[well]Mount Fuji Quick Facts:
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan with the peak reaching an elevation of 12, 388 feet (3,776 m). The mountain is located on the west of Tokyo near the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi. Mount Fuji can be seen from Tokyo on clear days.
Mount Fuji is most known for the symmetrical cone shape that is often snow covered creating a spectacular scene across Lake Kawaguchi. The mountain is actually surrounded by five lakes which include: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka, Lake Sai, Lake Motosu and Lake Shoji. The mountain is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
One of the unique characteristics is the incredibly symmetrical cone, which is snow-capped for much of the year. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan and is featured often in art, photographs, and country symbolisms.
Mount Fuji was established as a UNESECO World Heritage Site in June 2013. With the area of the mountain, there are 24 other sites of cultural interest noted by UNESCO. Locally, the mountain is referred to as Fuji-san.
Mount Fuji is located not far from the Pacific coast of Honshu. It is found just west of Tokyo, and can be seen from the city on clear days. The mountain actually straddles the prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanashi, with three small cities found nearby including: Gotemba, Fujiyoshida, and Fujinomiya.
The actual coordinates of the mountain are: 35°21′29″ N and 138°43′52″ E.
There are several scenic views of Mount Fuji. Some of the more picturesque come from lake views that add to the scenery. Each of the five lakes provide views of the mountain, Lake Ashi is one of the most scenic. These viewpoints allow any visitor no matter how old or with what physical challenges to see this magnificent wonder of nature.
Probably the most intimate encounter with the mountain involves a trek to the summit, or at least climbing on and around the mountain. The fifth station is a place where buses can make their way up the mountain. This shorts the climb and makes the summit more accessible. There are four different routes for visitors to choose on their way to the peak.
The more adventurous trekkers can choose from four routes that start at the base of the mountain. Each has stations but they occur at different elevations. The most popular route is Kawaguchiko. This route offers an abundance of huts and the second highest station each providing places for hikers and climbers to rest.
Subashiri and Gotemba routes are more common for the descent down because of the ash-covered paths making for an easier trek down.
Visitors can explore each of the eight peaks found along the crater at the summit. Ken-gamine is the highest point if you don’t want to visit all eight and want to reach the highest point.
Paragliding is another activity for the more adventuresome individuals. These take off from around the Gotemba parking lot area near the fifth station. There are other locations for departure, but this is the most common. Directional winds determine the take off spots. Paragliding provides an intimate birds-eye view of the mountain and surrounding area.
The summer months of July, August and September is when the temperatures cross 60°F (16-17°C). This makes for more comfortable temperatures for those who wish to climb or trek to the summit. The weather changes quickly and gets colder fast. Climbing to the summit is discouraged during the months of October through May because of deaths and injury caused by extreme cold.
December through March can easily see temperatures around -7°F (-21°C). Of course record temperatures can be considerably colder than that.
The months of April and possibly May can be a beautiful time to see Mount Fuji from the different lakes and city views. The trees and flowers are blossoming this time of year adding to the stunning views of the already magnificent mountain.
Flying to Tokyo is probably going to be the more economical destination because of the number of flights available to the well-renowned international city. However, the closest airport that allows international flights is Mount Fuji Shizuoka Airport. Those opting for Tokyo need to know that it is a few hours away from the mountain.