Fujiyama the highest mountain in Japan

Mount Fuji is the highest peak in Japan with an elevation of 3,776 meters and it is a national symbol of the country. It is located on Honshu, the largest of the Japanese islands, and on a clear day the locals can see it from Tokyo and from Yokohama. The Japanese see Fuji as a sacred mountain and it has always been and is still the destination for pilgrims. Fujiyama is a subject of many Japanese paintings and poems, singing praise to the mountain's beauty and deity.

The name of Mount Fuji can come in several variations. Western texts usually call the mountain Fujiyama that means Fuji Mountain; thus, if you say Mount Fujiyama, it will mean "Mount Fuji Mountain", which will be linguistically wrong. Fujisan is sometimes preferred to Fujiyama due to the third character of the mountain's name, R can be both pronounced as "san" and "yama". The other Japanese names for Mount Fuji, which have become obsolete or poetic, include Fuji-no-Yama (the Mountain of Fuji), Fuji-no-Takane (the High Peak of Fuji), Fuyô-hô (the Lotus Peak) and Fu-gaku.

According to the old Japanese Shinto religion, you must once in your life ascend the sacred mountain, and with the Buddhism arrival, Fujiyama turned into the sacred Buddhist mounting, simply changing its status. For centuries only the holy men and male followers were permitted to climb the mountain for the associated spiritual experience. Until the nineteenth century women were not allowed to climb Fujiyama and the wise Japanese built miniature Fijiyamas for them and for those, who were not healthy and strong enough to climb the real mountain.

While the Japanese see Fujiyama sacred, the foreign visitors regard it tempting to climb and feel its adventurous spirit. According to statistics, from two hundred thousand to four hundred thousand people per year climb the mountain that makes five hundred to one thousand climbers per day. Thirty percent of them are foreigners. There are four hiking trails, leading to the summit. The official and most popular period to climb Fujiyama is from the beginning of July to the end of August. The ascent can take from three to seven hours and the descent often takes from two to five hours. Many people climb at night to admire the sunset from the Fujiyama summit, while the others climb to be on the top of Fujiyama once in their lives.

Climbing and ascending to the sacred mountain are not the only Fujiyama points of interest. Fujiyama is a spectacular volcanic cone and a frequent subject of Japanese art and literature. In ancient times, samurai used the base of the mountain as a remote training area, near the present day town of Gotemba.

The mountain opens picturesque and captivating views on the nearby landscape. It has five lakes around it: Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Yamanakako, Lake Saiko, Lake Motosuko and Lake Shojiko. They and nearby Lake Ashi provide excellent views of the mountain. Fujiyama is a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.

At the base of the mountain lies a forest, called Aokigahara, which is the ground for many stories and legends. The caverns, found in this forest, are of rock and ice, even if it is summer on the surface. Legends of monsters, ghosts and goblins haunt the forest, adding to its mystic reputation.
The mountain has three volcanoes with the last eruption in 1707. Although some data describes the mountain's volcano as dormant and the others as active with a low risk of eruption, the scientists continue recording the activity on seismometers, located near the volcano. The measurements of the activity are especially necessary during the earthquakes. If the earthquake is of great magnitude and frequency, there is the possibility of eruption.

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