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Goin’ Japanesque!

7 Beautiful Faces of Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is all but synonymous with Japan, and since being registered as a World Heritage Site, the mountain attracts more visitors than ever. A trip to Mount Fuji is a top contender on many a traveler’s to-do list, so we thought we’d tell you a little about the expressions and changing personality of this natural feature. When the necessary conditions are met and the season and hour are right, you’ll get to catch sight of a wonderful new face of Fuji.


1. Hatsu-Fuji

This refers to seeing Mount Fuji during the New Year (in the same vein as hatsuhinode and hatsumode) and is held to bode particularly well for your luck. Similarly, there is a saying in Japanese that says, “firstly Fuji, secondly a hawk, and thirdly eggplant,” which refers to the three signs of good luck that might appear in the first prophetic dream of the New Year, hatsuyume. You’ll notice that even in this list, the number one item is Mount Fuji. Hatsu-Fuji is so popular that there’s even a special airline project for it, “First Sunrise (Hatsuhinode) at Fuji Flight.”


2. Red Fuji


This version of the mountain is seen on summer mornings when the light of the rising sun shines off the bare surface of the mountain after the snow has melted.


Edo-era artist and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai depicted red Fuji in his works.


3. Crimson Fuji


In contrast with red Fuji, crimson Fuji described the snowcapped mountain when dyed a darker, almost purple red from the rising or setting sun.


4. Cloud Cap Fuji

This refers to the stirring and mysterious visage of Fuji when clouds rest atop its peak. There are a variety of different names depending on the shape the clouds take.


5. Shadow Fuji


The morning and evening sun create a massive shadow of the mountain, which you can sometimes even see as you climb.

Related: Weekend Mountaineer in Mount Fuji: Aiming for the Summit for a View of the Sunrise


6. Diamond Fuji


You’ll see Fuji sparkling like a diamond when the sun just touches the peak of the mountain during sunrise or sunset. With such strict conditions, there are only two times every year you can see diamond Fuji from a given place. Mount Takao, a popular spot for mountain climbing, lets you catch sight of this phenomenon during the period around the winter solstice. When combined with mirror Fuji (see below), the exceptionally rare vista “double diamond Fuji” is born.


7. Mirror Fuji


This term refers to the sight of Mount Fuji together with its reflection on the surface of a body of water. As with red Fuji, mirror Fuji was also painted by Katsushika Hokusai. This view of Fuji is one of its most representative and can even been seen on the reverse side of the thousand yen bills currently in circulation.


We hope our article today has equipped you with a little extra knowledge about the changing scenery of Mount Fuji. We’re sure the photographers out there are itching to put this knowledge to use!

Related: 11 Beautiful Landscapes Created by Blossoming Cherry Trees

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