Mt. Fuji, or Fuji-san (富士山) as called by locals, is a volcanic mountain in Japan that has been used in art, literature, and mythology for centuries. This instantly recognisable mountain is well loved and awe-inspiring, prompting millions to visit and thousands to climb every year.
Here are ten awesome facts about Mt. Fuji.
1. It’s in the Top 50 Tallest Mountains in the World
As well as being the highest in Japan, according to PeakList, Mt. Fuji ranks at the 35th tallest mountain in the world!
2. It Last Erupted Over 300 Years Ago
Mt. Fuji is one of the many volcanoes in Japan, and its last recorded eruption was on the 16th December 1707.
3. It Could Erupt Again Anytime
though it’s been centuries since its last eruption, geologists classify Mt. Fuji as dormant, and technically speaking, it could erupt again anytime. Needless to say, scientists are keeping a close eye on this mighty volcano just in case.
4. It Can Only be Climbed at Certain Times of the Year
Even the most experienced of hikers are greatly discouraged from attempting to climb Mt. Fuji outside of climbing season, which is from July to September. The tricky conditions mean that it’s incredibly dangerous to attempt to get to the top outside summer.
5. The Oldest Recorded Person to Reach the Summit was 103 Years Old
Japan Times told the story of Masashi Toyoda, a 93-year-old man who reached the mountain’s peak in 2017. Though this is indisputably impressive, and many elderly people climb Fuji every year, according to Sengen Taisha, the oldest ever recorded climber was a whopping 103 years of age.
6. The First Non-Japanese Person to Climb Mt. Fuji was a British Man
Sir Rutherford Alcock (1809-1897) was the first diplomatic representative to live in Japan. He was also the first recorded non-Japanese person to scale the mighty mountain.
7. Women Weren’t Allowed to Climb it Until the Late 19th Century
The name “Fuji” is said to come from the Ainu people’s Fire Goddess “Huchi” or “Fuchi,” and that since she would have gotten jealous of any woman on the mountain, females weren’t allowed to approach it until the 1860s.
8. There’s a Proverb Saying You Should Only Climb it Once
There is a famous Japanese saying: “A wise man will climb Mt Fuji once; a fool will climb Mt Fuji twice.” Of course, no one is actually discouraged from hiking the mountain more than once anymore.
9. There’s a Realm of the Living and the Realm of the Dead
Mt. Fuji is partly famous for the many myths and folklore surrounding it, filling it with a sense of mystery and magic. The stark borders between the mountain’s forest greenery and its lava-burned rock are rumoured to be the doorways between the realms of the living and the dead.
10. You Can Enjoy Amazing Views of Mt. Fuji All Over Japan
Due to its central location, there are hundreds of viewing spots of this gorgeous mountain all over the country. These include Tokyo Tower, Tokyo Skytree, parks, other mountains, various well-placed ryokans (Japanese hotels), or from one of its five surrounding lakes. While hiking or enjoying a day out, it’s always a nice bonus when you can catch a glimpse of Fuji on a clear day.
Mt. Fuji is an icon of this great country and thousands more every year challenge the mountain’s trails to try and reach the top. How many of these facts did you know?