Mt. Fuji is not only the highest, but it is also the most sacred mountain in Japan. In June 2013 Mt. Fuji was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site. The full name of the place is ‘Mt. Fuji World Heritage Centre, Shizuoka’ and there is another one with the same name in Yamahashi, on the other side of the mountain.
Not everyone dares to climb Mt. Fuji and climbing is possible only during two months in summer, though many people come to see Mt. Fuji all year round. Even then watching the mountain is not always possible because of the clouds as it happened on the day of our visit. Mt. Fuji World Heritage Centre gives great opportunity to learn about the mountain, to see its images and the views that can be seen along the way while climbing it.
Inside the cone-shaped central part of the building a spiral ramp steadily leads to the top. Along the way is a screen with video footage of what can be seen during an ascent - first the coniferous forest, then the stony surface of the mountain while further along comes clouds flying by quite quickly and finally a sunrise. It goes without saying ascent by footage much easier than a real climb!
All provided information is very understandable and is suited for children of all ages. The exhibition at the top displays a photo image of the Mt. Fuji's crater (it is volcano...) on the floor and all sorts of information on nearby wall screens. A special glass terrace is available for viewing Mt. Fuji even if it is hidden behind the clouds. There is a photo taken from that very spot though during my visit, alas, only the photo was visible.
On the ground floor there is a nice gift shop and a café. With glass walls they have good views, including one of Mt. Fuji when the weather is clear. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting this beautiful centre and highly recommend it!