Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mount Fuji at 2305 m

Fuji-san is the highest mountain in Japan, 3776 m. It is an active volcano and its last recorded eruption was in 1707. It was first mentioned in the ancient collection of poems Manyoushu - "Collection of 10,000 Leaves" and it is an iconic motif in art. Hokusai and Hiroshige depicted it. 

Some photos taken at The 5th Station, located at the altitude of 2305 m:

二三O五 on the left column = 2305
富士山 on the right column = Fuji-san (wealth + samurai/gentlemen + mountain)
Apart from this etymology, an old tale mentions that its name comes from 不死 fushi, "immortal." Also, the Ainu word for "fire" is fuchi. And the God of Fire is said indeed to live on the top of this mountain.

The place was wrapped in mist.

The date and the temperature are noted down daily on this board.

Do you remember that Yuichiro Miura ascended Everest at the age of 75, in 1988?

The black bear living on Mount Fuji:

The restaurants there display food in the shape of Fuji-san. As you probably know, these are plastic food samples.

This is a torii, which I have written about in a previous post. It is a different one, with the upper crossbar straight - pure Shinto compared with the ones with warps at the ends, of Buddhist architecture influence.

Flora and fauna of Mount Fuji:

And a plunge into the mist:

The Japanese birch:

Leaning trees everywhere:

The mountain is covered by volcanic ashes.

Climbing season to reach the top is between 10 June and 5 September.

Images like this, by Hiroshige, had fed a dream - to see it one day. And one day a special friend asked me: "What would you like to see today? Do you want to see Mount Fuji?" Everybody will say a big YES. It was an unexpected surprise. Something shadowed my joy though. "Well, I am unsure whether you can actually see it. You can climb on it though." And this is the paradox, being on Mount Fuji without actually seeing its well-known silhouette from far. It was foggy. Still, I am lucky I have seen it from so near.

Do you know kirigami? It is a variation of origami. It means "cutting paper" and today I cut Fuji-san out of a piece of paper.

I hope you enjoyed the visit on Mount Fuji, and you will have even a better experience there.

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