Mount Fuji: The Soul Of Japan

Mount Fuji from Miho Peninsula in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City

Mount Fuji, the Soul of Japan was not always as it looks now dominating every view In Kanagawa, Yamanashi and mainly Shizuoka Prefectures.
Still an active volcano, it presently peaks at 3,776 meters, the highest mountain in Japan. Approximately 400,000 to 300,000 years ago, a first series of eruptions gave birth to Mount Komitake on its left (2,300 meters) and Mount Ashitaka (also called Echizen, 1,504 meters) on its right. Approximately 80,000 to 20,000 years ago a second series of eruptions formed the Old Mount Fuji until it reached a height of 2,700 meters. The present Mount Fuji (“New Fuji”) was formed after a new series of eruptions pushed the volcano up to its present altitude of 3,776 meters. The last eruption occurred in the 18th Century, an event recorded on ancient woodblock prints. Volcanologists agree that an eruption, which could well happen in the near future, would have disastrous consequences with lava flows reaching far to the east and a thick blanket of ash covering the whole of Tokyo!

Mount Fuji by Hokusai

One of the original Thirty-six (36) Views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai Katsushika is probably the most famous of innumerable woodblock prints on Mount Fuji. Needless to say that a picture collection would fill too many books!

Mount Fuji, with its magnificent, almost a perfect cone, has been both the object of various styles of worship and adoration, as well as the subject of masterful works of art
The Prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanashi are presently pushing for the recognition of Mount Fuji as the fourth Japanese World Cultural Heritage Site.

Mount Fuji has long been revered as a sacred mountain: in the early Heian Period (9th Century), a Sengen Shrine (another one stands in Shizuoka City), a Shinto Shrine associated to the goddess Kanohana-Sakuya-Hime (the name of a great shochu brewed by Fujinishiki Brewery-Distillery in Shibakawa-Cho at the foot of Mount Fuji!), was built at Mount Fuji’s northern base in order to quell any eruptions. In the late Heian Period (11th Century), Mount Fuji became a center for the ascetic practices of the Shungen-do religion. By the Muromachi Period both the Murayama Mountain Trail (later replaced by the Omiya Trail) and the Yoshida Trail were opened, making Mount Fuji widely known as a sacred mountain for the devout to climb.
In the modern age, The Murayama (Omiya) Trail and other trails starting from the volcano’s southern base were frequented by even more pious climbers who were guided by the Shugen-do Practitioners.
On the other hand, the Yoshida Trail and other trails starting from the northern bas became even more popular with followers of Fuji-ko, a sect of of Mt. Fuji worship started by Kakugyo Hasegawa at the end of the Muromachi Period and dominant around the Edo capital during the mid-Edo Period.
Today, Mt. Fuji is loved by young and old alike, with enormous crowds climbing the mountain every year.

Kakita River

Being the tallest mountain in Japan, mount Fuji is home to a widely diverse distribution of plant life that changes as one goes higher in altitude, from its Warm Temperature Zone toits Alpine Zone. And despite the harsh natural conditions, many animals inhabit Mount Fuji.

The abundant, high-quality subsurface water has been used in the daily lives and agriculture of the people who live at its base from old. In recent years the water has also played a large role in the development of paper, chemical, electronic and other industries.
Water from Mt. Fuji is also drunk as mineral water and contributes to thecreation to some of best Japanese sake, shochu and beer in Japan!

Mount Fuji from Nihondaira, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City

In 1998, the two Prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanashi drafted the Mount Fuji Charter so that Mt. Fuji, symbol of Japan to the World and property of her citizens, could be protected for future generations.

Mt. Fuji Charter
1. To study, familiarize ourselves with, and respect the natural environment of Mt. Fuji.
2. To preserve the beauty of Mt. Fuji and develop its rich culture.
3. To ease the burden under which Mt. Fuji’s environment is now placed, and to establish a balance whereby the environment and mankind can live in harmony.
4. To pursue activities on an individual basis with the aim of preserving the environment.
5. To preserve Mt. Fuji’s environment, landscape, history, and culture for future generations.

Keeping this in mind, you are warmly invited to bring your camera and enjoy the sights of the most beautiful mountain in Japan!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

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