Fujisan World Heritage Center - Climbing Mt. Fuji in 5 min!

By Yuri Yuhara

After Mount Fuji was recognized in 2013 by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, the number of travelers from all over the world who visit Yamanashi to see Japan's most iconic mountain has skyrocketed.

To receive these visitors and provide them detailed information about Mount Fuji, the Fujisan World Heritage Center was opened in 2016 at Kawaguchiko. The Center is formed by the north hall, where you can find the Fujisan Visitor Center, and the south hall, a recently constructed building with an innovative design.

In the north building (free entrance), visitors can get information about Mount Fuji surrounding area and other sightseeing spots in Yamanashi Prefecture. There is also an exhibition space and visitors can watch a video about Mount Fuji's eruptions and the nature and culture around it. The cafe, whose signature dish is the curry in the shape of Mount Fuji, and the souvenir shop are also located in this building, which also has a observation deck from where you can see the mountain.

View from the observation deck

The south building houses a number of interactive exhibits and attractions, including FUGAKU 360, a replica of Mount Fuji placed in the center of the exhibition hall. Made of washi, traditional Japanese paper, the replica receives special illumination to reproduce the many colors that Mount Fuji receives during the year. At its base, the map helps visitors to locate themselves and identify from which city is the view of Mount Fuji that lies in front of them. With FUGAKU 360, visitors can see the mountain from all its sides.

On the second floor, from where you start the visit, a screen tells the story of Mount Fuji and its relationship with the religions in Japan, explaining the reasons that led to its recognition as a world heritage site.
And on the first floor, an exhibition shows several works of art inspired by Mount Fuji and interactive attractions such as the room that simulates the crater of the volcano make the visitor feel like they are in the top of the mountain.

But the highlight is the digital panel that show the trail taken by climbers to reach the top of Mount Fuji. In five minutes, it is possible to have an overview of the hike that usually takes about 6 hours!
In addition to the normal climbing version, there is also the option to see a longer version with the trail walked by pilgrims from Fuji-ko.

Fuji-ko was a popular religion during the Edo period, and even today its followers can be easily spotted due to the white clothes they traditionally use during the climb, similar to those we had the opportunity to try during our visit to the Fujisan World Heritage Center.

The Fujisan World Heritage Center is a must see destination for those who want to get to know Mount Fuji and its history, and experience for a few minutes the feeling of hiking along the trail that leads to the top of Japan's highest mountain.

Fujisan World Heritage Center
Address: 6663-1 Funatsu, Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi
Opening hours: From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closing at 6 p.m. between July and September)
Admission 420 yen (210 yen for university students and free for students until high school)

Information from the official Yamanashi Tourism Organization website https://www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/foreign/english/spot/p1_4338.html

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