Mt Fuji is an active stratovolcano located in Honshu Island, Japan/60ml south-west of Tokyo. It is one of the three "Holy Mountains" with Mount Haku and Mount Tate. It lies near the North American, Pacific, Phillipine and Eurasian plate. It was first discovered in 663 by an anonymous monk. It is the highest mountain in Japan standing at 12,389ft. The volcano is surrounded by three small cities named Gotemba, Fujiyoshida and Fujinomiya. The mountain's almost symmetrical shape makes it very recognizable around the world and has become an important element in Japanese art and traditional paintings.


Its first eruption occurred almost 100,000 years ago and it's most recent eruption took place in 1707-08 named the "Hoei" eruption which has caused an estimated 25 billion pounds on Tokyo. When the volcano erupts, there is very little lava flow, although there is over 1 billion cubic meters of volcanic ash. Between 200 and 2001, activity in the volcano was recorded which rose concern about another possible eruption.

Historic Eruption Periods:

The volcano we know today is "New Mt. Fuji" however there has been other mentions of other names of the volcano as it developed and erupted.


This was the first period of activity of the volcano which took place around 700,000 years ago. At this time, there was another volcano named 'Mt. Ashitaka' at the south east are of the volcano which was also very active.

Old Fuji:

After 100,000 years of inactivity from Komitake, a new period of activity occurred. This was known as "old Fuji". This activity of eruptions consisted of volcanic ash and lava thus forming a large mountain. The newly formed mountain reached a height of 10,200ft.

New Fuji:

After the old Fuji period became inactive for about 4,000 years, the volcano became active again becoming the one we know to this present day as "new Fuji". This period of activity consits of lava flows, scoria, magma, collapses, volcanic ash and side eruptions when it erupts.


Hoei Eruption:

The Hoei eruption, also known as the "great Hoei eruption" is currently the latest eruption. It took place in late December 1707 to January 1708. It followed the "great Hoei earthquake" a few weeks beforehand which was an 8.7 in the Richter scale. The main cause of destruction in that area was the volcanic ash. The ash spread around the east of the volcano and even managed to destroy the former city, Edo from almost 100km away.

The eruption also created 3 new volcanic openings in the mountain now named No.1, No.2 and No.3 Hoei vents which increased the destruction and danger of an eruption in the future.

Mt. Fuji Facts:

  • Surrounding the volcano, there are five lakes; lake Motosuko, lake Yamanakako, lake saiko, lake shojiko and lake Kawaguchiko.
  • Mt. Fuji is located in a national park named "Fuji-Hakone-Izu". It is the most visited park in the country most likely due to the volcano itself.
  • Until 1912, it was forbidden for women climb the volcano. The first recorded woman to climb the volcano was in 1867.
  • Strangely enough, when climbing Mt. Fuji, it is quicker to come down the mountain rather than climbing up. Sir Rutherford's attempt to reach the summit took 8 hours, but only 3 to get back down again.
  • As much as 200,00 people climb the mountain every year, but it is not very simple as tempuratures will drop drastically. The lowest recorded temperature was -38.0 degrees celcius.

By Calum and Mollie.