Japan has a Great Three of about everything. It has its three great views, three great castles, three great night views and just about every three great something anyone could think of. One of the most impressive out of these three great everything is Japan’s three great mountains. These three mountains are considered the greatest among Japan’s numerous peaks and mountain ranges. Namely, these mountains are Mount Fuji, Mount Haku and Mount Tate. The Japanese term for Mountain is ‘Yama’ so Mount Fuji is also called Fujiyama, Mount Haku is Hakuyama, and Mount Tate is Tateyama. Sometimes, the ‘Mount’ is not removed so they can also be called Mount Fujiyama, Mount Hakuyama and Mount Tateyama (which seems very redundant).
Mount Fuji needs no introduction. It is one of the most famous mountains in the world. With its majestic cone, this dormant volcano has been depicted in countless photographs and artworks over the years. Mount Fuji is the tallest among Japan’s three great mountains and all other mountains in Japan, towering at 12.388 feet above the ground.
The thing to do on Mount Fuji is, of course, to climb it. But you need to be careful around what time of the year you climb it, as the climate is very cold around Mount Fuji. In fact, its top is covered in snow for several months in a year. The season for climbing this majestic mountain is from the 1st of July to the 27th of August. Climbing the mountain in the off season is extremely dangerous, especially if you have no previous mountaineering experience. Also, almost all facilities are closed at this period.
There are four major routes from the fifth station to the summit with an additional four routes from the foot of the mountain. The major routes from the fifth station are Kawaguchiko, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya routes. The most popular route is the Kawaguchiko route due to its big parking area and numerous mountain huts where hikers can rest. The Yoshida route has many old shrines and teahouses along the way, not to mention bears. About 200,000 people ascend Mount Fuji every year. The hike up can take about three to eight hours while the descend can take about two to five hours.
Mount Haku, also known as Hakusan National Park, is a dormant volcano standing 8783 feet tall. A popular hiking destination and one of the three great mountains of Japan, Hakusan’s best seasons are late summer and fall when the mountain is at its most picturesque. Mount Haku is the tallest mountain in the Hokuriku region. Even after the surrounding peaks’ snow has melted, the peak still looks very white.
Mount Haku has been designated as a national park in 1962. And so, the mountain has had minimal human intrusion. The mountain is home to a diverse flora. Most of these may be seen while hiking up the said mountain. It is also home to various animals, which includes the Golden Eagle. The most used trails are the Hirase, Kanko and Sabo trails. The above mentioned trails are easy enough to hike up and down in one day. Other rougher trails can take about two or three days to conquer because of the rough terrain and treacherous paths.
Mount Tate is the last of Japan’s three great mountains. Measuring 9892 feet above the ground, Mount Tate is located in the Toyama area and is one of Japan’s tallest mountains. The months to climb this mountain is from April until November. Japan’s deepest gorge, Kurobe Gorge, is just east of Mount Tate. The best view of the mountain is in the fall, when the mountain is filled with the colors of the fall.
Mount Tate is easily accessible. There is a public transport that takes tourists and hikers up to the Murodo Plateau, a mere 1854 feet from the peak. Shopping areas and onsen baths are also present in Murodo Plateau. At the peak of the mountain is the Oyama Shrine. Tourists and climbers can take part in sake and receive a blessing from the priest of the shrine. This is also the place where food, drinks and souvenirs can be purchased. On clear days, climbers can see Shomyo Falls while climbing up the mountain from Tateyama to Murodo Plateau.
There are a lot more of Japan’s three greats to explore. They have been a part of Japan since the 17th century. Visit Japan to see these sights and attractions that make it very picturesque and try to judge for yourself how great these three great mountains are.