Japan is a mountainous country which also encompasses a variety of volcanoes. Mt Fuji or Fuji-san is the most iconic of Japan’s volcanoes and is also the biggest.
Visiting this beautiful place, iconic place is a dream come true as there are times when Fuji cannont be seen. The reason for this is that the goddess of Fuji san is shy; on a clear day Fuji san can been seen from Tokyo.
The goddess of Fuji san is called Konohanasakuya-hime. Her name means ‘cherry tree blossom blooming princess’. She is also known as Sakura-hime and Sengen. Sengen is a goddess of volcanoes and her symbol is the cherry blossom.
She is the wife of the god Ninigi, however when her asked her father for her hand in marriage; Oho-yama offered him her older sister, Iwa-Naga-hime the stone goddess instead.
Ninigi refused and Oho-yama agreed. It is believed that because of Ninigi’s refusal to marry Iwa-Naga-hime, humans live short ones like the cherry blossoms that are only around a few weeks in springtime instead of enduring like stones.
After one night, Sakuya-hime became pregnant which made Ninigi suspicious. This angered Sakuya-hime who entered a hut with no doors and set fire to it. There she gave birth saying that the child will not be harmed as long as its father was Ninigi. She safely delievered three sons, Hoderi, Hosuseri and Hoori.
There are shines built on Fuji-san, some have been destroyed during eruptions but people pray to keep her happy so then she doesn’t erupt as it is believed she torn up the Yatsugatake Mountains because they were higher than Fuji san.
There is even a folk song of Mt Fuji
Fuji no Yama
Poking its head out over the clouds, Looking down on all the neighboring mountains, And listening to the thunder booming far below, Fuji is the greatest mountain in Japan.
It high up in the blue sky, Wearing a kimono of snow on its body, At its feet unfurls a hem of fog, Fuji is the greatest mountain in Japan.
Atamawo kumono ueni dashi, Shihouno yamawo mioroshite, Kaminarisamawo shitani kiku, Fujiwa Nippon-ichino yama.
Aozora takaku sobietachi, Karadani yukino kimono kite, Kasumino susowo tohku hiku, Fujiwa Nippon-ichino yama.
I visited Fuji san and Hakone with my mum on the 8th November. This was with a company called Sunshine Tours and was a fantastic day trip. We went to Shinagawa where we were picked up at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa. We had a fantastic tour guide called Hiro who gave us plenty of useful information.
It was a good day as it was sunny and we managed to see Fuji san before clouds formed. We went up to the 5th Station where we had a look around and took pictures. They even had pony rides, but didn’t have one. We had half an hour to explore before getting back on the coach to head down to go for lunch.
The resturant we went to is in a theme park called Fuji-Q Highland and was a buffet style with a hotpot. It was absolutely delicious and we could take photos and dress up.
We headed back to the coach and headed to Hakone.
Mount Hakone is an active volcano and the town has many Onsens which are Japanese hot springs. This brings many tourists to the area which helps the towns economy. There are also plenty of things to see and do such as hiking or using The Komagatake Ropeway to go up for a beautiful view of Lake Ashi as well as the shrine. Living on a volcano also helps with growing crops as it provides fertile soil which aids in the growth of good quality fruits and vegetables. This again is good for the economy as they can sell the produce around Japan.
The downside of living on a volcano especially an active one, is the possibility of an eruption and earthquakes which can disrupt tourism or there is the possibility that the area may need to be evacuated. Mid 2019 Mt Hakone showed some seismic activity which caused part of the area to be closed off for safety reasons and it is a very real threat. They have just re-opened that area from the 15th November
At Hakone we got off the coach and waited for the boat which would take us to the next spot which was The Komagatake Ropeway which takes 7 minutes each way although hiking routes are available. This is amazing as you get a fantastic view of Lake Ashi and the surrounding area.
This was a wonderful day trip which I booked through Pegasus Holidays Ltd which is run by my friend Stephanie Mutimer. We had a very good guide who gave us plenty of information and was very friendly. I definitley recommend this day trip.
In the future, I would like to visit again and spend a few days there to really explore the area however it is a good tour to give you a taste.