Fujisan is a 3,776-meter stratovolcano with an exquisitely beautiful cone. Its southern flank extends down to the water's edge at Suruga Bay, making it one of the highest mountains in the world, measured from sea level.
Fujisan has erupted many times in human history, and thus became an object of awe and veneration as a sacred mountain; it continues to be cherished as a "celebrated peak" symbolic of Japan itself.
From antiquity shrines were created at the foot of Fujisan to venerate it from afar, and in time the Fujisan Hongū Sengen Jinjya and the Kitaguchi Hongū Fuji Sengen Jinja were established. From the Heian period (794-1185) through medieval times the area flourished as a center for the practice of Shugen, an asceticism sect combining elements of both Shintō and Buddhism, and in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Fujiwara Kakugyō (1541-1646) and Jikigyō Miroku (1671-1733) organized religious associations called Fujikō that attracted large numbers of adherents from among the people of Edo (now Tokyo) and its surrounding farming communities, encouraging mass pilgrimages to climb the sacred mountain. This Japanese style of mountain climbing, rooted in folk-religious veneration of mountains, continues to this day, and along with the large numbers of ordinary climbers and tourists visiting Fujisan, especially during the peak summer season, it is one of the unique features of an ascent of the mountain.
Fujisan has also been depicted in numerous works of art, from the Ippen Hijirie (Illustrated Biography of the Priest Ippen) completed in 1299 to Katsushika Hokusai's Fugaku Sanjūrokkei (Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji) and the "Yui" print in Utagawa Hiroshige's Tōkaidō Gojūsantsugi (Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō Road), and has been the theme of countless Japanese poems, from the classical Man'yōshu and
Thus, in addition to being Japan's highest mountain and a gracefully beautiful example of a stratovolcano, through their long history the Japanese people have formed a special bond with this mountain through generations of religious and artistic practice, making it an extraordinarily valuable cultural landscape.
Satements of authenticity and/or integrity
The pilgrimage routes up Fujisan were conceived as the path of hardship from the world of the living to the world of the dead, with the world of the dead beginning on the slopes of the mountain above the fifth of the ten stages the ascent is traditionally divided into. Of the various routes, the entire length of the Yoshida route and portions of the Subashiri and Murayamaguchi routes are included in the area which is officially designated as a special place of scenic beauty and amply maintain the authenticity of the cultural landscape of Japan's sacred mountain. Moreover, the complexes of shrine buildings at Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha (in the city of Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture) and Kitaguchi Hongū Fuji Sengen Jinja (in the city of Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture), which are designated as important cultural properties, retain the architectural legacy of the early Edo period (1600-1868) when they were built, amply preserving the authenticity of their design, materials, technology and setting.
On the lower slopes of the Fujisan there are numerous related important cultural properties, historic sites, places of scenic beauty, and natural monuments covering the entire range of cultural values Fujisan embodies, so its integrity as a cultural landscape is unshakeable. Moreover, most areas of the mountain have been incorporated into the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park in the interest of preserving its natural scenic beauty.
Comparison with other similar properties
Fujisan is Japan's highest mountain, a graceful conical stratovolcano that represents and symbolizes Japan itself, and is an exceptional cultural landscape deeply associated with Japanese mountain worship and the country's artistic and literary tradition. Throughout the ages, it is impossible to find a comparable example of a mountain so deeply integrated into the bedrock of a nation's culture.