Thursday, 23rd October 2014
In Weather In Japan,
Snow falls on Mount Fuji
Few sights in Japan are more beautiful and magnificent than the country's most famous mountain, Mount Fuji, which is located near the hustling bustling capital of Tokyo.
And indeed, the peak is currently looking more resplendent than ever, with residents observing that snow has fallen at the top of the mountain for the first time this year - three days earlier than this time in 2013.
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, however, the snowcap has arrived much later than on an average year - 16 days late, to be precise. The organisation put this down to the higher than usual temperatures observed throughout summer.
Visitors to Tokyo and Japan often express a desire to climb Mount Fuji, but this is impossible during the autumn and winter months when temperatures plummet to -40 degrees Celsius and it is extremely dangerous for anyone without alpine climbing experience.
The vast majority of facilities close down during the colder months and there have been cases of people being blown off the mountain in high winds. If climbing Mount Fuji is on your list of must-dos in Japan, wait until the official climbing season, which lasts between July and August.
However, it's not all bad news for those travelling during the winter - the trails towards the bottom of the mountain are less steep and make for a pleasant wander at any time of year, while the nearby Fuji Five Lakes offer plenty of areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Tourists keen to get the perfect picture of Mount Fuji should visit Hakone to the east of the landmark. Conversely to the climbers, photographers are actually much better off in the winter, with the crisp cool air providing excellent visibility.
Related news stories:
Japan's hiking boom leads to well-maintained routes (7th August 2015)
Mt Fuji World Heritage registration is mixed blessing (26th June 2014)
Diamond Fuji brings in the tourists (28th November 2014)