Mt Fuji World Heritage Centre Fujinomiya, Shizuoka
Begin your ascent of this iconic Mountain from sea level, explore the lush forests and Mt Hoei Crater as you hike from the 5th station, and then make your final push to the summit to experience a magnificent sunrise – all without going outside.
Mt Fuji has fascinated the people of Japan and the World for centuries. Every year, thousands of people make the climb to the very top of the 3,776 meter tall mountain.
In 2013 UNESCO recognised the historical and sacred significance of the mountain and its spiritual and aesthetic value to Japan by adding it to its World Heritage list.
To celebrate the occasion, the town of Fujinomiya in Shizuoka commissioned the design and construction of the Mt Fuji World Heritage Centre in close to the famous Mt Fuji Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine – which is believed to date back more than 2,000 years, built in an age of intense volcanic activity to appease the gods so that the people and the mountain could live in harmony.
Designed by world-renowned and award-winning architect Shigeru Ban who is famous for his work using paper as a building material on such buildings as the Aspen Art Museum in the U.S. and the Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch, NZ. The design was selected from 238 applicants.
The Mt Fuji World Heritage Centre is a modern equivalent of ancient shrines built to pay respect to the majesty and beauty of Mt Fuji in a unique and stunning fashion.
Of all of the applicants in the bidding process Shigeru Ban was the only one to invert the cone shape of Mt Fuji using a reflecting pool at the bottom to mimic the shape that has become so synonymous with Japan.
The interior of the building is designed with a 192 meter spiral slope that takes visitors on a journey from the nearby Suruga Bay all the way up to the very top of Mt Fuji.
With clever use of large screens along the way visitors can immerse themselves in the experience of hiking to the top of the mountain – with clever additions such as silhouetted hikers that will join you on the journey.
At the top of the spiral stairway visitors walk through onto an outdoor terrace area and are greeted by a panoramic view of Mt Fuji which adds an extra ‘wow’ factor to the whole experience.
The centre also has various exhibition halls which show works or art and other artifacts that highlight the depth and history of fascination that the people of the Japan have for Mt Fuji.
At the end, there is a 4K video theatre with 265-inch screen that showcases aerial footage of every angle imaginable with stunning clarity.
By the time you have completed the circuit at the Mt Fuji World Heritage Centre in Fujinomiya, you will feel as though you have climbed and scaled the mountain itself and will share Japanese fascination with of the most revered and worshipped mountains in the world.