There's no more famous image of Japan than Mt. Fuji, the picturesque volcano that rises gracefully from Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures to a height of 3776 meters (12,388 feet). We gaijin seem to have a special relationship with Mt. Fuji, and I still remember my first encounter with the mountain. It was shortly after I'd arrived in Japan, during a trip to Kamakura, about an hour south of Tokyo. The day had been a hazy one, and as the haze cleared I suddenly found myself staring at a huge image of Mt. Fuji that had been invisible only a short time before, which took my breath away. Japan's native religion Shinto reveres especially beautiful sites in nature, and no place is more sacred than the top of Mt. Fuji. If you're ever planning a trip to Japan in the summer, you might want to consider climbing the mountain, which takes 6-7 hours or so and is not a difficult climb. When you reach the top, you'll be above the level of the clouds, and it's really an amazing view. Incidentally Mt. Fuji is Fuji-san in Japanese, and it's best that foreigners avoid using the name Fuji-yama. While both -san and -yama are valid pronunciations for the mountain kanji, Fuji-yama has become a "quaint" name only used by foreign visitors.
Foreigners have a special love for Mt. Fuji.