Mount Fuji, also called Fujiyama or Fuji no Yama, is a 3776 meter tall stratovolcano famous for its perfect cone shape and picturesque snow capped peak. Mt Fuji is considered as the highest among the three Holy Mountains including Mt Tate (Mt Tateyama) in Toyama prefecture and Mt Haku (Mt Hakusan) in Gifu and Ishayama prefecture.
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Where is Mount Fuji?
Mt Fuji spans 2 prefectures, 4 cities and 5 lakes. It is located is Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures and approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Tokyo or 126 kilometers road drive from Tokyo to Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, a famous jump-off point when climbing the mountain. It is surrounded by four cities including Gotemba to the east, Fujiyoshida to the north, Fujinomiya to the southwest, and Fuji to the south.
The five famous lakes surrounding the Volcano are Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Motosu and Lake Shōji. These lakes serves as homes to several neighborhood and provides a good foreground for scenic photos which attracts tourists. Amongst the five, Lake Kawaguchi is the easiest to access by public transporation, but the others are still possible if you are renting a car.
Best places to see Mount Fuji
There are several ways to see the full glory of Mt Fuji including via the air, while riding the shinkansen, the five lakes, in nearby areas including Shizuoka, Hakone, Gotemba or up-close for climbers. You can also see it in Tokyo in Bunkyo civic center.
Mt Fuji with Shinkansen (Shizuoka)
During our trip in Japan last March 2020, we went to Sudo station in Shizuoka to see Mt Fuji with the Shinkansen. If you are riding a Shinkansen From Osaka to Tokyo, you can also see Mount Fuji without needing to get off the train. If you are booking a reserved seat, make sure to book the left side when coming from Osaka or Kyoto and on the right side if coming from Tokyo.
How to go to Mt Fuji with Shinkansen view from Tokyo?
From Tokyo station, ride a Tokaido Shinkansen to Mishima station, transfer to the JR Tokaido Main Line (Atami-Maibara) going to Yoshiwara and lastly via the Gakunan Railway Line going to Sudo Station. The bullet is included in our JR Rail Pass while the local train is not.
One of the most photographed place to see Mount Fuji is the five-storey Chureito Pagoda located in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi. The iconic pagoda stands on top of a hill and was built as a commemoration for the war victims of the prefecture.
Today, the Pagoda and Mount Fuji has become an icon of Japan in more ways than one especially the season changes during fall and spring. The entrance is free but be prepared to climb the 398 high stairway to the view deck to enjoy the magnificence of Mount Fuji.
Can you climb Mt Fuji?
From the months of July 1 until mid September, Mt Fuji is open to climbers of all age. The youngest person to climb on his own was a 4 year old boy named Logan (garywolff.com) and the oldest was a centenarian (100 years old), Teiichi Igarashi (apnews.com).
There are 4 jump off points where climbers can access Mt Fuji including
- Yoshida Trail in Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (Yamanashi Prefecture)
- Subashiri Trail in Subashiri 5th Station (Shizuoka Prefecture)
- Gotemba Trail in Gotemba 5th Station (Shizuoka Prefecture)
- Fujinomiya Trail Fujinomiya 5th Station (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Here are some photos of my friend and his companion who were able to climb Mount Fuji back in July 2019. According to them, they stayed in the 7th station. They hiked Subashiri Trail and from the 7th station where they stayed, it took roughly two hours and it was a bit difficult due to the cold weather.
Where to stay near Mount Fuji?
Planning for a trip to Japan? You can read my other articles