The Arakura Sengen Shrine with the Chureito Pagoda high above is a fifteen to twenty minute walk from Shimoyoshida Station and the Pagoda is over 400 step climb to the view point. No blossoms, I'm afraid.
This is not one of my favourite photos, but it reminds me of the climb up to the Pagoda which nearly killed me. It was a struggle. On the way up I could see Fuji down below but couldn't see Mt. Fuji, but I persevered. Even at the top, there was no sign of her.... but then the clouds cleared and it was finally worth the effort.
Most days it is obscured by fog and industrial haze even 60 feet away from the summit.
The Japanese revere this notoriously elusive volcano. It has remarkable symmetry and is venerated as a stairway to heaven, a holy ground for pilgrimage, a site for receiving revelations, a dwelling place for deities and ancestors, and a portal to an ascetic otherworld.
Religious groups have sprouted in Fuji’s foothills like shiitake mushrooms, turning the area into a kind of Japanese Jerusalem. Among the more than 2,000 sects and denominations are those of Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism and the mountain-worshiping Fuji-ko. Shinto, an ethnic faith of the Japanese, is grounded in a belief that everything is alive - animist - and kami(wraiths) reside in natural phenomena—mountains, trees, rivers, wind, thunder, animals—and that the spirits of ancestors live on in places they once inhabited.
Pagodas are towerlike, tiered structure traditionally associated with Buddhist temple complexes. They are common sights throughout eastern and southeast Asia.
Pagodas are meant to symbolize sacred mountains and often shelter religious relics.
The Chureito Pagoda, officially named the Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument, was built in 1963, serves specifically as a peace memorial commemorating the citizens of Fujiyoshida who died in wars from the mid-1800s until World War II.
One meaning of the word Fuji is “peerless one.” Another interpretation is fu-shi (“not death”).
The vast sea of trees engulfing the northwest foot of Fuji, may have become the world’s most
popular suicide spot, far eclipsing sites like the Golden Gate Bridge. Though posted trail signs in Japanese and English bear encouraging messages along the lines of
“Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” and “Please consult the police before you decide to die,”