People from all over the world, and not just the Japanese people themselves, have planned to climb Mount Fuji at least once during their lifetime. Millions more have traveled to Japan via Mount Fuji tour packages to experience the world famous mountain. Even though it is a dormant volcano, there are still risks involved in such an activity. What encourages normal, everyday people to throw caution to the wind and attempt to scale the mountain peak?
To first understand that, one must take into account the symbolism of Mount Fuji in both Japan and across the world. The mountain volcano is considered the tallest mountain in the country, with the highest point measuring over 12,000 feet in height. As with many other well known mountains across Japan, Mount Fuji has its own legends that tell of its rise and fall, and permeates the folk stories of the Japanese. This has cultivated both a love for and respect for the snowy peak in the people.
The extent of their admiration for Mount Fuji can be seen in the many other smaller Fuji-sans sprinkled all across Japan. These are all smaller hills or mountain peaks named after the original volcano. There have also been many origami books that have taught avid paper folders how to create a likeness of Mount Fuji using the art form.
The emblem of Japan even dominates the country’s landscape, with a large portion of the west of Tokyo taken up by its splendid view. Mount Fuji is known to be an extremely shy mountain, with its peak often smothered by clouds or haze. It is said that Mount Fuji’s peak can only been seen clearly and unblocked by weather for ten days out of the every calendar year. That rare occurrence perhaps adds to the mystic of the mountain.
A more negative aspect of the attraction that Mount Fuji holds for many individuals is the power and control it has over the immediate areas surrounding it. While the volcano has been dormant for centuries, geographical experts have predicted that Mount Fuji is due to stir with activity in time. Tokyo and many other cities could suffer a terrible fate if that were to happen, and it is perhaps why there are also Japanese legends which have led its people to worship gods and other deities that might be connected to Mount Fuji, praying for their safety and peace. However, Fuji-san is also an enabler of economic well-being, with numerous Mount Fuji hotels surrounding it, not to mention in Hakone and nearby resort towns.
Perhaps the final sign of how much the volcano mountain is revered in Japan is the sight of its peak shown on the country’s 1,000 yen note. It is also the most common denomination of the Japanese currency, and perhaps symbolic of the importance of Mount Fuji in the people’s psyche for it to be used in such a way. The life and death of millions of Japanese are held in the cradle of Mount Fuji’s existence, and it is therefore hard to ignore the allure and attraction the beautiful mountain peak has throughout history.