Mount Fuji is with 3776 meters Japan’s highest mountain. It is not surprising that the nearly perfectly shaped volcano has been worshiped as a sacred mountain and experienced big popularity among artists and common people throughout the centuries. The volcano, which last erupted just over 300 years ago, is visible from the Japanese capital on a clear day. It is also one of the traditional “Three Holy Mountains” – along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku, both in central Japan.
Unique Things in Mount Fuji
According to tradition, the volcano was formed in 286 bce by an earthquake. The truth is somewhat more complex. The age of Fuji is disputed, but it seems to have formed during the past 2.6 million years on a base dating from up to 65 million years ago; the first eruptions and the first peaks probably occurred some 600,000 years ago. The area’s abundant groundwater and streams facilitate the operation of paper and chemical industries and farming.
Cultivation of rainbow trout and dairy farming are other activities. A sacred mountain (one sect, the Fujikō, accords it virtually a soul), Mount Fuji is surrounded by temples and shrines, there being shrines even at the edge and the bottom of the crater. Climbing the mountain has long been a religious practice, though until the Meiji Restotation (1868) women were not allowed to climb it. The ascent in early times was usually made in the white robes of a pilgrim.