The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 run July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, and while they may be two years away there’s a lot to learn on your quest to becoming the ultimate fan. Each Tuesday leading up to the Games, TeamUSA.org will present a nugget you should read about – from athletes to watch to storylines to follow to Japanese culture and landmarks – as part of “Tokyo 2020 Tuesday.” Follow along on social media with the hashtag #Tokyo2020Tuesday.
Situated approximately 60 miles outside of Tokyo, Mount Fuji is Japan’s most famous peak. The dormant volcano is the nation’s tallest mountain, and its snow-capped cone is visible from the city on clear days in the winter and spring, with climbers and adventurers scaling it in the summer.
Not only is Fuji-san a national symbol for the Japanese — appearing on its ¥1000 bill and within its most famous illustrations — it is also the only mountain in the world with its own emoji.
Mount Fuji has been depicted in Japanese art and writing for centuries, especially after Tokyo became the nation’s capital as the city of Edo in 1600. The first ascent of the mountain is thought to have taken place in 663 by a monk, and samurai (Japanese warriors) once held their training at the base of the mountain during the Kamakura period.
A photo of Mount Fuji taken from Fujiyoshida, Japan.
Today, Japanese citizens and foreigners alike flock to the mountain to see and scale the famous peak. In addition to its role as a beacon for those in Tokyo proper, Mount Fuji commands the scenery around the Fuji Five Lakes: Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Motosu, Lake Sai, Lake Shōji and Lake Yamanaka. The region includes some of the best hiking and sightseeing near Tokyo proper.
If you’re interested in making the trek to the top of Mount Fuji, a journey considered to be sacred in Japanese tradition, take the Subaru Line toll road to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, where you’ll be greeted with shops and restaurants as well as sweeping views of the mountain and lakes below. Most choose to summit the mountain via the Yoshida Trail, so expect congestion in the busy summer climbing months if Yoshida is your route of choice.