October 14, 2010

Arahata Fujizuka

This is the entrance to Arahata Fujizuka.
(And let me warn you right now that this is a pretty long post...you don't have to read all of it!)

A fujizuka (富士塚) is a smaller replica of our famous Mt. Fuji. As you can see the top of this fujizuka right above the torii, they are not very high. Usually they are man-made hills, sometimes made from rocks actually brought from Mt. Fuji. There is said to be over 500 fujizuka's in the kanto area.

The reason these fujizuka's were made has to do with Japan's religion, Shinto, in particular the Fuji Asama (富士浅間信仰) religion which centers around the worship of Mt. Fuji. One of their main practices would be to climb up Mt. Fuji and worship. But because not very many people were able to climb it in the Edo era, both health wise and money wise, and also because women were not allowed to enter Mt. Fuji, they decided to build a fujizuka where everyone could come and pray. 

If you've ever had a chance to climb Mt. Fuji, you'll know that there are 10 stations from the foot of the mountain to the very top. And although a fujizuka is not very high, the path is made exactly like the one at Mt. Fuji and a marker is placed at every station.

The marker in the photo above says "Ichi-go-me (一合目)," which means "First Station."

I know it will make for a very long post...but I've taken a photo of each marker, just in case there's someone out there who's crazy enough to want to see them all :-)

So here we go...onto the next!

The second station marker, "Ni-go-me (二合目)."

You can see from the photo of the stairs that there are only about 10 steps from the first station. Some you can already see from the previous station, which was kind of funny. If you were to climb Mt. Fuji from the first station, it would take about 15 hours, depending on your pace.

This is the third station marker, "San-go-me (三合目)."

Fourth Station Marker, "Yon-go-me (四合目)."

This one was really hiding behind the shrubbery. They are quite small and sometimes you miss them.

This is the view looking down from the fourth station. It's a pretty steep climb.

And here's the last one for today, the fifth station marker, "Go-go-me (五合目)."

Tomorrow I'll take you to the top with a little more information on this particular fujizuka!

If any of you are interesting in Mt. Fuji, you can go see gorgeous (and I mean really really gorgeous!) photos posted by my friend Toshi on his blog here! He actually climbed to the top of Mt. Fuji this summer!


Demi said...

Wow, I feel like I'm reading a book. Nice work, Kaori. I can't wait for tomorrow!
And I think he's gonna be very happy that you posted his Blog!
I'm looking forward to reading the next one;)

Louis la Vache said...

You shouldn't apologize for this being a longer-than normal post. You needed to do this to tell the story and we are happy you are doing it!

Tall Gary said...

Great job Kaori.

I find this kind of exciting.

Isn’t this one of the few Fujizuka in the Kanto region where it is still possible from the summit to actually see Mount Fuji? It looks a bit too overcast today, though. Shucks.

I was surprised that there are so many Fujizuka.

It looks like there is another (unnamed) Fujizuka in Tokorozawa here.

Thank you for all of your efforts and explanations..

Evelyn said...

Thank you for showing us this fujikata. It is very interesting. I look forward to seeing roku-go-me and onwards. Great that I don't even have to get up from my chair :).

Costea Andrea Mihai said...

beautiful reportage! good details! thank you!

Hilda said...

I found it so fascinating, I didn't feel like it was long at all! I'm not sure my knees would survive even this small, but steep!, Fujizuka, but I know I have a better chance at it than Mt. Fuji itself. ;)

And thanks to the link to your friend's blog — it's opening in another tab right now.

VP said...

Nothing boring in this long post. Thank you for taking the touble of showing us this wonderful 'path'. Hope to see soon the rest...

B SQUARED said...

Certainly a lot easier to read your post than to make the climb.

arabesque said...

hi kaori, i don;t mind the long post really and i think this is interesting esp. someone like me who only knows nothing but Mt Fuji,^0^
thanks for sharing, can;t wait for the next post.

Misfit in Paradise said...

A great post. I too am waiting for tomorrow to see the rest.

NYC In Photographs said...

Oh, that is very interesting! Great shots! I can't wait to see the rest either.

Lois said...

Such a fascinating post Kaori! Thank you for providing all of the information. Very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the effort and ability for teaching us something wonderful.

Please have a great Friday.

daily athens

Al said...

Great post, I love learning something interesting while viewing these lovely photos.

I mentioned Mt. Fuji a couple of posts ago in my blog as it's the most visited mountain in the world (and one I'd absolutely love to see and climb). The second-most-visited is Pikes Peak, just outside my city (and visible from my house).

altadenahiker said...

Count me in on the crazy enough to follow. Thank you. I worship mountains, though not formally.

gogouci said...

Very, very interesting. Thanks for providing all that info. Have a wonderful weekend.

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