Kita Guchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja 北口冨士浅間神社
An ancient shrine resting beneath large pines in the Suwa Forest, (Kita Guchi Hongu) Fuji Sengen Jinja 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 designated as important national treasures by the Japanese government. This historic setting marks the beginning of the Yoshida Climbing Route, where pilgrims would pray before their religious pilgrammage up to Mt. Fuji's summit. Mt Fuji's main deity, is thought to be enshrined here (among other Sengen Shrines surrounding Mt. Fuji's base). This is also home of 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 NOH performance, the opening ceremony to kick off the Mt. Fuji Climbing Season, and others.
It rests beneath the aegis of Mt Fuji in a wooded area covering 99,000 square meters. The entrance path is lined with mossy stone lanterns, which create a deeply spiritual setting. Dedicated to the official Shinto Goddess of Mt.Fuji, Fuji Sengen Jinja has a long history as an important place to honor Japan's most sacred mountain.
According to popular sources, in the year 110 Emperoer Keiko ordered Yamato Takeru no Mikoto to subjigate the country, and during the latter's mission he came upon Mt. Fuji. It is said that it was here at the Fuji Sengen Shrine that Yamato ordered the people to worship and erect a shrine to the Mt. Fuji deities. Since at least the Muramachi Period (1338-1573) this shrine at the base of the mountain was patronized by mendicants, monks, locals, and others.
Numerous military leaders in Japan's historical past were also inclined to favor this shrine, including the illustrious Takeda Shingen, one of the most famous warriors of the Warring States Period. Much later, during the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868), Fuji Sengen Jinja attracted the patronage of the peaceful Mt. Fuji pilgrims, the Shojiko.
The large wooden tori gate of Sengen Shrine is over 18m 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 tori 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 over 23m around. Serving as protectors of Fuji Sengen Jinja, the Goshinboku are over 1000 years old.
Fujikyu Highland Theme Park 富士急ハイランド
This is the home to some of the world's fastest and most hair raising roller-coasters. It's also full of great family fun, tasty food, a Thomas Land theme park (for the little ones), and outdoor ice-skating in the winter. This is definitely one of the main attractions in the entire Fuji Five Lakes Area. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually from all over Japan and the world. Multiple ticket options are available. 4800yen for adult entry and free-pass. 4300yen for Junior and High School Students. 3500yen for primary school students. Open year-round, weather permitting. http://www.fuji-q.com/
Pilgrim Inns 御師の家
Once places of purification and worship of Mt. Fuji, some of these traditional houses have been turned into traditional inns (minshuku) where contemporary climbers and tourists can stay. During the Edo Era, many people centering on Fuji pilgrims (Fujiko), began to visit Mt. Fuji and stayed at these inns as they passed through town. At the peak of this period, there were 86 pilgrim's inns operating the Kamiyoshida area. The Togawa Pilgrim's Inn is a detached facility of the Fujiyoshida Museum of Local History and considered a natioinal treasure by the Japanese government. For a nominal fee, visitors could enter the well maintained inn to catch a glimpse of what it was like during that era. Several photos, relics, and garbs are on display to provide visitors with an in-depth look at this special part of Fujiyoshida's history.
Admission is 100yen for adults and 50yen for children.
Fujiyoshida Museum of Local History 歴史民俗博物館
*Click Here to Link to the Official Website*
Built to promote the Five Lakes Area's unique heritage and to learn more about the Mt. Fuji Pilgrimage. This is a large, modern facility with several artifacts on display to educate visitors of our rich and unique history. Some of the main expeditions on display include the Mt. Fuji Religion, Geographic History, Ancient Cultures, Textile Industries, and history of Mt. Fuji itself. Admission is 300yen for adults and 150yen for children and students.
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30-5:00. Tel: 0555-24-2411
With an excellent view of Mt. Fuji from the rooftop observation room, this museum was built to introduce the history, industry, and culture of Fujiyoshida and the Mt. Fuji pilgrimage to a wider audience. Outside the facility there are two traditional cottages and a replica of an old Pilgrims' Inn. Inside the museum, there are four exhibit themes:
- Sacred Mt. Fuji
Since ancient times, mountains in Japan were seen as divine manifestions, or sacred objects of worship, and thus off-limits to most people. Mt. Fuji was one such mountain that had its own sect of pilgrims, the Fujiko. During the 17th Century, Fujiyoshida became the center of Fujiko activity, and a base for purification and preparation for the climb.Those that were allowed to enter the sacred terrain of Mt. Fuji sought contact with the mountain's deity. This contact was supposed to bring safety to their households and cure afflictions.
- Local Textiles
The Gunnai Area, which curves around the north face of Mt. Fuji, has a modern economy based on toursm and industry. In olden times, inhabitants of this region attempted to sustain themselves with agriculture. Despite their best efforts, harsh conditions created an environment where farming was not very fruitful. This led to the development of a secondary economic activity: textile production. Weaving began as a home-based industry but with imrovements in technology evolved into a prosperous business that continues to compete at an international level. The area's textiles, called "Gunnai Orimono," are still famous today.
- Local History
The history of Fujiyoshida in inextricably woven into that of Mt. Fuji. This beautiful mountain is a symbol of the nation and its people. It has been celebrated in art and poetry, but also brought death and destruction to local settlements. Despite these odds, people were able to carve out a living here.
- Local Culture
Japanese life is divided into days dedicated to labor and festivities. During celebrations, individuals, families as well as local and regional communities worship and give thanks for their collective good fortune. Our museum has artifacts representing local foods, culture, festivals, and agriculture. It also hosts regalia associated with the famous Fire Festival, an annual event dedicated to the closing of Mt. Fuji's climbing season.
The Osano house is a replica of a well-preserved pilgims' inn that still stands in downtown Fujiyoshida. This version was painstakingly copied from the actual house plans of the Osano family. It contains an altar for the worship of the Mt. Fuji goddess. In 1976, it was designated an Important Cultural Asset by the national government.
Muto and Miyashita Cottages
The Muto Cottage was the residence of a leader of one of the small villages in this area during the Edo Period (1600-1867). It is thought to have been built in the early 18th Century. The roof is unique in that it was altered to cultivate silkworms.
The Miyahita Cottage is said to have been constructed in 1707. With its conservative, centralized layout to protect it against the harsh winterl, it is representative of the Gunnai Area's architecture and provides a glimpse into life in Fujiyoshida almost 300 years ago.
Chureito Pagoda at Mt. Arakura Sengen Park
Nestled on a hillside and overlooking Fujiyoshida, this modern pagoda was built for peace. The view of Mt. Fuji is considered one of the best in Japan! This is easily accessible from Shimoyoshida Train Station or the Chuo Shimoyoshida Highway Bus Station. The walk to the pagoda requires a climb up either a very long staircase or a beautiful winding road. The view is definitely worth it. This site is especially popular when the cherry blossom season arrives in mid-April. People from all over Japan gather here to see this world famous site with their own eyes! Maps are available at the Fujiyoshida Tourist Information Center or at City Hall.
The Historic Nishiura and Gekkoji Districts
(Top Row pictures are current day. The bottom row are pictures from the Showa-era)
Don't misunderstand, old and run-down is the charm and character. Our historic downtown area very much represents what Japan was 50-60 years ago...because it has hardly changed. The historic Nishiura and Gekkoji districts provide a great setting to explore, discover, and enjoy a Japan that once was. This is especially the case if you're seeking a fun night of food, drinks, and social encounters. Gekkoji and Nishiura emerged and thrived as the entertainment district during Fujiyoshida's booming textile era. Although its heyday has long passed, many establishments have remained or have been rebuilt to maintain the same feel. Time seems to have stopped here, transporting people back to Japan's nostalgic Showa-era. In fact, movie and television film crews often use these districts to set their stories. Scattered throughout the maze of streets and alleyways are dozens of fun and unique places. Both of our hostel type accommodations are also located in this area.