Fujinomiya (富士宮) is a city in Shizuoka Prefecture on the southwestern slopes of Mount Fuji. The city grew up around Fujinomiya Sengen Shrine, the most prominent and important shrine in the region, which is also the traditional starting point of the approach up the mountain. Many visitors still start the climb from Fujinomiya via the Fujinomiya 5th Station, as it is the shortest and one of the most popular routes up the mountain.
Fujinomiya is also home to the Shiraito Falls, one of Japan’s most beautiful waterfalls. The falls can be found in the outskirts of the city along the way to the Fuji Five Lakes region on the northern side of the mountain.
Fujisan Sengen Shrine (富士山本宮浅間大社, Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha) is located in Fujinomiya City in the southwestern foothills of Mount Fuji. Originally built over 1000 years ago for the protection from volcanic eruptions, it has become the region’s most important shrine and the head shrine of over 1300 Sengen and Asama shrines nationwide. The shrine is also a traditional starting point for climbing Mount Fuji.
In the past, Fujisan Sengen Shrine was one of the largest and grandest shrines of the day. The current buildings were constructed by Tokugawa Ieyasu in the early 1600s, however many of the original structures were destroyed by earthquakes and only the Inner Shrine, Outer Shrine and Tower Gate remain. The Inner Shrine features a unique, two-story construction built in the Sengen architectural style, so named after the shrine.
The Mount Fuji World Heritage Center, Shizuoka (静岡県富士山世界遺産センター, Shizuoka-ken Fujisan Sekiisan Center) is a museum in Fujinomiya dedicated to Mount Fuji. Opened in 2017 to commemorate the mountain’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site four years prior, the center boasts a viewing deck affording great views of Fujisan and a variety of exhibitions pertaining to the volcano’s seismology, history and cultural significance. The building has an inverted conical form that reflects in the pond outside to reveal the shape of the iconic mountain.
Inside the museum visitors traverse a 200 meter long, sloped walkway that corkscrews up through and around the floors to access different areas of the center. On the top floor is the Observation Hall, a sleek area with an open-air deck where visitors are afforded spectacular views of Mount Fuji. Within the center are also interesting features including time lapses and interactive exhibits that reveal how Fujisan was formed and the way humans have interacted with it through the ages. There is also a movie theater showing footage of the mountain in different seasons.