Area Attractions

CHUREITO PAGODA

This iconic five-storied pagoda has been the subject of countless photographs throughout the years and understandably so. The image of this crimson structure floating atop a sea of cherry blossoms with Mt. Fuji as its majestic backdrop is quintessentially Japanese and has accordinly been used as a symnbolic image of Japan in everything from blogs to major advertisement campaigns both domestic and international. The unknown story of this pagoda, however, is that it is also a meaningful monument of peace.

The Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument, also known as the Chureito Pagoda, was built by the mayor of Fujiyoshida and the Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument Construction Committee on August 12th, 1958 as a memorial for the roughly 960 citizens from Fujiyoshida who died in all of the wars which occurred after 1868 (the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, World War I, and World War II). Funds for its construction were obtained by the sale of the plot to the Onshirin Regional Public Association and by private donations from citizens.

The pagoda remains a meaningful monument for the city and has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists in the Fuji Five Lakes Area to capture this iconic image of Mt. Fuji.

ACCESS:
CHUREITO PAGODA | 忠霊塔
3353-1 Arakura, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi-ken 403-0011, Japan

【〒403-0011 山梨県富士吉田市新倉3353-1】

■ Roughly a 10 minute walk from Shimoyoshida Station
■ See detailed directions online here. (Pictures provided)
■ Find a printable map here.


ALSO CLOSE BY:
YOSHIDA NO UDON (☆ Local Specialty Cusine ☆)

■ Arakuraya (map)
■ Iriyama (map)

CAFES & DINING
■ Shimoyoshida Club Cafe (located inside the station)

Shokuiku Market (seasonal: every Saturday, April-September)



KITAGUCHI HONGU FUJI SENGEN SHRINE
An ancient Shinto shrine resting beneath large pines in the Suwa Forest, (Kitaguchi Hongu) Fuji Sengen Shrine served as a focal point of Mt. Fuji worship during the Edo Period. The main shrine, two subordinate shrines, and the massive cedars standing high above the complex were inscribed alongside Mt. Fuji as component UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in June of 2013. This historic setting marks the beginning of the Yoshida Trail, where pilgrims would pray before their religious pilgrammage up to Mt. Fuji's summit.

Mt Fuji's main deity, Konohanasakuyanohime, is thought to be enshrined here alongside her husband and father. The shrine is host to many events throughout the year, serving as the area's main place of worship. Its biggest event is the Yoshida Fire Festival, but is also used for New Year's Hatsumode events, 7-5-3 Ceremonies, a large Children's Day Event, many weddings, an annual torchlight Noh performance, the opening ceremony to kick off the Mt. Fuji Climbing Season, and others.

The large wooden torii gate of Sengen Shrine is over 18 meters in height. It is one of the largest wooden gates in Japan and according to tradition is rebuilt slightly larger every six decades. Near the top of the torii is a sign board which reads "Sangoko Daiichizan," meaning the highest mountain among the three countries [China, India, and Japan].

The Goshinboku, or Sacred Trees, are a particulary fascinating element of the shrine compound. Three of the original sacred trees remain, and measure diameter. These trees are said to be over 1000 years old.
ACCESS:
KITAGUCHI HONGU FUJI SENGEN SHRINE | 北口本宮冨士浅間神社
5558 Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi-ken 403-0005, Japan

【〒403-0005 山梨県富士吉田市上吉田5558番地】

■ Roughly a 20 minute walk from Fujisan Station
■ 10 minute drive from the Chuo Expressway Kawaguchiko IC
■ Free parking available


ALSO CLOSE BY:
Oshi Pilgrims' Inns - Oshi were religious guides with whom groups of Mt. Fuji worshippers or Fuji-ko religious associations would enter into contracts to receive support and guidance. During the summer season when Mt. Fuji worshippers would come to Mt. Fuji as part of their pilgrimage, Oshi would open their homes and provide food, shelter and religious guidance as pilgrims prepared for their ascent. Thus their homes came to be referred to as Oshi Pilgrims' Inns. When Mt. Fuji worship was at the peak of its popularity, the area that lies between the Kanadorii Gate and Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine was home to over 80 Oshi Pilgrim's Inns. This area still has evidence of this legacy and there are now English information panels placed next to where such inns once stood or whose remains still stand.