Climbing Mt. Fuji At Night?

Great photo by Hideki Domoto, who

...set his camera’s exposure time at 15 minutes, enabling the camera to capture the movement of the stars. The photo shows the stars as circles in the night sky with the polar star at the center. At the far left of the mountain, one of shooting stars of the Perseid meteor shower leaves a trace of light.



Pandabonium said…
I think the highest honor we can bestow upon the great Fuji-sn, which is so central to our understanding of Japan, would be to leave it alone and admire it from afar. It is not something to climb and conquer but rather to for us to stand before in awe.
Martin J Frid said…
Never been up there myself, do not plan to. A "sacred" mountain deserves better, as you say. Still, I'm told the view of the rising sun from up there is a great inspiration.

It is us who need to be more humble and not regard everything as a sightseeing spot. Especially as we are reaching 7-8 billions.

Thanks for your thoughtful comment P.
Tom O said…
This a tricky one imho. Shinto of course regards everything with regards to nature as 'sacred' (as in animanistic?) and in all my time in Japan, the four years back then and 7 months 3 years ago not one Japanese criticized me for ascending Fuji (this I did in July 1990, climbed overnight and have to say that the amazing clear sunrise from atop 3,776m was fantastic and rather spiritual).

The flip side...

Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) in Australia IS regarded as a very sacred, spiritual and sacred place by the Aborigines and of course esp the local 'tribe'. They really do discourage (I do also but for different reasons which I'll explain when this main bit done) it as of course their culture and ancestry goes back 40,000 years. What they do, to encourage people to do something more enriching - and of course to earn some Aussie $$$ - is to run guided tours/walks around the whole of the 'rock' and exlain the ancient wall paintings, show hidden treasures and also give an insight into the Aboriginal life/culture. It is on the whole VERY VERY difficult to engage with them in Oz, the ones you tend to meet - ie outside the booze shop in the Ayers Rock complex - are usually drunk. Therefore they have their own communities that you need special permission to visit and are searched upon entry to ensure no 'grog' is brought in. Of course, as they also say, it was only Captain Cook and the colonising Brits who brought alcohol to Australia. Also a form of easy colonial suppression (think 'firewater' in North America) as a drunk bunch of the 'locals' are hardly likely/able to put up a fight. Also, re the above, check this out:

As opposed to New Zealand what didn't help the Aboriginal cause was that they were largely passive, also in with that intense heat, the forage for food and the need to save energy/preserve water it just wasn't viable! But, along come the Brits planting their flag...

Btw, as said, Uluru is rather dangerous and scary to actually climb and when up top all the view 360' is just flat desert! Many memorial stones at the start point ascribe to the not too few who didn't make it to the top.

Finally, to conclude, I have never had a problem climbing Fuji and I have never seen it said that its a culturual/spiritual no-no in Japan.
Pandabonium said…
Tom O - As much as I often agree with you, in this case I don't on a couple of points...

New Zealand native people may have been "passive" at times, but some of them most certainly weren't and killed and ate some British sailors on those early explorations.

(Just friendly discussion points, Tom, please don't take it personally.)

Whatever the Japanese view of climbing Fuji-san may be, my personal view is that it is in these times being over run and trashed and that should stop. I have not been up there, but I have climbed our more local (and diminutive) Tsukuba-san and was appalled by the lack of care and respect shown by visitors.

By the way, Martin, I neglected to say that the photo you posted is fantastic.

Tom O said…
It was Australian Aborigines who were more or less 'passive' not the more attack minded Maoris of NZ, who I would presume did the killing and eating! Just think of the Haka made famous by the NZ All Blacks rugby team... No such equivalent in Oz. Btw, the Brits were only in that area for one thing - colonization and planting the flag. Of course at first Australia was basically a prison - not a recommended way to open a conversation there... ;o)

Hey, re Fuji-san it was being over-run and trashed even back in 1990, there is no disagreement about that! But even Mt Everest is getting the same treatment these days, a lack of common sense/respect. Everest does of course have an original local name, still unpronounceable to me! Fuji-san, maybe it shouldn't have been a surprise but I was indeed truly surprised (shocked?) by the sheer number of people asending Fuji when I did it, the last part you just had to wait as there were hundreds if not thousands of people one could see ahead. Maybe, just maybe, the draw of Fuji takes the heat and pressure of other such 'climbable' peaks.
Tom O said…
Btw, it should be noted that the Aborigines had it that the 'land' was not and not to be owned by anybody/one particular party - it was for 'everyone'. Not quite the colonial point of view me thinks.
Pandabonium said…
Oh yes, the trashing of Everest also continues apace. Sigh. But it even though I sort of understand people in modern society wanting to do things because it is what others are doing, I am still very disturbed by how mindlessly they go about it. Ya know?

Something that very much impressed me about Australian Aborigines was something said when they held talks demanding access to lands that had been used for nuclear bomb tests. They were told "but this land will be radioactive for 20,000 years" and they replied, "we'll be here".

Pandabonium said…
Oh, now I re-read your statements and once again realize I am sometimes such a "maroon" as Bugs Bunny used to say.

You did say the Maoris were more attack minded.

Sigh. My little grey cells are getting aged. Forgive me.

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