Facts About The Perfect Mountain: Mount Fuji

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The Land off the Rising Sun, Japan has an ancient culture. Japan is associated with many exotic elements like the cherry blossom, dragonflies, origami, the kimono, tea ceremonies, the samurai and karate. The best known symbol of Japan is however the famous Mount Fujiyama also called Mount Fuji.

FCT 1: The name Fujiyama comes from comes from the Japanese word Ainu meaning fire combined with the Japanese word for mountain – san.

FACT 2: In Chinese ideograms the Mountain is denoted by ‘a ‘kanji’ which stands for good fortune or well being.

FCT 3: Mount Fujiyama is the highest mountain in Japan. It is 3,376 m high. It is in Honshu, near the Pacific coast.

FACT 4: Mount Fujiyama lies in the Fuji volcanic zone that includes the Mariana and Izu Islands and the Izu Peninsular. Mount Fujiyama is a volcano. Though it last erupted in 1707, it is still considered an active volcano.

FACT 5: Mount Fujiyama is a sacred symbol of Japan. There are many shrines in the area around it and a shrine on the rim of the crater and even one in the crater. Traditionally, male pilgrims, dressed in white ascended the mountain to worship at the shrines. During the Meiji Restoration of 1868 women were granted permission to climb the sacred mountain. Thousands of Japanese pilgrims begin the climb at night so as to reach the peak at dawn.

FACT 6: The Mountain is at the centre of a World Heritage Site and is a major feature of the Hakone Fuji Izu National Park. It is a popular tourist spot. About 200,000 tourists, both domestic and foreign visit the spot every year. South east of the mountain is the Hakone volcanic region. This wooded area is known for its hot springs resorts at Yumoto and Gora.

FACT 7: The Fuji Five Lakes (Fuji Goko) lie on the northern slope of Mount Fujiyama. The lakes are formed by the flowing lava that creates dam like features when cooling. Yamanaka, the largest of the lakes is the focal point of tourist activity in the area. Kawaguchi, the lowest of the lakes is known for its inverted reflection of the mountain. The other three lakes are Sai, Shoji and Mottosu.

FACT 8: The mountain is situated atop the junction of three tectonic plates; the Amurian Plate (Eurasian) the Okhotsk Plate (North American) and the Filipino Plate.

FACT 9: The base of the mountain has a circumference of 125 km with a diameter of about 50km. The crater spans 500m and is 250 m deep. The crater has a jagged edge with eight peaks. The peaks are Oshiadake, Izudake, Jojudake, Komagatake, Mushimatake, Kengamme, Hukusandake and Kukushidake.

FACT 10: The Mountain has a near picture perfect t conical shape topped with a neat cap of snow. This has made it very popular in paintings and postcards. It is formed by three volcanoes one on top of the other. The base is Komitake, formed about 65 million years ago. The Ko Fiji erupted 600,000 years ago, spreading its lava and other debris over the base mountain. About 10,000 years ago the Shin Fuji was born. The mountains perfect tapered form is a result of these layered outpourings of lava.

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