Mount Fuji Adventure - To the Top and Beyond!

By Guilherme Pagliara

For thousands of years Mount Fuji has exuded a charm that has captivated the Japanese people and visitors from all over the world. Arousing emotions with natural beauty and mysteries, the mountain also has a cultural and religious significance on Japan and its people.The Shinto, or "The Way of Gods" is the country`s native religion, practiced by more than 80% of the population. Shintoists believe the gods are within the natural world or give life to it. Therefore, the Shintoists can worship the spirit of a waterfall, a mountain, a rock with singular shape, among other natural beauties. Additionally,  they consider that the gods and spirits can use the mountains to move between worlds. Thus, it easy to understand the importance and cultural significance this mount has to Japanese people. Mount Fuji, with its grandiosity and  distinctive  shape, is considered by many a path to purification. By reaching the top of the sacred mountain they get closer to the heavens.

Honestly, it is hard to figure it out if the sleeping giant has a bigger impression from the distance or close by. With its perfectly symmetrical cone shape, the image of Japan's highest mountain (3776 m) is magical. Either at its feet or kilometres away, from an apartments window in Kõfu, the presence of FujiSan - 富士山 (as it is called by Japanese)  is moving.

View from my window in Kõfu. Wherever we are the vulcano presents itself, mastering the landscape.

 View from the 7th station,approximately 2700 meter high

Photographers from all around the world struggled for decades to find out the best spots and angles to capture the mountain. In this matter there are no doubts, Fujisan is a worldwide celebrity and everyone wants a piece of it. As for me, the more original the best and the mountain do not stop offering beautiful and singular photographs in each season and each spot around Yamanashi Prefecture. 

                                   Photographs by Yukio Oyama

Unfortunately not everything is a sea of roses. Even if your heart is pure you will need to have a bit of stamina, basic climbing equipments and food provisions. It is also required to have a little bit of luck! The weather changes easily on the mountain. So it is important to plan well and to hope for the best weather possible! To be able to climb it in a sunny day with a clean sky is a privilege! Whether or not that is the case, consider yourself victorious just by getting to the top, and make sure you appreciate the beautiful views that present themselves during the way up there! More than an adventure, climbing Mount Fuji is a cultural and spiritual experience that is going to take you to the top and beyond!

Trail beginning from 5th station. We left at 5 am, but, if you can, I recommend start the ascend during the night in order to see the sun rise from the top!

Somewhere between 8th and 9th station

Not missing the opportunity of taking a cliche photo at 3.776 m high, next to the volcano crater!

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