Mount Fuji



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Mount Fuji (Fuji)

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 Fuji snow cone even in summer is so harmoniously complex that it seems more like a work of an infinitely patient landscape designer, and not a consequence of volcanic activity. The majestic lonely peak ascends to heaven to a height of 3776 m. In a word, it is simply beautiful. Here, more than in any temple garden or in the territory of an ancient castle, it becomes clear why the Japanese prefer the blurred lines between nature and art.

It is believed that the name of the volcano came from a word from the Ainu language, meaning "fire". The volcano of Fuji was last erupted in 1707, and now through its bark only occasionally clubs of steam break through, similar to the measured breathing of a sleeping giant. His dream seems strong - fortunately for the hundreds of thousands of people who rise to the top every year. For some, the rise is a sacred action, because the mountain is revered as the abode of the ancient Japanese gods. For others, this is an act of strengthening self-discipline and a way of physical purification. For the third, the ascent is not caused by any religious impulses, and they come here during their holidays, to later say that they have been here, although they are leaving, to their own surprise, with a feeling of a strong spiritual uplift. No tourist booklet can make Fuji a banal tourist attraction, and even the most satiated with the beauties of the world travelers will not remain indifferent to what appears before their eyes.

Mount Fujiyama

Most begin to climb Kawaguchi Lake, in the resort area north of the mountain after about a two-hour train ride from Tokyo. The official ascent season lasts from July 1 to August 27, but 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) not recommended, however people do this at any time.

From Kawaguchi, you will take a local bus to Gogome ("Fifth station") on the northern slope, from where you can start a five-hour climb to the top. You will get here directly from Tokyo by bus departing from Shinjuku bus station, the journey takes about 2.5 hours. If you come from Kyoto or Osaka, a train or bus will take you to the Fujino-miya route laid along the southern slope.

Real pilgrims begin to rise around midnight, reaching the peak by sunrise. The trail is well marked, and therefore there is no risk of getting lost. In addition, the night lift allows you to do without spending the night in one of the shelters with dormitories (the conditions, in truth, are terrible). You can stop to relax at the seventh or eighth station. Take warm clothes with you, wear comfortable shoes, a hat and gloves. You can only buy snacks from vending machines at the top, and therefore you should stock up on provisions, and most importantly - a thermos with coffee or tea.

In one respect, Fuji is like any other mountain - going down is much easier than going up. More adventurous climbers will be able to make the return trip along the descent strewn with volcanic sand to Sin-Gogome ("New Fifth Station"). You simply ride your backpack or piece of cardboard and slide down. From Sin-Gogome, a bus will take you to the town of Gotemba, where you can transfer to another transport.

Surroundings of Fuji

Do not limit your arrival to these places with only one mountain. Five lakes of Fuji, an arc covering the foot of the mountain from the north, are attractive for excellent fishing, boating and hiking. The largest is Yamanaka-ko. Kawaguchi-ko is the most popular, probably due to the presence of sightseeing boats cruising along the northern shore, from which on board in calm and clear weather you can admire the ideal mirror reflection of Fuji in the water. Sai-ko is the best trout fishing, and Shoji-ko is the smallest, most beautiful and relatively undeveloped person. Motosu-ko is the most transparent and deepest.

Between Sai-ko and Shoji-ko there is a dense and mysterious forest of Dzukai ("Sea of ​​trees"), notable for the fact that it is easier to enter into it than to leave it. Volcanic rock makes the magnetic compass completely useless. Many here are fornication, some intentionally: the creepy Dzukai is invariably popular with suicides, and local authorities annually scour the forest in search of bodies that otherwise would never have been found. Located south of Motosu-ko with sparkling foamy water, Shiraito Falls 26 meters high is a much more enjoyable picnic spot.

Name Options

The modern kanji used for the name Fuji is 富 (wealth, abundance) and 士 (noble man). However, it is likely that these characters are ateji, which means that they were chosen due to pronunciation and do not carry a semantic load.

The origin of the name Fuji remains unclear. The Taketori Monogatari story, dated from the 10th century, says that the name came from the word immortality (я fuxi fuji), as well as from the set (Jap. 富 fu) soldier (jap. 士 si ji) climbing the slope of the mountain. In early folk etymology it was argued that the word Fuji came from 不二 (not + two) meaning "unparalleled," "incomparable." Another statement was that the basis is это (not + exhaust) meaning "inexhaustibility." A Japanese scholar of the Edo period, Hirata Atsutane, suggested that the name comes from a word meaning "a mountain standing slim as a rice spikelet (ho)».

The British missionary John Batchelor (1854-1944) claimed that the name comes from the Ainu word meaning "fire (futi) fiery deity (Kamui Futi) ”, which was refuted by the Japanese linguist Kyosuke Kindaichi (1882-1971), based on considerations of phonetic development (phonetic change). He also noted that Huti means "old woman" ape - "Fire", Ape Huti Kamui - the deity of fire. Studies of the distribution of toponyms suggest that the origin of the word "Fuji" lies more in the Yamato language than in Ainu. Japanese toponymist Kanji Kagami argued that the word has the same root as the words "wisteria" (fuji), "Rainbow" (nijithere is also an alternative fuji) and comes from their community “beautiful long slope”.

Name Options

In Western sources, Mount Fuji is often called "Fuji", or even excessively "Mount Fuji". This reading is not correct in standard Japanese. Other Fuji names are outdated or only used in poetry, among them Fuji no pit (ふ じ の 山, Mount Fuji), Fuji no takane (ふ じ の 高嶺, Fuji High Peak) Fuȳ-hō (芙蓉峰, Lotus Peak), Fugaku (富 岳 or 富 嶽, where the first character is part of Fuji's own name and the second stands for mountain).

Mount Fuji on the map

  • Geographic coordinates 35.362472, 138.730228
  • The distance from the capital of Japan, Tokyo, is approximately 90 km
  • The distance to the nearest Tokyo International Airport is about 100 km

The mountain is an almost perfect cone, the top of which is covered with a snow cap. Like any volcano on the planet, Fuji has a crater with a depth of approximately 200 meters and a diameter of more than 500 meters. Around it are eight ridges, called poetically "eight petals of Fuji".

The most famous names for the volcano are Fuji and Fuji. The Japanese are so sophisticated with their hieroglyphs that scientists still can not unravel the meaning of these names.

Here are the most common theories of their occurrence.

  • Fuji - according to one version means a combination of words abundance or wealth and a noble person
  • in another version, in Japanese the word has one Fuji root with "wisteria". By the way, there is an analogy with the name of the amazing Kawati-Fuji flower garden
  • another translation option - immortality
  • fu (many soldiers) + ji (going down the mountainside)
  • the most logical and attractive translation is “without equal”. How to disagree with such an interpretation, if another such attraction is not found in all of Japan, and maybe in the world

Of course, to come to the foot of Fuji and not climb up is a big omission for a tourist. Especially for travelers, several routes leading to the peak are developed, and on each you can find small retail outlets with food, and even points for an overnight stay. True, they can’t be called hotels by definition, but “shelters” are rude. Let's just say this is a kind of hostel where you can relax and sleep, but in a common room. Climbing the mountain officially begins on July 1 and ends on August 27, but recreation centers and shops are open from April until mid-November. Many experienced travelers start climbing closer to midnight and reach the peak by sunrise.

Getting lost on the mountain is almost impossible, since the paths are well marked. The reward for the climb will be a stunning view of the rising sun and the surrounding area.