A local proverb says " He who climbs Mount Fuji once is a wise man, he who climbs it twice is a fool "
Mount Fuji is the current highest mountain in Japan, standing at 3,776 metres ( 12, 389 ft ). Fuji is classified as an active stratovolcano, or composite volcano. Unlike normal volcanoes, composite volcanoes are characterized by their steep slopes and profile, and often explosive eruptions.
Mount Fuji was formed from 4 phases of volcanic activity. The first phase was the creation of the andesite core, now deep inside the mountain. Several thousand years ago, the second phase occurred which formed a basalt layer. The 3rd phase, caused by a volcanic eruption created "Old Fuji" 100,000 years ago. The 4th and final phase, also a volcanic eruption happened 10,000 years ago and formed the current Mount Fuji.
It is unknown where the name Fuji originated from, but there are several meanings to the name. Old texts from the 10th and 11th century claim Fuji means " Immortal " and " Never Ending ".
Scientists estimate that Mount Fuji was created around 700,000 years ago and has been built up by eruptions and layering over time from three volcanoes.
At the base of Mount Fuji, there is a forest named Aokigahara. This forest is the second most popular suicide location only after San Fransisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Since 1950, over 500 people have lost their lives here, most from suicides. Currently on average, there is 30 suicides per year in this forest.
Mount Fuji Geography
Mount Fuji is located just over 100 kilometres south-west of the capital city of Japan, Tokyo, and can be seen on most days from the city. Mount Tate, Haku, and Fuji form the " Three Holy Mountains " and are extremely popular by tourists, photographers, and climbers.
Mount Fuji is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, and is currently surrounded by Lake Motosu, Shoji, Kawaguchi, Yamanaka, and Sai. The temperature in the higher altitudes is extremely cold, with snow covering most of the peak for many months of the year. The lowest recorded temperature on Mount Fuji was -38.1 °C.
The mountain is extremely popular for climbing in July and August as those are the only 2 months it is open, paragliding included. In 2009, altogether 300,000 people climbed Mount Fuji. Photographers and tourists frequent this famous Japanese landmark year round.
Mount Fuji is considered a unique volcano in the sense that hundreds of years have past between eruptions. The last eruption occurred in 1707, over 300 years ago!
Since 781, only 16 eruptions have been recorded on Mount Fuji. A total of 12 of the 16 eruptions occurred during the years 800 - 1083. Between 1083 - 1511 there were absolutely no recorded eruptions.
Mount Fuji is currently a dormant volcano as eruptions are very rare.