Back in August, group of our most daring reporters ventured out of Tokyo and into the wilderness to climb Mt. Fuji. Last week, weshared their report of the top 3 meal of Mt. Fuji , but it turns out there was another noteworthy occurrence that day.
At around 6 pm, just as the sun began to set, our heroes gathered their spirits and began the long hike down from the peak of the mountain. As they surveyed the sea of clouds that spread out before them one last time, one of our reporters noticed a dark triangle off in the distance.
The sun setting behind the mountain on one side; a triangular shadow cast over a canopy of clouds on the other side; our reporters were witnessing the fabled “Shadow Fuji!”
In Japan, it’s said there are three special ways to view Mt. Fuji: “Red Fuji,” which can be observed in the morning from late Summer to early Autumn; “Upside Down Fuji,” which refers to the reflection of Mt. Fuji in one of the lakes at the base of the mountain on a clear day; and “Shadow Fuji,” the shadow cast by the mountain as seen from the peak.
It’s said that Shadow Fuji can only be seen for a few hours during sunrise or sunset, and only when the mountain is surrounded by clouds low enough to catch its shadow.
Many people climb up the mountain in hopes of seeing Shadow Fuji, but the fickle mountain weather and limited time frame make it difficult to pinpoint when it will appear in full. Not to mention the thick clouds that provide contrast for the shadow may entail a difficult hike through the rain—just as our reporters had to endure themselves.
Our reporter writes: “As we made our way down the mountain, the shadow would slowly change form, shrinking and expanding and getting lighter and darker. The setting sun cast the shadow in a romantic hue, and there were even radiant stripes of light emanating from around the shadow!”
Despite being urged down the mountain by the onset of dusk, our reporters tell us they couldn’t help but stand there captivated by the transient beauty of this breathtaking phenomenon.
Our reporters witnessed Shadow Fuji on the way down from the Subashiri Trail at around 6pm, so if you want to try and see it for yourself, you may want to try taking the same course.
And if you can’t make it, our reporters luckily remembered to keep their finger on the shutter button throughout all that captivation. Enjoy!
▼Click on the photos to enlarge
[ Read in Japanese ]