Mount Fuji, located on Japan's main island is the countries tallest mountain standing at 3,776 meters (12,389 ft). Still an active volcano, Mt. Fuji has erupted several times with the last recorded eruption taking place in 1707. Along with Mt. Tate and Mt. Haku, Fujisan is one of the three holiest mountains in Japan.
Mt. Fuji is arguably the most perfect volcano cone in existence and is often portrayed in art and photography. Unlike other famous high-elevation mountains in the world, Mt. Fuji is not part of a large mountain range, as it stands alone, in all its magnificence.
Mt. Fuji's significance to Japan is embedded in centuries of rich history surrounding the arts and religious activities and in more recent times, is celebrated globally as people travel from around the world to encounter the living legend of Mt. Fuji.
An artistic history
Mt. Fuji has long been the subject of interest for Japanese artists, poets and authors. It is no doubt the many paintings and literature capturing Mt. Fuji's beauty that has led to the mountain becoming a symbol of Japan.
Probably the most famous and influential of these are Katsushika Hokusai's wood block prints; Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Hokusai's work became renowned world wide spreading Mt. Fuji's influence beyond Japan's borders. Hokusai's Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji
Mt. Fuji has long been revered by Japanese as a place of worship and for centuries, Japanese pilgrims have climbed to the summit as part of a spiritual journey. Starting off from the many Sengenjinja shrines at the base of Mt. Fuji, ancient pilgrims sought to reach the summit, so as to hike around the crater, in honor of a deity believed to be dwelling there by the Shinto.
As these pilgrimages started to grow increasingly popular, organizations began to spring up in support of the growing pilgrim population journeying up Mt. Fuji. Trails were designated, mountain huts started, shrines built and the rest is history.
Fun trivia:Mt. Fuji's summit is privately owned land. To this day, from station 8 up to the summit, the land is private property, owned by the Sengen Grand Shrine.
World Heritage status
In June of 2013, Mt. Fuji was named a UNESCO cultural world heritage site. To read up more on Mt. Fuji's world heritage status follow this link to the official UNESCO Mt. Fuji page.