Mount Fuji

( Updated: 2021-03-01

A view of Mount Fuji includes a full moon in Japan. [Photo/IC]

Mount Fuji is a symbol of Japan. The mountain contributes to Japan's physical, cultural and spiritual geography.

Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan, standing at 3,776 meters (12,380 feet). It is an active volcano, sitting on a "triple junction" of tectonic activity. The Amurian plate (associated with the Eurasian tectonic plate), the Okhotsk plate (associated with the North American plate) and the Filipino plate all converge in the region beneath Mount Fuji. It is only 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Tokyo, Japan's capital and largest city. In fact, the last time Mount Fuji erupted, in 1707, volcanic ash fell on Tokyo.

Mount Fuji is the single most popular tourist site in Japan, for both Japanese and foreign tourists. More than 200,000 people climb to the summit every year, mostly during the warmer summer months. "Huts" on the route up the mountain cater to climbers, providing refreshments, basic medical supplies and room to rest. Many people start climbing Mount Fuji at night to experience the sunrise from the summit. Japan, after all, is nicknamed "the Land of the Rising Sun." The sunrise from Mount Fuji has a special name, Goraiko.

Mount Fuji has been a sacred site for people who practice the Shinto religion since at least the 7th century. Shinto is the indigenous faith or spirituality of Japan. Many Shinto shrines dot the base and ascent areas of Mount Fuji. Shinto shrines honor kami, the supernatural deities of the Shinto faith. The kami of Mount Fuji is Princess Konohanasakuya, whose symbol is the cherry blossom. Konohanasakuya has an entire series of shrines, called Segen shrines. The main Segen shrines are at the base and on the summit of Mount Fuji, but there are more than 1,000 across Japan.

Mount Fuji was the first mountain to build a friendly relationship with Mount Tai in November 2017. In 2018, a delegation of Japanese parliamentarians visited Mount Tai to help to raise awareness of the great Chinese mountain in Japan and all over the world.