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Dreaming of climbing Mt. Fuji? Now is one of the best time to climb Japan’s highest mountain as spring hits Shizuoka and Yamanashi. Be an expert on Japan’s highest mountain before you set your foot. Before you read on, have a look at the first piece on Mt. Fuji Trivia first, covering Trivia 1 and 2:-)

Trivia 3 – No women allowed until 1832

Japan has long been criticised for gender discrimination. Given the country’s bad record of gender bias, it may not come as a surprise to hear that for centuries, women weren’t allowed to climb Mt. Fuji. To be more exact, they were not allowed to go up further than the Yoshida Second Station and only allowed to look at Mt. Fuji from the designated area.

The ban on women on Mt. Fuji was lifted in 1872. But there was a woman who climbed up to the summit in 1832 (i.e., 40 years before the ban was lifted). Her name was Takayama Tatsu (aged 25 at that time).

Tatsu was born in the Takayama Ukon’s family, serving as a maid to the Owari Domain. Tatsu was part of a religious group led by Kotani Sanshi. Kotani’s religion advocated gender equality and entailed worshiping Mt. Fuji. Tatsu was invited to climb the mountain with Kotani and five other men, while dressing up like a man and having chonmage, a form of Japanese men’s traditional hairstyle.

Fire festival around the northern base of Mt. Fuji in 1975 (http://bit.ly/24RgSt6).

Fire festival around the northern base of Mt. Fuji in 1975 (http://bit.ly/24RgSt6).

Trivia 4 -Mt. Fuji is responsible for many hills in Tokyo

Hill in Japanese is “Saka (zaka)” and “Dai”. Have you ever noticed that there are names of areas in Tokyo that end with saka and dai?

Such areas include: Akasaka, Kagurazaka, Dogenzaka, Kakinozaka, Nogizaka, Miyakezaka, Awajizaka, Sakurazaka, Surugadai, Jobandai, Tatanodai, Shiroganedai and Hikawadai.

There is a hill that is named after Mt. Fuji in Nippori. Why? It is Fujimizaka (Mt. Fuji viewing hill) and you can see this much talked about “Diamond Mt. Fuji”.

Tokyo is located in the middle of the Kanto Plain. Then why does Tokyo has so many hills? Tokyo is made up with its downtown, which was part of the ocean in the past, and the Musashinodai. The Musashinodai is formed with the Kanto Loam, which was created with the pile of Mt. Fuji’s ashes.

Trivia 5 – Mt. Fuji has a twin?

The mountain called Mt. Osorno in Chile is called “Chile Mt. Fuji” among many Japanese fans of Mt. Fuji. Wow, it really does look alike! If you truly want to conquer Mt. Fuji, you might have to climb the two mountains;-)

Mount Osorno in Chile (http://amba.to/1XqsgKn)

Mount Osorno in Chile (http://amba.to/1XqsgKn)

Trivia 6 – February 23rd

February 23rd is Mt. Fuji Day. Why? Well, in Japanese, number 2 can be pronounced “fu” as well as “ji”. Then number 3 is often pronounced as “san” which also means “mountain”. There you go, 2/23 “Fu Ji San”!

You don’t have to climb Mt. Fuji to enjoy Japan’s highest mountain. Have a piece of Mount Fuji at home:-)