It’s the most iconic and famous mountain in Japan, and arguably in the entire world as well.
In this post, you’ll discover our list with the top 12 facts about Mount Fuji.
1. Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan
Mount Fuji is an active composite volcano and is the highest mountain in all of Japan and stands 3,776.24 meters (12,389.2 feet) tall.
It’s also the second-tallest volcano on an island in the world after Mount Kerinci on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, which is just slightly taller with a height of 3,805 meters (12,484 feet).
Mount Fuji is also the seventh-highest peak on any island in the world!
2. It’s located just outside of Tokyo
The mountain is located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south-west of Tokyo on the Pacific Coast. This is on the island of Honshū, the largest and most populous island of Japan.
Mount Fuji is located on the boundary of the Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures, and on a clear day, the mountain can easily be seen from Japan’s capital.
3. Mount Fuji erupted just 300 years ago
The volcano is an active composite volcano and last erupted in an event that is referred to as the “Hōei eruption.” This eruption started on December 16, 1707, and ended on January 1 of the following year.
Will Mount Fuji erupt again any time soon?
A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 happened in the year 2011 and is referred to as the “Tōhoku earthquake.” After this event, the pressure in Mount Fuji’s magma chamber increased tremendously and there is fear that the volcano can erupt at any time now.
Since this event, nothing has happened but the fear of eruption remains at all-time high levels because the volcano’s current pressure remains at a higher level than it was before the eruption in the early 18th century.
4. It’s capped with snow for almost half the year
The summit of the mountain has a tundra climate, which means it gets very cold in the winter and relatively cold in the summer.
This also means that there is no tree growth because it’s simply too cold in the winter with the coldest temperature being −38.0 °C (−36.4 °F), which was recorded in February 1981.
On a nice summer day, the temperature can reach up to 17.8 °C (64.0 °F), which was recorded in August 1942. This means that only half the year, the top of the mountain is covered in snow.
5. It’s one of Japan’s 3 sacred mountains
One of the most interesting facts about Mount Fuji is that its summit has been considered to be sacred since Ancient times. This is similar to the peak of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii which is also sacred in the native culture there.
Together with Mount Tate and Mount Haku, Mount Fuji forms the “Three Holy Mountains” of Japan.
The base of the mountain was once used as a training ground of ancient Samurai, and it wasn’t until the late 1860s that women were allowed on it, which was in the Meiji Era, the first half of the Empire of Japan.
6. It’s not called Mount Fuji in Japan
While the mountain is known in the Western world as “Mount Fuji,” Japanese speakers refer to it as “Fuji-San.” The San in this world simply means mountain.
Other names given to the mountain are “Fujiyama” or “Mount Fujiyama.”
7. The mountain is surrounded by 5 lakes
The first thing one would assume with an active volcano is that nobody would consider living in its vicinity. Well, some people still think that’s a good idea as 4 small towns are located on each side of the volcano.
These 4 towns are Gotemba to the east, Fujiyoshida to the north, Fujinomiya to the southwest, and Fuji to the south.
Apart from these towns, the mountain is also surrounded by 5 lakes named Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Motosu, and Lake Shōji. These lakes are part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park in which Mount Fuji is located as well.
8. There’s a haunted forest at the north west base of the mountain
On the northwest base of the mountain, there’s a forest called “Aokigahara forest.” Legend has that this forest is haunted by all sorts of unidentified creatures such as ghosts, demons, Yūrei, and Yōkai.
The reason this legend was created is that this forest was a place where people abandoned both young and old people in the 19th century.
It’s also known as “suicide forest” because after the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, United States, and Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge in Nanjing, China, it’s the third-most-popular place to commit suicide in the world.
It’s estimated that over 500 people have taken their own lives in the forest, a tragic notion that fuels the legend even more.
9. The main crater of the volcano is huge
It doesn’t appear to be this way if you look at the mountain from a distance, but the main crater of Mount Fuji is massive.
The crater has a diameter of 780 meters (2,560 feet) and a depth of about 240 meters (790 feet). The bottom of the crater has a diameter of between 100 and 130 meters (330 to 430 feet).
10. The mountain has been used abundantly in Japanese art
Mount Fuji is one of the most famous icons of Tokyo and Japan. It has been used in various forms of art such as paintings, woodblock prints, poetry, music, theater, film, manga, anime, and pottery.
The view of the Tokyo skyline with the perfectly coned Mount Fuji in the background is one of the most iconic images of Japan.
11. Mount Fuji is a very popular tourist attraction
The mountain is a very popular tourist attraction in Japan and during the summer, over 300,000 people climb it every year.
And yes, you can only climb it in the summer months. The winter months are too cold which makes it very dangerous to climb.
There are 4 well-documented routes to the top and each of those routes has several stations for tourists to take a break and obviously, buy souvenirs of this iconic mountain!
12. Mount Fuji is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
One of the most fascinating facts about Mount Fuji is that it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list on June 22, 2013.
Their motivation to include it was that it has “inspired artists and poets and been the object of pilgrimage for centuries.” 25 sites of cultural interest within the Mount Fuji locality have been included in the list as well.
Who couldn’t agree more as Mount Fuji is an amazing piece of nature!