5 Facts about Mt. Fuji

By Staff Writer
February 24, 2023
Whilst Mount Fuji is known across the world as a symbol of Japan, there are many facts that are unknown to even Japanese people. Below are the 5 interesting facts about Mount Fuji.

1. Mount Fuji is partly privately-owned land

Mt. Fuji behind Lake Kawaguchi
Most Japanese would say that Mt Fuji belongs to everyone, but part of it – from 3,360m to the top – is private land. From the 8th station and upwards, it is the private territory of Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha, which owns more than 1,300 temples in the country. This is because in 1606, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the shogun of the Edo period, donated the area to the company.

However, in 1871, the Meiji government nationalized Mt Fuji. Its peak remained nationalized until Sengen Taisha took the country to court and was recognised as its rightful owner in 1974. The land was officially returned to them in 2004.

2. Mount Fuji is an active volcano

The crater at the summit of Mt. Fuji
The deep volcanic crater at Mt. Fuji's summit
Mt Fuji is on an active triple junction of tectonic activity. It has been active for over 1,000 years, but the last eruption was recorded on December 16, 1707, which lasted until January 1, 1708.

3. Mount Fuji was Japan's first ski slope

Mt Fuji became the first ski site in Japan in 1911, when Austrian soldiers, Major Theodore Edler von Lerch and Egon Edler von Kratzer skied down from the 9th stage. Today, there is still a plaque on the 5th stage of Mt Fuji commemorating this event.

4. You can get married on Mount Fuji

Okumiya Shrine at the top of Mt. Fuji
Okumiya Shrine at the summit of Mt. Fuji
Couples can get married at Okumiya Shrine located on Mt Fuji’s summit. Wedding services are offered by Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha during mountain-climbing season in July and August. Due to the lack of space, however, wedding parties are limited to 10 people.

5. Women were forbidden to climb Mount Fuji

A woman climbing a mountain against a bright blue sky
Mt. Fuji is open for climbing by everyone now
Women were strictly forbidden from climbing the mountain for centuries until 1872, only being allowed access to the mountain as far as the second stage. One of the main reasons was that women, especially beautiful ones, may make Konohana-sakuya-hime angry and cause Mt Fuji to erupt.
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