Mount Fuji - a national icon 200,000 years in the making.
Mt Fuji Facts, eruptions and more here at
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Welcome to's
guide to Mt Fuji. This page explores numerous aspects of what is arguably the world's most climbed mountain; from its 200,000 year evolution, to general tourist information that will help make a trip to this natural wonder all the more rewarding.

Mt Fuji is also affectionately know as Fuji-san xmR. Note the first two Kanji are used for pronunciation purposes and although symbolic, are not literal.
In addition, the application of the san suffix used in Fuji-san is the kanji character for mountain (sometimes pronounced 'yama' or 'zan') and differs from the name suffix associated with people (ie: Kato-san).

Parting clouds reveal Mount Fuji's ominous yet beautiful summit

There have been four significant phases of volcanic activity in the formation of Mt. Fuji. The first being the Sen-komitake phase. This consists of an andesite core which was only discovered recently deep within the mountain. Following this Sen-komitake phase was followed by the "Komitake Fuji," a basalt layer believed to be formed several hundred thousand years ago. Approximately 100,000 years ago, "Old Fuji" was formed over the top of Komitake Fuji. The conical shape that we are familiar with today (New Fuji) is believed to have formed over the top of Old Fuji around 10,000 years ago.

It has been long believed that Fuji had two volcanoes hidden within its cone. However, in April 2004 Japanese scientists discovered a third volcano after extensive deep drilling into the mountain. They have named it Sen-Komitake; it is the oldest volcano of the three.

Fuji has erupted at least 16 times since 781 AD. Most of these eruptions were moderate to moderate-large in size. Fuji's largest recorded eruptions occurred in 1050 and 930 BC.

Performer Kyu Sakamoto once sang at Mt Fuji and had roadies hike a grand piano to the summit for the concert!

Despite being a symbol of purity, Mt Fuji has continually failed to acquire a World Heritage Listing due to the sad abundance of rubbish, namely beer cans and debris from the ruins of shelters.

The Atari logo is an elaborate stylization of Mt Fuji. The E.T. game by Atari however, was a not so stylish version of the E.T movie! more on that here

The first recorded climb dates back to 700 Buddhist monk En-no-Shokaku.

The first climb by a foreigner occurred in 1860 by Sir Rutherford Alcock.

The year 1868 saw the end of a 110-year government ban prohibiting women from climbing Mt Fuji after Englishwoman Lady Parkes, boldly defied the law and trekked to the summit.

Descent into the deepest part of the crater itself is only possible with special permission and specialized climbing equipment.

Until recently it was forbidden for tourist services in the Mount Fuji area to discuss the possibility of a Mount Fuji eruption.

Roll over to reveal the locations of theses remarkably similar volcanoes
Map to Mt Fuji

From JR Shinjuku station(Tokyo), transfer to Fujikyuko (express)bus, get off at Kawagutiko station. From Kawagutiko, take the bus "to Fuji Gogome".

By Car

1.From Chuo expressway Kawaguchiko interchange, take Fuji-Subaru Line to
Gogome (harfway point).

2.From Tomei expressway Gotenba interchange, take Fuji-Skyline to ShinGogome.

3.From Tomei expressway Fuji interchange, use NishiFuji road, then take Fuji-Skyline to ShinGogome.


Most people hike up Mt. Fuji between July 1 and August 27. It is at this time that the huts and other facilities are open. The first of July also marks the time in which tour buses begin taking visitors to Station five of the mountain. Buses often stop running after 3:00pm and cost around $28.00 (US). If you miss the bus as a late arrival, you can use a taxi to get to the 5th station and the cost will run you about $60.00 US. Buses coming back from the mountain don't pick up from the mountain until 11:00 am so if you don't use a taxi to get back prepare yourself for spending some time around the fifth station having breakfast.

From station five, the climb can take anywhere between 3 and 7 hours while the descent can take from 2 to 5 hours. There are new paths that you can take that have an ash slide decent. This will not decrease the time it takes to get to the summit.

Visitors take in the view from station seven
Stuff to watch out for on Mt Fuji
DONT LITTER!!! There's rusted drink cans on the mountain that date back
to at least the 1970s!!! So do the right thing.

Clothes - take warm clothes, yen, a flashlight and friends for that trek up, but have a decent hat and t-shirt handy; compared to the base, its 20C colder at the summit but take that sunscreen with you as the UV factor is significantly high at the summit.

Also take a pair of Hiking boots or sneakers you don't care about - For you thrill seekers, skidding downhill for a few relentless kilometers on a bulldozed trail of volcanic ash is going to screw up those white sneakers good and proper!

Cans of pure oxygen- (Refer to the image on the left) Breathe in the goodness! Altitude sickness commonly occurs above 2,500 meters (and you'll be 1,276m higher than that if you get to the summit) so if you suddenly feel dizzy, abnormally fatigued or have difficulty breathing, have a good rest or make a slow descent.

Drinks can also be purchased from stations, either from vending machines or small kiosks but its recommended that you carry
at least 1 litre of water.

Its recommended that you stick to the trails; the steep angle of Mt Fuji means falling rocks can build up tremendous speed which could prove disastrous.

There's numerous posts on discussion boards from people who were taken aback after getting chastised by shopkeepers for attempting to nap in front of shrines at Fuji's summit.@Personal experience has shown this occurrence to be common, so be selective when looking for that triumphant rest spot.

If your diet permits, eat food with plenty of carbohydrates before and during your climb. Carbs require less oxygen to metabolize than fatty foods, and will make life easier if you're susceptible to altitude sickness.

Buy a Fuji stick at station five if you can. Its a nice little memento which you can have branded with victorious kanji once you reached the summit. Carrying this stick about on your return from the area will also get you some major street cred from locals!

If you can, climb Mt Fuji on a weekday to avoid the cluster over the weekends. For an awesome view of the sunrise from station seven, begin climbing at around midnight.

Trekking down the freshly ploughed ash pathway

Could Mt Fuji erupt again?
Should Fuji erupt anytime soon, government officials estimate the financial cost to be $21 billion dollars in damage. A considerable worst case scenario given the metropolitan area of Tokyo and Yokohama have a population exceeding 16 million.

The quote on the left comes from Tsutomu Takekawa, the mayor of Fujiyoshida
(a town located at the base of Fuji). Its so easy to forget that Mt Fuji is an active volcano (dormant, but NOT extinct.). Furthermore, Mt Fuji is a relatively young volcano; The crater itself looks like it has the potential to erupt again at any minute. The last significant eruption was in 1707, and it is long overdue for some more activity.
Scientist recorded an unusually high amount of seismic activity in 2000, with as high as 222 earthquakes being recorded in November of that year. A significant drop to 36 earthquakes in January 2001 evaporated much of the fear people had.

Adding to concern was the discovery of steam escaping from the east-northeast slope of Fuji in 2003, however, the Bureau of Meteorological Agency quickly disregarded any connection between the steam and possible volcanic activity.

Records showed that Mount Fuji's last violent eruption was in 1707, and volcanologists put its eruption cycle at 300 to 500 years. There's been roughly a 300-year quiet period since the last eruption, which may be long enough for the volcano to have built up enough energy for the next eruption, but experts don't know if the next eruption is close or a hundred years away.

If the invention of the camera had occurred 119 years earlier, then perhaps we would have photographs similar to the image on the right showing Fuji's most recent eruption.

The eruptions from 1707-1708 occurred from the Hoei Craters on the southeast flank of the mountain. The explosive eruption ejected 850 million cubic meters of ash and effectively blocked out the sun in southern Kanto. No deaths occurred which are linked to this eruption, however, numerous residents were unable to acquire food after the devastation and died of starvation.

The 1707 eruption lasted 16 days and combined with a fissure eruption, created a mudflow resulting in overflowing rivers and leaving rice fields barren for the following 100 years. Such was the extent of the eruption that even Tokyo (60miles/96km away) was sprinkled with ash.

Of all the notable eruptions that have been recorded, the majority of blasts have been from the flanks; according to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Fuji has only had recorded summit eruptions in 1033 and April 11th 800 AD.

Deaths on Mount Fuji
The first confirmed death on Mt Fuji for 2007 occurred on Monday, January 1st when an unidentified man fell to his death after a failed attempt to climb the mountain with friends in order to witness the year's first sunrise. The tragedy was witnessed by the crew of a Yamanashi prefectural police helicopter who saw the man fall over 1000m at 9:30am. Weather reports stated that conditions were stable but with strong winds.

Weather conditions on Mt Fuji are so unstable that the climbing season is limited to two months. In the off season, Mt Fuji is prone to avalanches and wind conditions similar to those found on an 8,000m Himalayan summit. Climbers have been literally blown off the mountain to their deaths, or have succumbed to hypothermia.

"After the ninth stage we couldn't stand up anymore. The wind was just too strong. We had our crampons on and our ice axes, but we had to crouch down in the howling gale just to keep from getting blown off the mountain."
- Darren DeRidder - His story here.

Technically it isn't difficult to climb Fuji, but its a long hike up and a long hike down and unfortunately the grueling hike has claimed lives.

This unfortunate segment wouldn't be complete without a mention of Aokigahara Jukai (sea of trees). A dense forest located at the foot of Mt Fuji, which is an infamous Japan suicide spot (30 deaths a year on average). Officials have been prompted to erect signage prohibiting suicide in the forest after discovering a total of 78 suicide victims hanging from trees throughout 2003.

If you are an experienced climber and you wish to climb in the off-season, it's recommended that you contact the Fujiyoshida Police Station to register and obtain a climbing permit. Contact 0555-22-0110.

A watchable recent release titled Magma (2006) depicts abnormal volcanic activity which has a Volcanologist and ultimately the US Navy racing against time to save the world from a global inferno!

Among the dormant volcanoes in the film that causes devastation is Mt Fuji. Not only does Fuji blow its top, but the mix of snow, rock and hot ash creates a raging destructive torrent known as a Lahar which covers the majority of Honshu Island!

Recently on this page it was stated that New Zealand's Mt Taranaki was used as a substitute for the real Mt Fuji as part of the location shooting for the Tom Cruise epic The Last Samurai (2003). This has been documented on numerous web sites, however, it can be confirmed that the two Fuji scenes in the film are seamless photo composites; better known as digital matte paintings using the real Fuji.



If you'd like to see LIVE photos of Fuji-san updated on the hour,
VISIT THIS PAGE and witness a day in the life of Mount Fuji.

To view photos from alternate months/seasons, click HERE

qecently, Japan launched a sophisticated land observation Satellite affectionately named Daichi ("first great son" or "great land") which took thousands of photos of Fuji and compiled them to generate an impressive detailed 3D landscape of the mythical mountain.



Link to english tree email english tree Japanese Businesses, Products and Services Japan News | Shopping | Travel | Recreation and Comedy - your definitive guide CAUGHT ON TAPE! | Japan TO THE MAX | Extreme Reality Show Spoof English Tree Sitemap