Mt. Fuji Information
As we know Japan is one of the world's most mountainous countries, so it's not surprising that mountain worship is an historic element of Japanese culture. And of all the mountains in Japan, Mount Fuji stands out as a unique cultural symbol. At 12,388 feet, Fuji is Japan's tallest mountain. It's easily recognized and greatly admired for its perfect volcanic-cone shape, which many liken to an inverted fan. Japan's two major religions, Shinto and Buddhism, regard Fuji as sacred, and Japanese from all walks of life attest to the power of this natural symbol so deeply inscribed in the national psyche. Unlike many other sacred mountains, belief dictates that this one should be climbed, and hundreds of thousands of people, both religious adherents and tourists, climb Fuji every year. This popularity has caused a pollution problem so severe that it has prevented Mount Fuji from receiving designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Thus, as Japanese citizens and nonprofits work to clean up their beloved mountain and obtain World Heritage status, scientists and government agencies are tackling another challenge. For the first time in 300 years, this active volcano may soon blow its top—and Japan must be prepared to handle this potential disaster. Japan's sacred history and national identity are tied to this mountain, which, as author Edwin Bernbaum explains, “symbolizes the quest for beauty and perfection that has shaped so much of Japanese culture, both secular and sacred.”
Source: Mt. Fuji Tourism Information