Mt. Fuji is the highest volcano in Japan and is a beautiful representative of nature, with its varied scenery changing from season to season. There are limited opportunities for us to see Mt. Fuji clearly from spring to autumn when the levels of water vapor and dust in the air increase. In the winter months, conversely, we can often see the majestic form of Mt. Fuji because of the clarity of the air. On the coldest winter days when the average temperature at the summit is 15 degrees below zero or less, Mt. Fuji shows us a solemn and sublime mountain with universal values and dignified integrity. This photo was taken from the Shindo Pass in the Misaka Mountains (Yamanashi Prefecture) located near the northern foot of Mt. Fuji. At the pass we can observe the well-balanced form of Mt. Fuji overlooking Lake Kawaguchi in the foreground. (Photo: Shigeki MURAMATSU (photographer based in Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture), taken on February 5, 2014; Explanation: Mitsuru SANO and Shigeki MURAMATSU)
This paper examines the relation between traditional pilgrimages to Mt. Fuji and related tourism in the pre-modern era. It takes into account the worship of Mt. Fuji as a sacred mountain and the activities of oshi pilgrim masters (low-ranking Shinto priests) who organized pilgrimages. Chapter II presents an overview of the worship of Mt. Fuji in its original form before modern times, and the historical development of that worship. Like other sacred mountains in Japan, Fuji was worshiped from a distance as a kannabi, a place where gods were believed to be enshrined. It was also worshiped as an area of the underworld, takai, where ancestral spirits rested. In addition, the mountain was thought itself to be a god: both a benevolent god who brings water and an angry god who brings natural disasters through volcanic eruptions. Historically, pilgrimages by ascetics to Mt. Fuji are first found in sources from the Heian era to the Kamakura era. Subsequently, Mt. Fuji gradually became one of the mountains of Shugendo, a Japanese ascetic-shamanist belief system incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts. Chapter III examines the establishment of devotional Fuji confraternities, called Fuji-ko, and the popularization of pilgrimages in modern times. The viewpoints of the various types of Fuji-ko, their religious beliefs, and aspects of their pilgrimages are discussed. In general, a Fuji-ko confraternity consisted of three officers—komoto (host of the ko), a sendatsu (guide), and sewanin (manager)—and members. They made pilgrimages in a three-to-ten-year cycle; the journey was usually a round trip of eight days and seven nights from Edo (the former name of Tokyo) to the mountain, arranged by oshi at Kamiyoshida, at the mountain's foot. Although Fuji was the main destination, others were often included. Some of these were sacred places related to Kakugyo (the founder of the pilgrimage to Mt. Fuji) and Jikigyo Miroku (the famous leader of Fujiko in the Edo era), and other sacred mountains such as Mt. Ooyama. Chapter IV examines the characteristics of Kamiyoshida, the village of oshi priests, which provided pilgrims with a range of services, including accommodation and assistance in climbing the mountain. Kamiyoshida was a particularly large settlement among those at the foot of Mt. Fuji, featuring large residences and rectangular zoning with special entrance roads. At its peak, the village had more than 100 houses aligned in a row. It was very prosperous in summer, when pilgrimages were most frequent. Chapter V examines characteristics of the pilgrimage destination and politics of location. The fact that citizens of Edo could view Mt. Fuji even though it was far away gave it a disarming allure and familiarity. Climbing the mountain was regarded as a great accomplishment, and in this way the pilgrimage became a journey of faith. The oshi priests, as the receiving party, created various legends of faith to draw pilgrims to their village rather than other starting points to Mt. Fuji or other shrines or temples. These legends contributed to the rise of Kamiyoshida and the oshi, and ultimately to their downfall.
This study surveys pictures of Mt. Fuji in the following three categories: Japanese paintings, pictorial mountain-climbing guide maps, and panoramic maps. To date, art historians have conducted many studies on pictures of Mt. Fuji. However, there have been no studies that consider pictorial mountain-climbing guide maps and panoramic maps as “pictures” of the mountain. Certainly, this study's major contribution to research on Mt. Fuji is its comprehensive understanding of “picture.” More importantly, the fact that most art historians have ignored panoramic maps drawn by Yoshida Hatsusaburo, Kaneko Jyoko, and others in the first half of the twentieth century is a mistake. They did examine Ukiyoe prints by Katsushika Hokusai, Utagawa Hiroshige, and others from the nineteenth century; nevertheless, both these Ukiyoe prints and the panoramic maps drawn by Yoshida Hatsusaburo were forms of commercial art. Geographers dealt with panoramic maps, which have been examined by other geographers and map enthusiasts. From a geographical perspective, Mt. Fuji drawn as a panoramic map is a valuable research resource. In addition, by examining Japanese paintings and pictorial mountain-climbing guide maps, Mt. Fuji is recognized to be an awe-inspiring subject, as well as the one that can be revered. Furthermore, by examining of panoramic maps, it is demonstrated that Mt. Fuji was recognized to be an object of modern tourism.
The public consciousness of local residents towards environments and landscapes around Mt. Fuji, which was registered as a Cultural site of World Heritage in 2013, is investigated. Questionnaire survey data on environmental conservation around the Mt. Fuji area and social awareness survey data for landscape planning at the sub-montane town are used for the analysis. Residents near Mt. Fuji may have lived in the area all of their lives and may be stakeholders in Mt. Fuji, providing services for tourists and climbers, and deriving benefits from them all-year around. Those residents face various environmental issues and problems resulting from their guests and the scale of development. It is important in this study to understand the residents' views in relation to Mt. Fuji, contacts with guests, and on preserving attractive environments and landscapes in the future.
This study clarifies contemporary perceptions of Mount Fuji on the basis of the sensibilities of the Japanese people, who are influenced greatly by subjective and sentimental ways of viewing landscapes. Over the course of history, the way in which the Japanese have perceived Mount Fuji has changed due to experiences in each successive era, whether these have been natural disasters that accompanied eruptions, the shifting vista of Mount Fuji as seen from moving political capitals, or the development of mountain-climbing routes; in other words, reflecting of subjective factors such as individuals' perceptions of nature and culture within the context of such experiences. This study is a quantitative analysis based on a questionnaire survey of contemporary Japanese perceptions of Mount Fuji following its registration on the UNESCO World Heritage List. From the results of the analysis, when considering the way Mount Fuji is perceived from the Japanese sense of landscape, a comparison with ways Mount Fuji was perceived in the past indicates the following: while some aspects of contemporary perception of Mount Fuji have been inherited from a past that reflects underlying Japanese views of nature and culture, there are also newer aspects that have originated from a more recent overall national experience of the movement for World Heritage registration and the social background revealed in media coverage following registration. However, no significant differences are found as to whether individual respondents' had ever climbed to the summit or lived in a region where Mount Fuji is visible. This appears to be a result of increased exposure to various of information on Mount Fuji in the mass media, which have provided supplementary information to citizens living far away or who have no personal experience of Mount Fuji. This can be said to have formed a unified national view of Mount Fuji.
The development process and usage patterns of second-home areas at the foot of Mt. Fuji are clarified by analyzing their expansion process, capital, and owner behavior. After World War I, in 1929, Fuji Kyuko Company, profiting from a business boom, started to develop a second-home area south of Lake Yamanaka [Yamanaka Kohan Bessochi]. This approach, by which a private company borrowed a section of Imperial Gift Land from Yamanashi Prefecture and established a second-home area, served as a model for developments at the northern foot of Mt. Fuji. In the early 1960s, second-home areas were developed north of Lake Yamanaka and at Fujizakura Highland south of Lake Kawaguchi. With the opening of the Chuo and Tomei Expressways in 1969, there were large capital flows into the creation of up-scale second-home areas at Juriki Highland, Fujigamine Highland, and Asagiri Highland, as well as around Lake Kawaguchi from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s. Large railway, trading, and paper manufacturing companies, as well as local developers, started to create second-home areas throughout the high-growth period. These investors, therefore, competed for land at the foot of Mt. Fuji. As a result, speculative capital flowed into development projects in second-home areas. This speculation created the potential for massive environmental destruction. Consequently, local governments concluded agreements with second-home owners' associations to clarify management responsibilities. Owners are most frequently at their second homes on weekends and during summer vacations in the hot months from mid-July to mid-September when temperatures at the foot of Mt. Fuji are below 30°C. Owners also visit frequently at weekends and holidays in the spring and autumn. The second-home areas around Mt. Fuji, therefore, are both summer and weekend resorts, because they are located within a two-hour commute from Tokyo by car. The second-home areas, moreover, receive many migrants from urban areas, including aged persons, who seek an attractive natural environment at a relatively low price.
The purpose of this study is to clarify changes in the management characteristics of Hoyo-jo and local conditions related to their decline in Yamanakako Village on the foothills of Mt. Fuji, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. A Hoyo-jo in Japanese means a lodging facility owned by companies or governmental bodies that provide resort accommodations for their employees. After World War II, many Japanese companies and their health insurance unions established Hoyo-jo in order to improve the benefits provided to employees. In Yamanakako Village, large corporations and government agencies had built about 1,000 Hoyo-jos by the early 1990s. The Hoyo-jo are divided into two types based on their management features: Kashi-ryo and Chokuei-ryo. A Kashi-ryo is rented from local residents. A Chokuei-ryo is directly managed by corporate or governmental owners. From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, some companies and their health insurance unions decided to discontinue Hoyo-jo without consulting their local managers. Since the abolition of Hoyo-jo, there have been distinctive changes in the patterns of the households in terms of their management. Most households that formerly managed Kashi-ryo continue to live in the building because they own the land and buildings. In contrast, in most cases of former Chokuei-ryo, the land and buildings are unused. Hoyo-jo played an important role in the development of tourism during the decades of the 1960s to the 1990s. Therefore Yamanakako Village will have to re-examine the role of Hoyo-jo for the sustainable development of tourism.
In 2013, Mt. Fuji was inscribed on the World Heritage List. However, the World Heritage Committee made six recommendations to be implemented before February 2016. While most are linked directly to environmental conservation plans to control the number of climbers, other points give particular attention to the lack of information for tourists to understand the endemic importance of Mt. Fuji. The cultural and social backgrounds of religious beliefs associated with Mt. Fuji (namely Shugendo and Fujikou) are summarized. These developed over a long period and underpin regional spiritual and aesthetic relationships among pilgrimage groups, regional owners of pilgrim hostels, shrine priests, and Mt. Fuji itself. Although the World Heritage Committee valued this religious background as being of outstanding universal value, an analysis of the contents of Internet tour bookings and reviews of a website demonstrates that itineraries related to Mt. Fuji largely omit the 25 components of this World Heritage. Although the number of inbound tourists increased sharply after the World Heritage listing, due to language barriers, as well as time and financial constraints, visitors have a strong tendency to choose short-term package tours, meaning they may bypass the heart of the cultural landscape of Mt. Fuji. To help deepen the understanding of tourists, it would be valuable to develop an ability-based grade system and conduct a human resources development program.
This study examines tourist behavior in the Mt. Fuji area in terms of distance traveled by tourists, and clarifies differences in types of tourist and their movements based on distance traveled. Moreover, it describes the social impact of the area's recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site on the behavior of tourists. Tourism in the Mt. Fuji area began as Fuji Tohai, which means “climbing for worship” in the Edo era, and was popularized by subsequent tourism development. At present, the Fuji area is a tourism region that provides opportunities for sightseeing, leisure, and recreational activities, such as exploring and staying in the Fuji Five Lakes region, to visitors who live in or near urban and metropolitan areas. By analyzing the results of a questionnaire survey given to domestic individual travelers who use private cars, we found that their behavior is characterized by differences related to travel distance, although most of them share the common purpose of experiencing natural landscapes during their travels. Neighborhood residents tend to visit for daily leisure activities, whereas visitors from distant places tend to make overnight trips and visit only major tourist attractions. This shows the nature of the concentric model, which means that travel distance influences the behavior of tourists, their perceptions, and frequency of trips, and vice versa. However, we simultaneously discovered a distortion in this model, which is caused by the locality of the Mt. Fuji area. Tourism in the Mt. Fuji area currently faces changes resulting from the significant social impact of the area's recognition as a World Heritage site: Tourism demand is increasing, especially among persons who live in more distant places, which means foreigners living abroad in this study, and local residents are working to develop tourist areas and touring routes, focusing on World Heritage. Tourist behavior, such as perception and movements, have gradually changed in parallel with social and environmental changes.
Mass-information media such as guidebooks, novels, movies, and TV dramas present images of tourist areas. This research aims to investigate changes in the content of one guidebook series concerning Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji offers many tourist attractions, including climbing the mountain, viewing it, and shopping in its vicinity. The content featured over the 20 years during which the guidebook series has been published is divided into four periods, which are characterised as follows: sightseeing period (1st period: 1995), leisure and activity period (2nd period: 1996 to 1999), climbing period (3rd period: 2000 to 2008), and climbing and general activities period (4th period: 2009 to 2014). During the 1st period, the word “resort” was important in the guidebooks' content, crafting an image of Mt. Fuji tourism that was led by a resort boom in Japan. The words “leisure,” “history,” and “nature” acquired significance in the 2nd period, when content concerning some activities increased in the guidebooks against the background of a connection between tourism and regional promotion. Guidebooks of the 3rd period heavily used imagery of climbing to characterise Mt. Fuji tourism, with the words “entrance” and “climbing” appearing frequently. This period coincided with a generational transition among climbers, during which there was an increase in Japan of younger climbers and female climbers. During the 4th period, climbing remained the most significant topic of the guidebooks; however, words related to recent Japanese tourism topics, such as “B-grade” “gourmet” “local” and “holy place” took important positions alongside the topic of climbing, because B-grade gourmet products within the Mt. Fuji region such as pan-fried noodles in Fujinomiya city became famous during the 2000s. As a whole, the content of the tourism guidebooks over the years illustrates changes in perceptions of Mt. Fuji from diverse and general images of leisure and pleasure to specific images of climbing.
Mount Fuji is a relatively young mountain, which erupted intermittently until 1707. The tree limit on Mount Fuji is composed of larches (Larix leptolepis). The limit ranges from 1,400 to 2,900 meters in altitude, depending on the slope. Around Oniwa on the northwestern slope of Mount Fuji, a larch scrub community is scattered in patches, forming an island, where the tree line is 2,650 meters. All of the larches are severely deformed toward the northeast due to strong winds. Factors maintaining the larch scrub are examined referring to tree size and tree age. Tree size decreases rapidly above an altitude of 2,390 meters on the northwestern slope, where the forest limit is located. On this slope, we can observe both a group of trees showing a stronger tendency toward growth in terms of height and another group growth in terms of diameter. These growth patterns change depending on the altitude; that is, the higher the altitude, the greater the diameter, and the lower the altitude, the greater the height. On the other hand, the relationships between tree size and tree age show a tendency at lower altitudes of older trees having greater heights, and at higher altitudes of older trees having greater diameter, but not heights. These facts suggest that a larch scrub community forms by controlling exposure to the severe environment. This is also in accord with the observation of older trees having greater deformation. It is considered that embolism is a plausible cause controlling tree size, especially tree height, because frost action with severe transpiration frequently occurs on this slope. As a result, a scrub formation would be fixed. This explanation of the growth mechanism of the landscape around Oniwa on the northwestern part of the Ochu-do trail running along the side of Mount Fuji will assist eco- and geo-tourism development on the Ochu-do.
This study clarifies changes in agricultural land use at the foot of Mt. Fuji and regional characteristics. Variations at different altitudes at the foot of Mt. Fuji are examined. An agricultural land-use map of the foot of Mt. Fuji was prepared from data of the Census of Agriculture and Forestry. Comparative data from 1970 to 2010 are analyzed. Using this map, trends can be identified in changes of land use across the study period. The foot of Mt. Fuji is divided into four regions: northern foot area, eastern foot area, Suruga Bay area, and western foot area. Orchards at all altitudes in the Suruga Bay area have expanded. This may be attributed to increases in the production of green tea and fruits from 1970 to 2010. On the other hand, in the eastern and western foot areas, agricultural land-use trends varied by altitude. Areas at lower altitudes were used as suburban agricultural fields. The middle altitude areas of the eastern and western foot areas were used as paddy fields due to the automation of agriculture. In the northern foot area, the number of fields used for vegetable production increased due to tourist farm development. Thus, changes in agricultural land use at the foot of Mt. Fuji from 1970 to 2010 indicate that socio-economic changes override land-use patterns based on environmental conditions. In 2010, horizontal regional characteristics of the northern, eastern, southern, and western areas at the foot of Mt. Fuji show larger variations than vertical regional characteristics.