MOUNT FUJI (富士山)
Mount Fuji (富士山) is the highest mountain in Japan. It straddles the boundary of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures just west of Tokyo, from where it can be seen on a clear day. It is located near the Pacific coast of central Honshū. There are 3 small cities surrounding it,namely Gotemba in the East, Fuji-Yoshida in the North and Fujinomiya in the South-West.
Mount Fuji is a well-known symbol of Japan and is frequently depicted in art and photographs, as well as visited by sightseers and climbers.
Mt. Fuji stands at 3,776 m or 12,388 ft high and is surrounded by five lakes namely
1) Lake Kawaguchi
2) Lake Yamanaka
3) Lake Sai
4) Lake Motosu and
5) Lake Shoji
They, and nearby Lake Ashi, provide excellent views of the mountain. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. It is also an active strato volcano or a composite volcano.
(A composite volcano is a tall, conical volcano composed of many layers of hardened lava, tephra, and volcanic ash. These volcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions.)
Fuji-san is sometimes referred to as Fuji Yama in some Western texts, because the third character of its name, 山 meaning mountain, can also be pronounced "yama". However, this name is inaccurate in Japan. The suffix -san, means 'mountain', has nothing to do with the Japanese title -san used for people. And, because -san means "mountain," the often-found or -heard term "Mount Fujisan" is a redundancy.
Other Japanese names for Mt. Fuji, which have become obsolete or poetic, include Fuji-no-Yama (ふじの山, the Mountain of Fuji), Fuji-no-Takane (ふじの高嶺, the High Peak of Fuji), Fuyō-hō (芙蓉峰, the Lotus Peak), and Fu-gaku (富岳 or 富嶽, the first character of 富士, Fuji, and 岳, mountain).
The current kanji for Mount Fuji, 富 and 士, mean wealth or abundant and a man with a certain status respectively, but it is likely these characters were selected because their pronunciations match the syllables of the name. They do not indicate the meaning of the name.
The origin of the name Fuji is unclear. An early folk etymology claims that Fuji came from 不二 (not + two), meaning without equal or nonpareil. Another claims that it came from 不尽 (not + exhaust), meaning never-ending.
It is thought that the first ascent was in 663 by an anonymous monk. The summit has been thought of sacred since ancient times and was forbidden to women until the Meiji Era (1868 - 1912).
The first ascent by a foreigner was by Sir Rutherford Alcock in 1860.
Today, it is a popular tourist destination and common destination for mountain-climbing.
Mount Fuji is an attractive volcanic cone and a frequent subject of Japanese art. The most renowned work is Ukiyo-e painter Hokusai's masterpiece 36 Views of Mount Fuji. It is also mentioned in Japanese literature throughout the ages and the subject of many poems.
Mt. Fuji also houses a warrior tradition: ancient samurai used the base of the mountain as a remote training area, near the present day town of Gotemba. The shogun Minamoto no Yoritomo held yabusame in the area in the early Kamakura period. As of 2006, the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the United States Marine Corps operate military bases near Mount Fuji.
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Posted by ricky liow