February 2018


Our monthly online newsletter,"L'ESPACE".
L'ESPACE is a diverse French word that means place,area,cosmos,and gap.

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See Mt. Fuji from Tokyo

Jose and Kana are friends who share the pastime of enjoying walks throughout the city. One sunny winter’s afternoon finds them together strolling along the banks of the Meguro River.

I know it is still a bit early, but I wonder when this year’s cherry blossoms will begin to bloom. I can’t wait for the opportunity to walk along the banks of the Meguro River while seeing the rows of cherry trees in all their glory.
Kana
I know what you mean, however, I get the sense that the arrival of spring is still some way off. Then again, I really like walking on winter days. The air is crisp, and the sky is beautiful. It makes me feel invigorated.
Jose
That’s right, I’ve just remembered! There is something that we can enjoy at this time of year. I should tell you about some wonderful scenery.
Kana
Some wonderful scenery that can be enjoyed just because it happens to be winter? Please do tell…
Jose
It’s Mt. Fuji, of course. On these fine winter days, even from within Tokyo it is possible to get beautiful views of the mountain.
Kana
I’ve had the opportunity to see Mt. Fuji from observation decks located in tall buildings within the Metro Area. I’ve also seen it from the roof of the condominium complex where my friend lives. What’s so special about seeing it from within Tokyo?
Jose
I was talking about something a little different. You don’t even have to get up very high, there are some places within Tokyo from where you can view Mt. Fuji from the street level during the winter months. There is one place rather close to Meguro Station. Do you want to go and have a look? Especially on days like today with such crisp, clean air, there is a strong possibility that we will be able to see the mountain.
Kana
You are suggesting that we can see Mt. Fuji from the center of town despite being surrounded by all these buildings? That is something that I had not considered. I look forward to the opportunity.
Jose

The two friends then proceed to walk almost to the top of a slope close to Meguro Station.

You see, look out directly over this slope. Look far into the distance.
Kana
You are right! I can see the peak of Mt. Fuji rising over the top of that building!
Jose
Yeah, in fact, the slope we are standing on is one of the spots mentioned as “Tokyo Fujimizaka” in the “100 views of Mt. Fuji in the Kanto Region” selected by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation. It introduces ideal locations from where you can enjoy views of Mt. Fuji.
Kana
“Fujimizaka” literally means a slope from which Mt. Fuji can be seen, that I understand. However, thinking about it, when walking around the city I seem to remember coming across numerous places that are called “Fujimi” this or “Fujimi” that.
Jose
That’s correct, there are any number of place names that include “Fujimi.” For example, there is Fujimizaka, Fujimidai, Fujimibashi and Fujimicho, just to name a few.
Kana
And I would assume that each of those locations received its name because Mt. Fuji could be clearly seen from there.
Jose
Yes, that is correct. However, in the heart of Tokyo there are numerous locations from which it is unfortunately no longer possible to see Mt. Fuji.
Kana
That’s because many very large buildings have been erected over the years.
Jose
Within Tokyo’s 23 wards, there are approximately 24 locations that have the name of Fujimizaka or are referred to as Fujimizaka colloquially. However, for most of them it is no longer possible to see the mountain from the vicinity.
Kana
That’s a bit sad. Then again, I think it would be rather fun to find locations where the mountain can still be seen from spaces occurring between Tokyo’s modern buildings. It would also be fun to enjoy walking in areas of the city from where Mt. Fuji could once be seen and imagining what that was like.
Jose
Yes, and there are also many new spots from where Mt. Fuji can be seen at this time of year. For example, there is Wakasu Seaside Park in Taito Ward. From there, you can see Mt. Fuji set against the backdrop of the Gate Bridge and the water. From Kasai Rinkai Park in Edogawa Ward, you can look across to Mt. Fuji from the top of the Ferris wheel.
Kana
That means we can see the mountain in new ways that were not available to people in the past.
Jose
Yes, and just at this time of year, even from downtown Tokyo you can see a phenomenon called “Diamond Fuji,” which occurs in the late afternoon as the sun disappears below the summit of the mountain.
Kana
Diamond Fuji! That is something that I would really like to see. Let’s take up the challenge of witnessing it the next time we have a stroll together.
Jose

■Kanto Regional Development Bureau homepage of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism website.
・“100 Views of Mt. Fuji in the Kanto Region”
http://www.ktr.mlit.go.jp/chiiki/fuji100.html (in Japanese only)
・Diamond Fuji, as depicted in the “100 Views of Mt. Fuji in the Kanto Region,”
http://www.ktr.mlit.go.jp/honkyoku/kikaku/fuji100/highlight/diamond.htm (in Japanese only)

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