Mount Fuji—its almost perfectly symmetrical shape and towering, snow-topped beauty have long been a symbol of Japan, recognised the world round. It has also recently been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its strong ties to the Japanese culture. And now, in the clear skies following this week’s typhoon, it is also being called Laputa, as Twitter users are posting their impressive photos of the cloud-capped peak.
A concerned reader recently contacted RocketNews24 with regard to what appears to be a case of animal cruelty on Mount Fuji. As animal lovers, we got right on the case and, while doing our research, found ourselves learning all about abuse issues related to horses and signs of neglect. Our research took us overseas to the U.S., where we sat down to interview a horse trainer who speaks candidly about the reasons animal cruelty is so hard to eliminate.
In this article, we address our reader’s concerns about horses being used to carry tourists from station to station on Mount Fuji. We’ll also learn about equine nutrition, exercise, and mental health.
There’s an undeniable sense of accomplishment you get from making it to the top of a mountain. Maybe it comes from putting such a long series of steps, each insignificant on its own, to rise to a height where the whole world appears differently.
But perhaps a hike doesn’t figure into your plans for the near future due to your busy schedule, flat-as-a-pancake local geography, or crippling fear of grizzly bears. If you can’t climb a mountain, though, the next best thing is to build one, also one step at a time, with this awesome series of paper craft models of Japanese mountains.
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice swim? Whether you’re a fitness buff swimming laps for exercise, a little kid splashing around in the shallow end, or simply floating about and relaxing, spending some time in the pool is always fun and refreshing, especially on a warm summer day.
It’s not just humans who feel this way, though. The elephants at Japan’s Fuji Safari Park like going for a dip too, and thanks to the clear walls on their brand-new pool, we can all see their gigantic smiles as they paddle through the water.
July in Japan means Mt Fuji is open for business. For the next two months, shops at the 5th station become bustling hives of activity, hikers line the various trails up to the summit and tour buses start jamming the roads.
But what about the dreams of our feline friends who yearn for the thrill of scaling Mt Fuji? Well now they don’t even have to leave their air-conditioned homes because compliant owners can finally bring the mountain to their cats. Kitty’s goal of dominating Japan’s highest mountain can be achieved at last!
Japan is home to 110 active volcanoes, 47 of which are monitored continually by the Japan Meteorological Association (JMA). Japan also holds seven percent of all the active volcanoes in the world.
Last year, Mount Ontake in Nagano Prefecture exploded without warning, killing over 60 people, many of them hikers. Mount Hakone in the hot springs resort town near Mount Fuji is on level-2 alert. Mount Fuji itself, a dormant volcano and World Heritage site is being looked at with a wary eye by many and authorities are advising hikers to wear helmets, dust masks and goggles when climbing. The volcano that most appears in the news, however, is Sakurajima, located off Kyushu, which is also one of the world’s most active volcanoes.
“Dutchsinse,” a self-proclaimed “News Personality” who has a cult following on Facebook and YouTube gives a near daily video update of volcanic and earthquake activity around the world. He recently highlighted Japan’s volcanoes and earthquakes and warns that pressure building in the region of Sakurajima, along with other multiple large eruptions in the Pacific region, could be a sign of something bigger to come.
Your first trip to Japan is bound to be a whirlwind visit as you try to pack so many things into a short period of time. Do go to Tokyo and see the white-gloved train pushers, the famous Shibuya scramble crossing, and many of the scenes depicted in anime and manga. Do go to Kyoto and see the shrines and temples that are simply amazing.
But as a country that has so much to offer, it can take years to really get to know and understand Japan, even when you live here. So if you want to take your understanding of Japan a step further, we’re here to suggest a few things you’ll want to experience in order to better understand Japanese culture: things that give you insight on what’s behind the Japanese way of thinking.
These experiences will help you understand who the Japanese people are, and why they act the way they do. Get ready to move from tourist to cultural expert after the jump!
In Japan, things that are receiving a lot of love and attention are sometimes described as “shining.” These days, that’s a description you could apply to Mt. Fuji.
After receiving UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2013, Japan has rekindled its love affair with the country’s highest mountain. But just because Mt. Fuji’s star is brighter than usual these days doesn’t mean everyone wants the mountain to be literally shining, as angry online commenters are speaking out against one company’s proposal to light up Mt. Fuji’s summit at night.
Riding on the heels of Setsubun, a day when Japanese people playfully admonish the demons in their houses (no anti-demon spray necessary; it turns out that most Japanese demons quickly flee the house if you throw beans at them), you probably think all the fun for February is gone. Cold, lonely, and demonless, you haven’t left your heated kotatsu table in days. But no worries! February still holds an enormous amount of fun, with plenty of unofficial holidays to warm up for. There’s Manga Day, Bra Day, Cat Day and Mount Fuji Day just ahead! Discover the story behind ‘You idiot!’ Day and the origin of Japan’s postal code symbol revealed on the annual Postal “T” Day. There’s even a day dedicated to Seaweed, Kabuki and Japanese surnames too. And just when you thought the wacky Japanese couldn’t come up with anything more bizarre, we’ll tell you about Listen to the Angels Whisper Day in Hokkaido.
We present you with 10 amazing February celebratory days in Japan that you won’t want to miss.
Ok, let’s jump into February!
Mt. Fuji is Japan’s iconic mountain. Known and admired the world over, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site not as a natural site as one would expect, but as a cultural site due to its historical importance as a muse to artists of all kinds.
The snow-capped mountain has been depicted in every artistic medium you could imagine: wood-block prints, photos, video, stories and more. And now it’s been recreated in what may be my favorite form to date: 3D, laser-cut, 360-degree, miniature picture books!
With so much to see and do in Japan, it’s easy to forget that sometimes one of the most rewarding things to do is to take a few moments and do nothing at all. Whether you’re looking at people moving about some of the most bustling cities on the planet, witnessing the burst of light and color as the sun goes down and the neon lights come on, or watching as the fog rolls over a sacred mountain, Japan never lacks for amazing ambiance to soak up.
But with so many flavors of atmosphere to enjoy, it can be hard to find the time for all of them, especially if you’re tied up with work or trying to visit as many destinations as you can on a whirlwind tour. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, though, this awesome time-lapse video of sights across Japan will show you all those cool things we talked about and more.
There are a few things people hope to find while hiking to the top of Mt. Fuji. Almost everyone looks forward to the breathtaking vistas. Others hope for the added bonus of comradery with their fellow hikers. Some may even expect to gain some insight into the Japanese spirit or national character by reaching the country’s highest peak.
But you know what no one goes to Mt. Fuji for an eyeful of? Feces. Unfortunately, visitors are becoming more and more likely to run across a pile of poo on the mountain, and that’s not only costing Mt. Fuji some of its cultural luster, it might also mean the end of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Next year the Super Famicom (SNES) will see its 25th birthday. In human years that will amount to 62 which means it’s time for the beloved console to begin taking stock of the days in front of it and make them count.
One Super Famicom in particular could feel the yellowing of its case and decided to scratch one more thing off its bucket list: climb Mt. Fuji. Acquiring the help of a human male, the Super Famicom set off to scale the iconic mountain and document the journey on Japanese textboard 2-channel.
Japan may be known as the Land of the Rising Sun for good reason. The Japanese are extremely reverential to the sun and, if you can find a spot somewhere that doesn’t have a skyscraper blocking your view, Japanese sunrises are impressive and breathtaking to behold. They also happen at like 4 a.m., when no one in their right mind is awake – and those that are are likely enormously drunk and just getting ready for bed.
So for a lot of people, you might be better off watching the sun set in Japan. It’s equally gorgeous depending on location, and even in the middle of summer, the sun starts to slip behind the horizon around 6:30 or 7 p.m., so catching that perfect sunset is easy to work into your plans and doesn’t require remaining awake at some ungodly hour.
Of course, some places are better than others for catching a great Japanese sunset. While it’s cool and all to watch the sky turn all kinds of magnificent colors and the neon lights of the city winking on one by one from whatever street you happen to be standing on in the middle of Tokyo, it’s just not the same without a perfect backdrop and that eye-searing, crimson glory of the sun itself visibly sinking behind the landscape.
Here are our top five picks for watching the sunset in Japan (in no particular order):
There are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have before setting out on a long hike. Proper footwear is a must, for example, as is a sufficient supply of water.
Especially if you’re heading into the mountains of Japan during the summer months, a hand towel is something else you’ll definitely want to have with you. The high humidity means you’ll be working up quite a sweat, and having something to wipe yourself off will go a long way towards making your day outdoors more enjoyable.
Of course, even more so than being drenched in sweat, getting lost is an easy way to ruin your day out. Thankfully there’s now a way to prevent both of those problems with a towel that doubles as a map.
Although Mt. Fuji has been around for thousands of years, and the subject of countless paintings and photographs for hundreds, Japan has taken a new interest in its most famous mountain following its 2013 designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Filled with pride, designers have spent the past year churning out Mt. Fuji merchandise, with everything from umbrellas to masking tape on offer.
But if you can’t find the time to go to the mountain, now the mountain can come to you, or your dinner table, at least, with one hotel’s special Mt. Fuji menu items.
Ever since Mt Fuji earned World Heritage status in 2013, designers and artists have been marking the occasion with a flurry of creative merchandise featuring the famous landmark. The latest product to hit shelves shows the celebrations are continuing well into 2014, this time with moulded ice mountains that sit perfectly in your favourite drink! The attention to detail is particularly impressive, with the concentrated tip of ice perfectly resembling the famous snow-covered peak of Mt Fuji.
We take a look at the unique mould that makes them and see why this is one of Japan’s latest must-have souvenirs.
Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji is a series of 36 masterpieces by Katsushika Hokusai in the medium of ukiyoe woodblock printing. Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, you certainly must have caught a glimpse of the iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa (above) once or twice somewhere, or maybe you saw a Japanese passport encased in South Wind, Clear Sky.
A new non-profit organization with the aim of conserving the newly appointed World Heritage Site is using these famous pieces of art as the theme for a new fundraising campaign. However, instead of limiting themselves to woodblock prints, Thirty-Six [ _____ ] of Mt. Fuji Project is taking out the “Views” and opening it up to any form of artistic expression such as “Thirty-Six Songs of Mt. Fuji” or “Thirty-Six Sweets of Mt. Fuji”.
In many ways, this snow-covered peak is the symbol of Japan, its image emblazoned on everything from classic woodblock prints to coffee mugs. And with Mount Fuji’s designation as a World Heritage site this year, you can bet its cultural significance will only skyrocket.
One thing the mountain is especially well-known for in Japan is the fresh water that is produced by its snow-covered peak. But who has time to climb a mountain just for some water? Not us! And apparently many other people don’t either, so here’s a list of places you can get Mount Fuji water—without all the hiking!