Mount Fuji was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. The list of the heritage assets includes the religious relics on the peak of the mountain, the trails, Asama Shrine, Fuji-Goko (Fuji Five Lakes) and Oshino Hakkai. It is the highest mountain in Japan, at an elevation of 3,776 meters, and draws 250,000 climbers every year. The climbing season is from early July through mid-September, but visitors can see the beautiful mountain from various tourist spots around the mountain throughout the year. Mount Fuji has been an object of worship through the ages as a place where deities reside. The mountain has been featured in numerous art works such as Ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock print).
Mount Fuji in Four Seasons
There are many scenic areas around Mt. Fuji, and each area shows different scenery in each season, such as cherry blossoms in spring, sunflowers in summer, autumn leaves in fall and snowscapes in winter. Visitors can enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful sight of Mt. Fuji throughout the changing seasons.
Climbing Mt. Fuji
More than 250,000 climbers visit Mt. Fuji every year. The mountain trails are open from early July through mid-September. It is a challenging mountain to climb since it takes more than five hours to reach the peak. Advance preparation and planning are required to ascend to the highest summit in Japan.
Four Routs to the Peak of Mt. Fuji
There are four trails to climb Mt. Fuji: Yoshida Trail on the Yamanashi side, Fujinomiya Trail, Gotemba Trail and Subashiri Trail on the Shizuoka side. Among them, about 60% of the climbers use the Yoshida Trail. It is easier to walk compared to the other trails, and there are many mountain huts on the trail. Because it is a popular trail, it tends to be crowded. The trail starts at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. Various restaurants and souvenir shops are located here.
Praying to the Rising Sun
The highlight of climbing Mt. Fuji is viewing the majestic sunrise. Visitors are soothed by the glorious sunrise after the long climb. Depending on the season, the majestic view can be enjoyed from about 4:20 to 5:30 in the morning. If you intend to see the sunrise, stay in one of the huts overnight and start climbing around two in the morning.
Walking Around the Crater
After seeing the sunrise, Ohachi Meguri is a very popular attraction. Visitors can walk around the edge of Mt. Fuji’s crater that is 780 meters in diameter. It is about a 1.5-hour hike as you walk through a cloud cover while enjoying the magnificent views. On the trail, you will find Japan’s highest post office, Fuji Sancho Post Office, where you can purchase a climbing certificate with a unique stamp of this post office. It will be a special memento for reaching the summit. The certificate will be sent to you from the post office.
Hiking Around the 5th Station
If you want to climb Mt. Fuji, but you are not confident about reaching the summit, we recommend hiking around the 5th station. You will enjoy Mt. Fuji walking on the mountain rather than climbing. You will see various alpine plants as well as the wildlife of Mt. Fuji. You can fully enjoy Mt. Fuji by hiking around the 5th station.
Miho no Matsubara
Miho no Matsubara (pine grove) is a scenic area that is located in Miho Peninsula (Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka). It is situated a little far from Mt. Fuji, but it is listed as one of the assets of the World Heritage Site. Mt. Fuji, the pine grove and the waves braking on the shore create a spectacular scene.
Five lakes lie at the foot of Mt. Fuji, and the lakes are known as Fuji-Goko. There are more viewing spots of Mt. Fuji around Lake Kawaguchi area than other lakes. Beautiful Mt. Fuji combined with red tinted autumn leaves creates a stunning scene. The area provides numerous tourist facilities and hotels for visitors to enjoy the area.
Lake Yamanaka is the biggest of the five lakes. Visitors can enjoy cruising on the lake, museums and charming cafes, but the highlight is the “Sakasa Fuji” (inverted image of Mt. Fuji). Mt Fuji reflects on the surface of the lake as if it was in an enormous mirror. The incredible view is like a piece of fine art. The spectacular view will take you breath away.
Lake Tanuki is nestled in Fujinomiya city, Shizuoka. This lake is not included in the Fuji Five Lakes, but it is well known as a viewing spot of Mt. Fuji. An amazing natural phenomena can be seen here. The “Diamond Fuji” is when the sun aligns with the peak of Mt. Fuji. The “Double Diamond Fuji” is when the Diamond Fuji reflects on the lake. The Double Diamond Fuji can be seen around April 20th and then again around August 20th of each year.
Shiraito Falls is one of the assets of the World Heritage Site of Mt. Fuji. The spring water from Mt. Fuji creates a single waterfall comprised of hundreds of smaller waterfalls. This waterfall is called Shiraito because the waterfall looks like white silk threads falling down on the curved cliff. It is designated as a National Scenic Beauty and a Natural Monument.
Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha
Sengen Shrine is a Shinto shrine that worships Mt. Fuji. About 1,300 Sengen shrines are located throughout Japan. Situated at the foot of Mt. Fuji, Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha is the most important shrine of them all. It’s history dates back more than 1,200 years, and it is one of the assets of the World Heritage Site. The shrine is famous for the Fujinomiya Autumn Festival that is held every November that highlights the beauty of Mt. Fuji.
Oshino Hakkai is a series of eight spring-fed ponds that are filled with rain and melted snow filtered through the subsoil of Mt. Fuji. There are houses with straw-thatched roofs that remain around the ponds making an ancient Japanese landscape. Some restaurants offer soba (buckwheat noodles) and coffee using the spring water, and they are very popular.
Fuji-Q Highland is an amusement park known for its numerous thrill rides. The park boasts many attractions that have been confirmed by the Guinness World Records, and it draws many visitors from all over the world. It also has a haunted house and other attractions that would appeal to all ages. This is a theme park where you can spend a whole day having a great time.
Fuji Safari Park
Immense Fuji Safari Park is home to about 900 animals representing 70 species. The park contains two zones, the Safari Zone where visitors can tour on a vehicle and the Fureai Zone where you can interact with animals. The park also offers a Night Safari where visitors can observe the nocturnal animals.
Gotemba Premium Outlets
Gotemba Premium Outlets is one of the biggest outlet malls in Japan. It has about 220 stores covering a wide range of products, such as clothing, specialty goods and sportswear shops. You will find some great bargains at this mall. There are a variety of restaurants as well.