Mike's Japan by Mike Dixon - HTML preview
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.
Mount Fuji is to the west of Tokyo and visible from the nation's capital on a clear day. It is Japan's highest mountain at 3,776 m (12,385 ft) and is snow-capped throughout the year.
Fuji is one of those rare volcanoes which looks like a volcano when seen from any angle. It is one of the world's most famous volcanos and one of the most beautiful.
To see it close up, get on a train to Fuji Yoshida. The town is an ancient pilgrimage centre for the mountain. It is a bit rundown following the collapse of the Japanese textile industry when factories relocated to cheap-labour countries. But, the old shrines and viewing spots are still there.
If you want to go up the mountain, get back on the train and continue to the next stop. There's a gigantic amusement park there and you can't miss it. Buses leave from outside the station and drive through the forested area at the base of the mountain to the start of the cinder cone. There’s a visitors centre where you can have coffee and learn how the volcano works. You can also press on further up the mountain.
Guides with ponies will take you part way. You can also join the hardy types who trudge to the very top. You will, of course, have to come fully prepared with the necessary climbing gear if you want to do that.
The three photos were taken from leafy suburbia in Fuji Yoshida, depressed downtown Fuji Yoshida and the amusement park at the bottom of the mountain. The last was shot after it had started to snow. In case you are wondering, that’s cherry blossom on the trees. The weather in Japan can be unpredictable.