By Mark Asao
My first attempt at seeing the majesty that is Mt. Fuji occurred on a day before a typhoon and there was nothing to see but clouds, clouds and more clouds. My second attempt was more successful and together with my friend we climbed to the top of Mt. Fuji and experienced the mountain in all its majesty.
When I recall the images of Mt. Fuji that I have seen over the years, I notice that the mountain is always pictured with a snow-capped peak. Perhaps this is because it looks more picturesque? Or maybe there is a hint that the mountain is somehow inaccessible to the ordinary person? After all, mountains are commonly believed to be the place for the kami. In times past, climbing Mt. Fuji was considered a pilgrimage. Pilgrims would wear white garments to show their purity of thought and heart. Not everyone was able to climb to the top in those days.
These days, when I read contemporary reports about climbing Mt. Fuji, I come across romantic and sporting reasons to climb as well as complaints over the mountain's coldness and the physical difficulties in climbing it. So why climb Mt. Fuji? Is it just to see the sunrise? I can see the sunrise everyday from my window. Perhaps people climb to overcome something difficult in their lives?
I don't know the answer. I rarely read anything about the mountain's spiritual motivation. For me, this is the most important thing, the spiritual nature of the climb. If the mountain is considered to be close to the gods, then those who reach its peak must see something extraordinary from there....
The idea of climbing Mt. Fuji always comes to me suddenly and I can't let it go. Setting myself to it, I really wonder what thoughts I will entertain while climbing and what changes - if any - will occur after.
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I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: https://gurushots.com/f10384/photos Matane!