Mount Fuji , a Mountain So Beloved
For many Japanese, the image of Mount Fuji, whether glanced from the shinkansen or airplane, or seen on an ukiyo-e painting, or a mural in a public sento bathhouse, tickles the heart and “just” makes them feel good. Also considered sacred, this mountain has been the object of nature worship from ancient days. We introduce you now to a variety of information on Mount Fuji.
Mt. Fuji and Shinkansen
Mt. Fuji at the public bath
First, the Facts
Mount Fuji is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707. Famous for its almost perfect conical shape, it straddles the border between Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. Its altitude, at 3,776 meters, makes it the highest mountain in Japan. In 2013, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Local Versions of Mount Fuji
Mountains throughout Japan that bear a resemblance to the iconic shape are dubbed affectionately with “Fuji” nicknames. Here are a few:
Nickname Formal name Location
Ezo-Fuji Mount Yotei Hokkaido
Oshima-Fuji Komaga-take Hokkaido
Tsugaru-Fuji Mount Iwaki Aomori Prefecture
Nikko-Fuji/Shimotsuke-Fuji Mount Nantai Tochigi Prefecture
Haruna-Fuji Mount Haruna Gunma Prefecture
Suwa-Fuji Mount Tateshina Nagano Prefecture
Sanuki-Fuji Mount Iino Kagawa Prefecture
Bungo-Fuji Mount Yufu-dake Oita Prefecture
Satsuma-Fuji Mount Kaimon-dake Kagoshima Prefecture
Ezo-Fuji (Mount Yotei, Hokkaido)
Satsuma-Fuji (Mount Kaimon-dake, Kagoshima Prefecture)
A Many Splendored Beauty
Where you are, your angle of vision, the season, and time of day are elements that vary the beauty of Mount Fuji, adding all the more to its allure.
Aka-Fuji (Red Fuji)
On summer mornings, the tint of the bare soil intensifies the glow of the rising sun to depict an “Aka-Fuji.” The most famous Aka-Fuji may be the one represented in the woodblock print, “Fine Wind, Clear Morning,” by the famous artist Katsushika Hokusai.
Aka-Fuji (Red Fuji)
Depending on your vantage point, the sun, as it rises or sets, will sparkle like a diamond perched upon Mount Fuji’s peak.
Climbing Mount Fuji is said to bring good luck, but the demands of time and stamina make it not that easy. To address that, local manmade hills, replicas called “Fuji-zuka,” were created. It is believed that offering a prayer on this mini-sized mountain is equivalent to the amount of good fortune you would receive by scaling Mount Fuji. A number of Fuji-zuka exist throughout the nation as well as in Tokyo. How about a casual hike on one of them, taking in some good fortune in the process?
Name Location (Tokyo)
Otowa-Fuji Gokoku-ji Temple (Bunkyo-ku)
Shinagawa-Fuji Shinagawa-jinja Shrine (Shinagawa-ku)
Sendagaya-Fuji Hatonomori Hachiman-jinja Shrine (Shibuya-ku)
Naruko-Fuji Naruko Tenjinja Shrine (Shinjuku-ku)
Fuji-zuka Funabori Hie Shrine (Edogawa-ku)
Fuji-zuka at Hatonomori Hachiman-jinja Shrine
Mount Fuji Motifs
In Japan, Fuji-themed items are believed to generate good luck. Not to mention, they make great souvenirs!
Kutani-ware chopstick rest, small bowl, and small plate
KUTANI SEAL chopstick rest (left) 756 yen
Chopstick rest with a Mount Fuji motif by KUTANI SEAL, a Kutani-ware maker in Ishikawa Prefecture.
KUTANI SEAL small chrysanthemum-shaped bowl (center) 1,728 yen
Small plate with a Mount Fuji motif by KUTANI SEAL, a Kutani-ware maker in Ishikawa Prefecture. Also recommended to be used as an accessory tray.
KUTANI SEAL small square plate (right) 1,728 yen
Plate with a Mount Fuji motif by KUTANI SEAL, a Kutani-ware maker in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Ideal for side dishes, condiments, or desserts.
Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten https://www.nakagawa-masashichi.jp/staffblog/storelist/?mode=brand
Pure tin sake cup
A shot cup in the shape of Mount Fuji, to toast the venerable mountain with. Tin, long used in producing sake and tea utensils, is believed to remove impurities and provide a smooth taste.
FUJIYAMA 4,968 yen
Erase your way to Mount Fuji
Create your very own Mount Fuji as you rub this eraser.
AIR-IN Mount Fuji eraser 216 yen
AIR-IN Mount Fuji eraser
Mt. Fuji Eco- friendly Bag
A two-way eco-friendly reusable bag that can be used as a tote bag or a backpack. Although it is a compactly packable item, it has plenty of space to store. To be released in early August 2019.
CJ.Knaptote Fuji-A 1,944 yen
CJ.Knaptote Fuji-A 1,944 yen
Mobile phone accessories
POPSOCKETS, an accessory that prevents dropping a smartphone from the hand, was first launched in the US and has steadily gained popularity. New designs, available only in Japan, have been released. The device is useful in propping the smartphone to watch a video instead of holding it in the hand. Collapsible when not in use.
POPSOCKETS Japan Series- SAI (Mt. Fuji & Wave) 1,296 yen
*Prices shown in this article include an 8% consumption tax. Please note that from October 1, 2019 the consumption tax in Japan will be raised to 10%.