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Most of the world's national symbols—the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Kremlin, the Great Wall—are man-made.
Japan's is a phenomenon of nature. And yet, in its almost perfect symmetry the cone of Mt. Fuji which is snowcapped even in the summer, is so strikingly formed that it may seem more like the work of an infinitely patient landscape artist rather than a volcanic accident.
The solitary majestic peak rises 3.776 m (12.385 ft) into the heavens. It is, in a word, simply beautiful. On a clear day you may see her splendidly rise, on your decent if you land at Narita. There are no other mountains around it.
Here, more than in any temple garden or ancient castle-ground you will understand why the Japanese prefer to blur the distinction between nature and art.
So it graciously remains dormant for the sake of the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come every year to climb to the summit.
For some, the climb is an act of piety: the mountain is revered as the abode of Japan's ancestral gods.
For others, the climb is an exercise in self-discipline and physical purification. Still others come out of no particular religious impulse, on holiday, making the ascent mainly to be able to say they've done it and leaving—almost in spite of themselves—with a profound sense of spiritual uplift.
No travel brochure can make Mt. Fuji a cliché, nor can the most jaded of world travelers remain immune.
Really committed travelers will start their ascent around 12am, this will get you to the peak to witness dawn.
There's no chance of getting lost as trail is well-marked trail, and the night climb means you don't have to stay in any of the refuges which are dormitory-style mountain huts along the way (the lodging are really dreadful).
You can stop at the 7th or 8th stations to rest on the way. Pack additional warm garments and wear quality climbing boots, caps, and gloves.
Don't rely on what's available from the ever-present vending machines, so it's best to bring your own particular supplies and, most importantly, a canteen of hot tea or your choice of beverage.
Fuji-san is like any other mountain in one respect: it's a lot easier coming down. More adventurous visitors will take the descent down the volcanic sand slide called the suna-bashiri to Shin-Go-gome ("New Fifth Station").
The descent of Fuji-san is like any other moutain: Easier to come down! More brave/foolhardy trekkers will bring the take the volcanic sand slide known as the suna-bashiri to Shin-Go-gome (can be translated as the "New Fifth Station").
Simply sit on your rucksack or a bit of cardboard, and launch yourself down.
From Shin-Go-gome, you can get the bus to Gotemba for transit options to where you are staying
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Hakone is a resort area, just 90 minutes by train from the city, in a national park southeast of Mount. Fuji that is extremely popular with weekend trippers from Tokyo.
This area makes also make a pleasant day trip, but to enjoy more of the countryside, you should stay overnight and continue further down the Izu Peninsula the next day if possible.
Located in the far western section of the Kanagaaw Prefecture on the eastern side of Hakone Pass sits Hakone. To this day it is counted as one of the first tourist destinations in Japan, and between the epic views of Mount Fuji in the distance across the crystal waters of the Ashi Lake, the Hakone Gongen Shinto shrine, and the various hot springs and the beauty of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park or the Hakone Botanical Garden of Wetlands, it becomes immediately obvious why this place has been so popular over the years with both domestic and foreign travelers. Between the history and the natural beauty there is no better place to spend a relaxing few days.
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Graphic showing average weather in Mount Fuji in Celcius and Centimeters (Change to Farenheit and Inches)
|Month||Temp °C||Rainfall Cm||Temp °F||Rainfall Inches|
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