Location: At the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures in Southern Honshu Island
Time to Visit: Between November to March for viewing; July & August for climbing
Preferred Timings: Early mornings
How to Reach: Take Keio express bus from Shinjuku in Tokyo to Kawaguchiko 5th Station; Alternatively, travel by train from Tokyo to Fujiyoshida and then take a bus to
Kawaguchiko 5th Station
Nearest Railway Station: Fujiyoshida
Nearest International Airport: Narita International Airport in Tokyo
Time required for sightseeing: 1 day
Follow in the footsteps of Yokoyama Misao, or Katsushika Hokusai. The Japanese artists have adored ‘Aka- Fuji’: Fuji at its best, when it takes on a bright red color, reflecting the ruby hue of the rising sun. They say in Japan that only a lucky few get to see red Fuji, and it is worth giving it a try: and your best option is to be there right before sunrise.
Mount Fuji Japan has amazed travelers, scholars, artists, and us for centuries because of its exceptional beauty. This perfectly shaped volcano, popularly called Fujiyama or ‘everlasting life’ in local Ainu language, in Southern Honshu Island is considered sacred and worshipped by the Japanese. This natural feature is iconic and synonymous with Japan. There are very few natural features in the world which are as easily recognizable as Mt. Fuji. Just one glimpse is enough to create a lifelong impression of this natural wonder that is Fujiyama of Japan.
‘The Holy Mountain’ as referred by the Japanese, rises to a height of 3776 meters (12,388 feet) topped by a crater of diameter 610 meters (2000 feet). This relatively young volcano of 5000 years in Yamanashi and Shizuoka ken near the Pacific coast erupted last in 1707on 24th November. Geologists regard Mount Fujiyama as an active volcano lying dormant.
The best way of viewing this perfectly shaped conical mountain with snow cap is while traveling by train from Tokyo to Osaka along Tokaido line. Winter and spring skies are usually clear and offer unobtrusive sight of Mount Fuji. After leaving Tokyo for about 45 minutes while traveling to Osaka you sight this enigmatic volcano near Shin-Fuji station. Early mornings and late evenings are the best hours for your view. If you are fortunate to see this mountain in all seasons you will be awed by its change in appearance.
You get an enchanting view of this majestic mountain if you make a trip to Fuji Five Lakes. These five lakes namely, Kawaguchi, Motosu, Sai, Shoji, and Yamanaka are located at the foothills of Fujiyama in the Yamanashi Prefecture at an approximate height of 1000 meters. Access these five lakes from Fuji Yoshida and Fuji Kawaguchiko towns. Fish in the lake waters, camp on the embankments, or trek through the woods to spend a memorable day with the massive Mt. Fuji as the backdrop. November to March will suit you best since the visibility stays clear and you stand a better chance of viewing the snowcaps of Fujiyama.
Climbing Mount Fuji
If you are an enthusiastic trekker and love climbing mountains, then Fujiyama is one of the best destinations. Summer time from July to August is the best time of the year to attempt this adventure. From mid July to end August the mountain is crowded with climbers as the summit is free of ice and there are no possibilities of avalanches, blizzards, and cold winds. Mount Fuji may not look attractive during the simmer season because of the absence of the snow caps, but it offers the ideal conditions for climbing. Not only Japanese, but climbers from all over the globe join this adventure. Even if you do not have much experience in climbing you can easily attempt to go to the summit of the highest mountain in Japan.
The crowd at Mount Fuji is most during Obon week which usually falls in August. This is a major Japanese festival when according to local traditions it is believed that departed souls descend to the earth to visit their kith and kin. Become a part of this Japanese festival at the topmost spot in the ‘land of the rising sun’.
You can begin your ascent from either Kawaguchiko 5th Station in Yamanashi Prefecture, Subhashiri 5th Station in Shizouka Prefecture, Gotemba 5th Station in Shizouka Prefecture, or Fujinomiya 5th Station in Shizouka Prefecture. The ascent from Kawaguchiko 5th Station at 2300 meters is the most easily accessible and takes about 5 to 7 hours. Kawaguchiko 5th Station is accessible by Fuji Subaru Line, a toll road, which however remains closed during the Obon week because of rush. Mountain huts along the trail provide food and rest if required.
Watch sunrise from the top of Mount Fuji between 4:30 and 5 am and thereafter walk along the crater for about an hour before you hike down. Enthrall at the sight of the rising sun from the summit of Fujiyama. Just to be an witness to this grand event you can climb Mount Fuji over and over again.
If you want to see the beautiful peak, the Internet has plenty of videos and images that celebrate its everlasting charm. We provide you with a few:
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=MdJOIJGEK4s: To see the famous sunrise at Mt. Fuji, watch this video! The scene is best seen live, but you will get close to the real thing by watching this. Enjoy!
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=FEPu2rRnd7w: Check out the view of shifting clouds on the peak of Mount Fuji. It’s poetry!
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=rWnVhGrcXLE&feature=related: Another magnificent view of the peak of Mount Fuji. Click on this link for a magnificent view of a wonderful mountain.