Are you looking for a beautiful view of the holy Mount Fuji? Then head to the Arakura Sengen Shrine & the Chureito pagoda (忠霊塔) north of the mountain near the town of Fujiyoshida (富士吉田市). The Chureito pagoda once featured as a book cover on one of the editions of travel guide Lonely Planet. And if the weather is nice, you have a beautiful view of Mount Fuji. But what are the historical backgrounds of the Arakura Sengen Shrine & the Chureito pagoda? In this article I will explain it to you…
Are you going to explore the area aroung Mount Fuji? In the Mount Fuji Travel Guide you will find the best historical places around the Holy Mountain.
The history of the Arakura Sengen Shrine
Before you can enjoy the beautiful view of Mount Fuji, you will walk across the grounds of the Arakurayama Sengen Shrine (新倉富士浅間神社). This temple was built in the year 705 and is named after the mountain where the shrine is located. In the temple, the god of the Kai region (present-day Yamanashi prefecture) is worshipped. By worshipping this god, it is hoped that Mount Fuji will be favourable to the region. Today, people come not only from the area but also from outside the region to worship this shrine for warding off evil, raising children, family happiness and safe childbirth.
The complex includes a number of buildings and there is a blossom park with 600 cherry blossom trees. Do you happen to be here in the month of April? Then this place is definitely a must. To get to the Chureito pagoda, you have to climb 400 steps…
The Arakura Sengen Shrine and the Chureito pagoda are located in the 5 lakes district. Although I stayed in the city of Fuji south of the mountain, I made a day trip to Lake Kawaguchiko. It is a beautiful area and on my next visit to Japan, I would love to explore this region more. Here you can discover the 5 lakes by making beautiful bike tours and it is more relaxing than staying in the city of Fuji. From Shinjuku station in Tokyo, take the JR Chuo line to Otsuki Station. From there, take the Fujikyu line to Kawaguchiko Station. This last leg is not included in the JR pass.
The war memorial: The Chureito pagoda
The Chureito pagoda was added to Arakura Sengen Park in 1963. In 1958, a committee suggested that a memorial should be placed at this beautiful spot to honour all 960 victims from Fuji-Yoshida who died during the several wars after 1868. The pagoda consists of 5 floors and is almost 20 metres high. Its official name is The Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument. Check out the website of the Chureito pagoda for more information.
Are you going to climb Mount Fuji? Don’t forget to know the place where you should start this heavy expedition. Read more about it in the article Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine | Start of the Pilgrimage to Mount Fuji.
The beautiful view of Mount Fuji…?
The best advice for visiting these locations is: the weather. Okay, that’s never in your control, but it makes a world of difference if you go to the Arakura Sengen Shrine & Chureito Pagoda with or without good weather. The photo at the top of the page is a free image from the internet. The photo you see below is one I took myself. It was cloudy at the time and that did not change in the 1.5 hours I was there. Nevertheless, I found the view of the city of Fuji-Yoshida beautiful. Besides, you are in a quiet area and it is a great place to have a picnic or read a book. But beware of stray bears…
Would you like to visit the Chureito pagoda at Mount Fuji?
How to get there? The easiest way to get to the Chureito Pagoda is by train. From Shimo-Yoshida station of the Fujikyu Railway Line, it is a 10-minute walk to the entrance of Arakura Sengen Shrine. From Kawaguchiko bus station, it is a 15-minute ride to the shrine entrance. Entrance to the temple is free and the view, weather permitting, priceless…
Do you have more tips, comments or ideas about the Arakura Sengen Shrine & Chureito pagoda at Mount Fuji? Feel free to leave a comment below.