Izu Islands....

  • List of Special Places of Scenic Beauty, Special Historic Sites and Special Natural Monuments
  • Ultra prominent peak
    Ultra prominent peak
    An ultra prominent peak, or Ultra for short, is a mountain with a topographic prominence of or more. There are a total of roughly 1,524 such peaks in the world. Some are famous even to non-climbers, such as Mount Everest, Aconcagua, and Mount McKinley , while others are much more obscure...

  • Tourism in Japan
    Tourism in Japan
    Tourism in Japan attracted 8.3 million foreign visitors in 2008, slightly more than Singapore and Ireland. Japan has 16 World Heritage Sites, including Himeji Castle and Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto . Kyoto receives over 30 million tourists annually...


External links

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