Most of the national symbols in the world are man-made: the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Kremlin, the Great Wall of China ... In Japan, this is a natural phenomenon, although thanks to its almost complete symmetry, the snow-covered cone of Fujiyama is so harmoniously complex even in summer that it seems to be the work of an infinitely patient landscape designer, and not a consequence of volcanic activity. The majestic lonely peak rises to the skies at a height of 3776 m. In a word, it is simply beautiful. Here, more than in any temple garden or on the territory of an ancient castle, it becomes clear why the Japanese prefer blurred lines between nature and art.
For others, it is an act of strengthening self-discipline and a way of physical cleansing. For the third, the ascent is not caused by any religious impulses, and they come here during their vacation to say later that they have been here, although they leave, to their surprise, with a feeling of strong spiritual uplift. No travel brochure can make Fujiyama a commonplace tourist attraction,and even the most jaded of the beauties of the world, travelers will not remain indifferent to what will appear before their eyes.
It is believed that the name of the volcano comes from the word from the Ainu language, meaning "fire". The Fujiyama volcano last erupted in 1707, and now only from time to time the clouds of steam break through its crust, similar to the measured breathing of a sleeping giant. His sleep seems to be strong - fortunately for hundreds of thousands of people who climb to the top every year. For some, the ascent is a sacred rite, because the mountain is revered as the abode of the ancient Japanese gods.
From Kawaguchi you take a local bus to Go-gome ("Fifth Station") on the northern slope, from where you can start the five-hour climb to the summit. You will also get here directly from Tokyo by bus departing from Shinjuku Bus Station; travel time approx. 2.5 hours. If arriving from Kyoto or Osaka, a train or bus will take you to the Fujino-miya route on the southern slope.
Most begin their climb at Lake Kawaguchi, in the resort area north of the mountain after about a two-hour train ride from Tokyo. The official climbing season lasts from July 1 to August 27, however, the mountain shelters of all ten stations on different ascent routes are open from April to mid-November. Climbing the mountain “out of season” (especially in wet weather) is not recommended, but people do it at any time.
Real pilgrims begin their climb around midnight, reaching the summit by sunrise. The trail is well marked, so there is no risk of getting lost. Plus, getting up at night allows you to avoid spending the night in one of the dormitory shelters (conditions are, in fact, terrible) . You can stop for a rest at the seventh or eighth station. Bring warm clothing, comfortable shoes, a hat, and gloves. You can only buy snacks from the vending machines at the top, and therefore it is worth stocking up on provisions, and most importantly - a thermos with coffee or tea.
In one respect Fujiyama is like any other mountain - going down is much easier than going up. More adventurous climbers will be able to make their way back along the volcanic sandy descent to Shin-Go-gome ("New Fifth Station") . You just sit astride your backpack or piece of cardboard and slide down. From Shin-Go-gome, a bus will take you to the town of Gotemba, where you can change to another transport.
Do not limit your visit to these places only by the mountain. The five lakes of Fujiyama, arched around the base of the mountain from the north, are attractive for excellent fishing, boating and hiking. The largest is Yamanaka-ko. Kawaguchi-ko is probably the most popular due to the presence of sightseeing boats plying along the northern coast, from which, in calm and clear weather, you can admire the perfect mirror image of Fujiyama in the water. Sai-ko has the best trout fishing, and Shoji-ko is the smallest, most beautiful and relatively undeveloped by man. Motosu-ko is the most transparent and deepest.
Between Sai-ko and Shoji-ko lies the dense and mysterious Jukai ("Sea of Trees") forest , notable for the fact that it is easier to enter than to leave. The volcanic rock makes the magnetic compass completely useless. Many here fornicate, some on purpose: the eerie Jukai is a popular suicide target, and local authorities scour the forest every year for bodies that would otherwise never be found. South of Motosu-ko, the sparkling, foaming water of Shiraito Falls, 26 meters high, is a much nicer picnic spot.