Photo By: Joshua Meyer
Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Shizuoka
Population
3,767,427

Fujinomiya

Prize-winning yakisoba, Japan’s top Sengen shrine and the new Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center make this an essential stopover.

The city of Fujinomiya, in Shizuoka Prefecture, holds more than just the stunning natural beauty of Shiraito and Otodome Falls. Mt. Fuji looms large over the city and its most important shrine can be found here. There is also Omiya Yokocho, a well-known spot for dining on the local specialty of yakisoba (stir-fried noodles). Newer to the area is the unique architecture of the Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center, Shizuoka.

Photo by: Joshua Meyer View of Fuji over the pond from the Fuji Heritage Center.

Fujisan Sengen Taisha Shrine

Japan boasts roughly 1,300 Asama or Sengen shrines, which are dedicated to the Shinto spirits associated with sacred mountains and volcanoes. Fujisan Sengen Shrine is the head of all these. The shrine was once a starting place for mountain climbers, who would pray and wash themselves on the grounds in Wakutama Pond before venturing up Mt. Fuji.

Photo by: Joshua Meyer Wakutama Pond.

Fujisan Sengen Shrine hosts several large festivals throughout the year, the biggest of which revolves around a yabusame (horseback archery) contest on May 5 yearly.

Omiya Yokocho

Fujinomiya is famous for its yakisoba. Having twice won the top award over other Japanese local dishes in the B-1 Grand Prix regional food competition, its version of the noodles are thick and chewy. They have come to be regarded as a quintessential form of “B-class cuisine,” or casual gourmet food, in Japan.

Photo by: Joshua Meyer Award-winning yakisoba.

Across the street from Fujisan Sengen Shrine, in the open-air food court of Omiya Yokocho, you can eat yakisoba from shops that have been authorized by the Fujinomiya Yakisoba Society. The food court has a drinking well sourced with spring water from Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center

Photo by: Joshua Meyer A giant gate outside the Fuji Heritage Center.

Shizuoka’s Mt. Fuji World Heritage Centre opened in late 2017, four years after the mountain became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned architect Shigeru Ban designed the main exhibition building, which is shaped like an upside-down Fuji-san.

Photo by: Joshua Meyer Outside the Fuji Heritage Center.

The building has a shallow pond out in front of it so that its reflection forms an image of the mountain right-side up. Given the right conditions, you can also see the real Mt. Fuji reflected in the water with perfect symmetry.

Photo by: Joshua Meyer Inside the Fuji center.

Inside the building, you ascend a spiral ramp with shadow hikers. Long video screens further simulate the climbing experience by showing views from the mountain. Along the way, there are exhibits about Mt. Fuji and its history and culture. When you reach the “5th station,” you can step out onto an observation deck with a breathtaking view of the real Mt. Fuji over Fujinomiya.

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Things To Know

Hours and fees

Fujisan Sengen Shrine has free entrance.   |  Hours:  November to February – 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.; March and October – 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; April to September – 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.  |  Omiya Yokocho: Prices vary from shop to shop. Open 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.   |  Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center: Entrance fee is ¥300. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Official site

http://fuji-hongu.or.jp/sengen/english/

How To Get There

Address

Japan, 〒418-0065 Shizuoka-ken, Fujinomiya-shi, Chūōchō, 16−1 富士宮駅

By train

Take the Minobu Line to Fujinomiya station. The shrine, Omiya Yokocho, and the World Heritage Centre are all within walking distance.

Where To Stay

Fujinomiya Green Hotel
  • Higashicho 23-18 Fujinomiya-Shi, Shizuoka 418-0077
  • 6.8/10
  • 0.1 km
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Fujinomiya Fujikyu Hotel
  • Chuo-cho 15-18 Fujinomiya-Shi, Shizuoka 418-0065
  • 8.3/10
  • 0.1 km
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Kuretake Inn Premium Fujinomiya
  • Chuo-cho 125-1 Fujinomiya-Shi, Shizuoka 418-0065
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.1 km
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Guest House Tokiwa
  • Chuo-cho 14-15 Fujinomiya-Shi, Shizuoka 418-0065
  • 9.4/10
  • 0.2 km
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