Architecture, Japan

Iconic Mountain

You need a bit of luck to get a good view of Japan’s foremost landmark. It has a reputation for being veiled in clouds more often than not. The Japanese even call Fuji “shy” for that.

It seems the visibility problem is partly man-made. There are a number of big paper mills alongside Fuji River, discharging large amounts of vapor. Chances to get a glimpse of Fuji are best after some strong rainfall, when the haze got washed away from the air.

Almost perfectly symmetrical

Fuji has been admired for its almost perfectly symmetrical shape throughout generations. If you take a closer look, you will, however, notice a little hump on one of its slopes. The peak is called Mt. Hoei. It came into being, when Fuji erupted for the last time about 300 years ago.

Since the iconic mountain is just 100km distant from central Tokyo, there is plenty of opportunity to spot it from the city. One of the best Fuji views is actually offered by a lesser popular lookout, the Bunkyo Civic Center. Its location, Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward, is a bit off the main tourist route. This explains why it does not match other observatories like Mori Tower, Tokyo Skytree, or Tokyo Tower in popularity. Bunkyo Civic Center’s observation deck is open Mon–Fri, 9am–8:30pm, admission is free.