Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan

Modified & Updated: 03 Feb 2022

Fuji mountain and the mist over Lake Kawaguchiko

Sir Rutherford Alcock may have been the first known foreigner to ascend Mount Fuji in September 1860, but before him, many believe that people have already been ascending the mountain since 663 AD. As the highest mountain in Japan, Mount Fuji is also one of the world’s most beautiful mountains in terms of shape and symmetrical form. This mountain is an important asset, in terms of its contribution to the culture and geography of Japan. If you would like to learn more about this breathtaking beauty, let’s find out in these Mount Fuji facts below.

  1. Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain.
  2. The mountain stands at 3,776 meters or 12,388 feet.
  3. Mount Fuji is an active volcano.
  4. Mount Fuji is a stratovolcano.
  5. It is a symbol of Japan.
  1. Mount Fuji is located on the island of Honshu, Japan.
  2. It is the 8th highest volcano in Asia.
  3. Mount Fuji last erupted from 1707 to 1708.
  4. Mount Fuji has erupted several times already starting about 100,000 years ago.
  5. Fuji is located 100 km or 62 miles southwest of Tokyo.
  6. Climbing Mount Fuji remains one of the country’s most sacred traditions.
  7. From June to August, about 400,000 people climb Mount Fuji every year.
  8. Mount Fuji’s height high is enough to cause altitude sickness to its climbers.
  9. Depending on your skills, climbing Mount Fuji​ can take between 5 to 10 hours.
  10. It houses the highest shrine in Japan, the Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha.
  1. Mount Fuji is visible from Tokyo during clear days.
  2. If Mount Fuji erupts, it can possibly paralyze Tokyo in less than 3 hours.
  3. Mount Fuji, Mount Tate, and Mount Haku are Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains.”
  4. It became part of the World Heritage List in 2013 as a cultural site.
  5. Mount Fuji has inspired countless artists and poets as well as being one of the top destinations to visit.
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Mount Fuji is listed as one of the Special Places of Scenic Beauty in Japan.

The Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan selects important items and places, classifying them under several different categories for heritage preservation. Mount Fuji falls under the category “Places of Scenic Beauty and Special Places of Scenic Beauty”. It’s no wonder Fuji is included because of it’s natural beauty in itself and its surrounding scenery.

mount fuji surrounding scenery
Image from Adobe Stock

Its beautiful shape was formed after several volcanic activities.

Mount Fuji is one of the rarest composite volcanoes made of basalt (a fine-grained extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of low-viscosity lava) in the world. Eruptions from over several volcanic activity caused its elegant cone shape today. On the other hand, Komitake was a historical mountain that used to exist before Mount Fuji was formed. Thousands of years ago, Komitake erupted repeatedly, which became the base and shaped up to what we now call Mount Fuji.

The Hōei earthquake could have triggered Fuji’s eruption in 1707.

Experts believe that Mount Fuji’s eruption on December 16, 1707, which lasted until January 1, 1708, might have been triggered by the 1707 Hōei earthquake. The 1707 Hōei earthquake struck south-central Japan at 2 pm local time on October 28, 1707, or 49 days earlier before Fuji’s eruption. The Hōei earthquake was the largest earthquake in the history of Japan until the Tōhoku earthquake surpassed it in 2011.

Mount Fuji might erupt anytime soon.

According to Hiroki Kamata, a professor of volcanology at Kyoto University, “Mount Fuji is on standby for the next eruption.” He stated that it’s more than 300 years now since its last eruption and it has already surpassed the previous eruption interval averages.

Fuji’s last sign of volcanic activity was in the 60s.

Mount Fuji has erupted more than 15 times since 781 AD, or its known recorded history. In fact, the volcano is still active. Nonetheless, Mount Fuji has been dormant since its last eruption in 1707. While its volcanic activity was last recorded in the 1960s.

It started to get famous during medieval times.

During the medieval times, Mount Fuji was known as the “number one” mountain among the three countries, India, China, and Japan. Ever since then, Fuji became part of Japanese literature throughout history.

geisha painting
Image source: Public Domain Pictures

Women are not allowed in Fuji’s summit until the late 1860s.

The Mount Fuji summit was considered very sacred since ancient times. Therefore, women were restricted from the summit, until the Meiji era in the late 1860s. Moreover, the Meiji era of Japan (1868-1912) introduced numerous institutional reforms attempting both to modernize, as well as maintain the country’s sovereignty.

Mount Fuji’s climate in the summit has a tundra climate.

Mount Fuji’s climate in the summit has a tundra climate or its temperature can be very low at a high altitude. It’s very common to see Mount Fuji’s cone full of snow for several months of the year. Recorded in February 1981, Mount Fuji had its lowest temperature at -38.0°C (-36.4°F) while its highest temperature occurred in August 1942, at 17.8°C (64.0°F).

Mount Fuji is located at a triple junction trench of tectonic plates.

The triple junction trench consists of the following:

  • Amurian Plate, a minor tectonic plate in the northern and eastern hemispheres that covers Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula, Primorsky Krai, and the Sea of Japan
  • Okhotsk Plate, a minor tectonic plate covering Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, Magadan Oblast, and Sakhalin Island, including Kantō and Tōhoku regions of Japan, Hokkaido, as well as the disputed Kuril Islands, and
  • Philippine Sea Plate

A Buddhist monk climbed Mount Fuji in 663 AD.

This Buddhist monk was the first person recorded to have ascended Mount Fuji. On the other hand, the first known foreigner to climb Mount Fuji was Sir Rutherford Alcock in September 1860.

Sir Rutherford Alcock
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Its name origin remains to be unclear.

There are several versions of the origin for the name Fuji. Some claim that it was derived from fuji-yama, fujin-yama, or even fushi, which means immortality. However all sources still remain to be unclear to this day.

An airplane once crashed near Mount Fuji.

In 1966, BOAC Flight 911, a Boeing 707, had trouble in the flight shortly after departing from Tokyo International Airport. It eventually crashed near the Mount Fuji Gotemba New 5th station. Unfortunately, this tragedy took the lives of all 113 passengers and 11 crew members on board. A day after the incident, investigators attributed the crash to extreme clear-air turbulence caused by lee waves downwind of Mount Fuji.

Mount Fuji is surrounded by five gorgeous lakes.

Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Yamanakako, Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko, and Lake Motosuko surround Mount Fuji. These five lakes have become famous tourist spots thanks to their unrivaled environment—the geothermal activity in the area created luxurious hot springs to bathe in, perfect for relaxing the muscles after a long day’s climbing, which is suitable for both locals and foreigners.

Mount Fuji has four different trails to the summit.

Mount Fuji has four main trails leading to the summit, with at least five rest stations on each route. These rest stations offer food, refreshments, and resting areas. If you’re a rookie climber, it’s best to take the Yoshida trail going to the summit.

hikers, Yoshida trail
Image source: Flickr

Gotenba trail is the hardest route to the summit.

The four main trails heading to the summit of Mount Fuji are Subashiri Trail, Fujinomiya Trail, Yoshida Trail, and Gotenba trail (the most difficult and the longest of the routes). If you’re an expert climber who’s seeking more adventure, the Gotenba trail will offer you less crowd, giving you a “more intimate” climb to Mount Fuji. Only 5 to 10% of the climbers use this challenging trail.

Mount Fuji is one of the world’s most visited mountains.

Considering that the official climbing season in Mount Fuji only runs for 2 months (July and August), you will get to see how people flock in Mountain, thus creating a funny quote like “a wise person climbs Fuji once, but only a fool does it twice.” Nonetheless, Mount Fuji is one of the world’s most visited mountains along with Mt Monadnock (USA), Mt Hood (USA), Croagh Patrick (Ireland), Adam’s Peak (Sri Lanka), Table Mountain (South Africa), Hallasan (South Korea), Mt Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), and Mt Snowdon (Wales).

A 2-day trip would cost approximately ¥100,000.

For a 2-day trip to Mount Fuji, you need to pay approximately ¥100,000, or about $900, for a private trip. If you’re on a budget, you can opt for a group tour which will roughly cut the cost to half, or $450, with a group of around 6 people.

Four small cities surround Mount Fuji.

These four cities are, Gotemba (to the east), Fujinomiya (to the southwest), Fujiyoshida (to the north), and Fuji (to the south). Mount Fuji is also part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. In addition, the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park’s land area covers 1,227 km2 or 474 mi2.

Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

There are more than 30 species of mammals living in the area.

More than 30 species of mammals live on and around Mount Fuji, such as the Japanese serow (a Japanese goat-antelope) and even black bears. Moreover, squirrels and foxes can be spotted living between the foot of the mountain up to the 5th climbing station.

The closest airport to Mount Fuji is Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport.

Excited to go and visit Mount Fuji? The closest airport with scheduled international service is Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport which is around 80 kilometers or 50 miles away from the Mountain. You may also check the major international airports according to preference including Tokyo International Airport (around 130 kilometers to Mount Fuji) and Narita International Airport, 206 kilometers away from Mount Fuji.

Mt.Fuji Shizuoka Airport
Image source: Wikimedia Commons