A Guide to the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center in Shizuoka Prefecture
Mt. Fuji has been revered as a sacred mountain by the Japanese people since ancient times. At the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center in Shizuoka Prefecture, you'll be able to learn everything about Mt. Fuji with this comprehensive guide!
What is the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center?
The Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center is a new landmark in Shizuoka Prefecture that opened in December 2017. It was built to educate future generations about the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mt. Fuji. The center takes up approx. 6,100 sq.m. of space and is made up of the exhibition wing, north wing, and west wing. You'll be able to learn more about the history, culture, and natural environment of Mt. Fuji here. You can also access an audio guide to the exhibits using your smartphone at no cost (languages available: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean). There’s even some content that is available only via the audio guide!
Permanent Exhibits: 300 JPY/adult, Free/students (university age and below), seniors (70 years old and above), people with disabilities
Closed: 3rd Tuesday of the month, facility inspection days, end of the year (for 2018, it will be closed between December 27 – 31)
A Host of Interesting Permanent Exhibits!
A key place to visit is the exhibition wing, where the permanent exhibits are housed. It's designed for people to feel like they’re climbing up Mt. Fuji by viewing the exhibits while walking up the 193m spiral ramp that connects the five floors of the building. The themes of the exhibits vary from floor to floor. For example, the 5th floor is titled "The Fierce Mountain" and tells of encounters between Mt. Fuji and humans, while the 4th floor is titled "The Sacred Mountain" and tells of the spiritual beliefs related to Mt. Fuji.
Besides the exhibition wing, there are many places that contain permanent exhibits. Visit the 3rd floor of the west wing to see "The Nurturing Mountain" exhibit that introduces its natural ecosystem, which stretches from the mountains to Suruga Bay. You'll have the opportunity to learn not just about Mt. Fuji, but also the area around it.
More Interesting Areas to Explore!
There's more to see than just the permanent exhibits. For example, there's a movie theater fitted with a 265-inch screen and a 4k resolution video projector. Thanks to the big screen, you can enjoy the majestic view of Mt. Fuji even on a cloudy day. It is especially immersive when you're in the front row.
You can also drop by the museum shop to buy souvenirs with Mt. Fuji as a motif or grab a bite at the cafe, which serves an original menu made with local ingredients. Don't miss the special exhibitions as well!
The Building Itself is Worth Seeing!
The architecture of the center itself is unique and a point of interest. The exhibition wing is especially interesting as it is made to look like "Upside-down Fuji" (a pharase used to describe the imagery of the upside-down image of Mt. Fuji that's reflected on the surface of lakes). The building is shaped like an inverted cone and its reflection on the water in front of the building is just like Mt. Fuji (right side up Fuji). It's an image that has aesthetic symmetry. The wooden lattice exterior of the building, made from materials from the prefecture, is another unique characteristic of the building. If you look closely, you'll find that it's a building that conveys the warmth of the wooden materials that's used. The building is also lit up at night. From dusk till 10:00 pm, 23 LED lights illuminate the building, making it look fantastical.
A Great Spot for Viewing Mt. Fuji
The center's also a great place from which to view Mt. Fuji. The hall on the top floor and the outdoor terrace offer unblocked views of Mt. Fuji. The view of Mt. Fuji through the rectangular windows is almost like a beautiful painting. The view from the area around the center is also excellent. Enjoy seeing its reflection on the basin. It's a great place for photos!
Asama Taisha Shrine is also located nearby, so it's a convenient place to stop over for more sightseeing. You should definitely plan a visit if you're making a trip to Shizuoka. It's a great way to learn more about this sacred mountain that's the pride of Japan!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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