Mount Fuji, located in located on Honshu Island, is an active statovolcano (last eruption: 1707–08) and the highest mountain in Japan. Just 100 kms south-west of Tokyo, Mt. Fuji’s exceptionally symmetrical cone shape which is usually snow-capped is a famous symbol of Japan and is visited by many tourists and hikers every year. It is part of Japan’s three holy mountains (Sanreizan) along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku. The inspirational effect of the mountain on artists and poets and it being an object of pilgrimage for centuries made Mt. Fuji a cultural rather than a natural heritage site, as declared by UNESCO on 22 June 2013.
Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest volcano. It is known as the New Fuji Volcano since it started erupting again around 10,000 years ago burying beneath itself, the Old Fuji Volcano (active between 100,000 and 10,000 years ago) and the Komitake volcano (active 70,000 ago)
In total, 16 eruptions of New Fuji have been recorded since 781 AD. Heian era recorded 12 eruptions between 800 AD and 1083 AD, followed by an inactive period between 1083 and 1511. The last eruptions took place in 1707-1708 (Hoei eruption), around 300 years ago.
Following the TÅhoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, some sources have suggested that the magma chamber pressure could lead to an eruption in early 2015 or sooner of VEI 5 or 6 depending on how the pressure is released. That can be catastrophic and can cause worldwide climatic changes.
The most popular places for sightseeing tours of Mt. Fuji are Hakone, and the Fuji Five Lakes located just north of the mountain. Fuji can however be hidden by clouds and mist at any time and may be hidden from view. Visibility tends to be the worst in the summer and the best in the winter, when the air is dry and clear.
The climb to Fuji takes around 6-8 hours and the descent takes another 2-4. Traditionally, people do an overnight climb with the target to reach the summit by the daybreak. One must make advance preparations for the climb and should be equipped with warm clothing, hiking shoes, flashlight and rain cover.
The official climbing season for Mt. Fuji is from July to August. During this time the temperatures in Tokyo can be around 40°C heat, temperatures at the top of the mountain can be below freezing at night and climbers are advised to be dress adequately.
Climbing outside the official season is extremely dangerous without strong climbing experience and equipment. Almost all facilities are closed in the off season.
Cover Photo – the-maestros
Reference – Wikipedia
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