Naoki Ikeda / Koa Kogyo Co., LTD.
* In this column, Marubeni Group staff provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.
Fuji and Fujinomiya are cities in the eastern part of Shizuoka prefecture at the foot of Mt. Fuji that are blessed with a warm climate. With abundant spring water from the mountain, Fuji City developed as a “paper town.” It was recognized as the seventh best National Factory Night View City at the National Factory Night View Summit, and offers a dynamic factory nightscape with Mt. Fuji in the background. The Shin-Fuji Station is just an hour’s ride on the bullet train from Tokyo Station, so the town is easily accessible for a Mt. Fuji sightseeing trip.
First and foremost comes Mt. Fuji, the World Cultural Heritage site. Mt. Fuji is lovely to see, but how about going for a climb once in your lifetime? Climbing from the Fujinomiya-guchi is the shortest route, offering a bird’s-eye view of Suruga Bay and Izu Peninsula. The sense of accomplishment and the thrill on reaching the summit, while battling the thin atmosphere of the high altitude, will be unforgettable. Keep in mind the harsh conditions of Japan’s highest peak that await you; be sure to be fully-equipped, and never push yourself too hard during the climb.
Although there is the Sengen Taisha Okumiya shrine on the summit, there is also the Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha in Fujinomiya City, that is dedicated to the worship of Mt. Fuji itself as the sacred deity. The shrine was erected to quell eruptions by enshrining Mt. Fuji as the Asama God. It is an important shrine that is the center of Mt. Fuji worship, and the head of 1,300 Sengen Shrines throughout Japan.
The inner shrine and the front shrine were donated by Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan. Within the premises, you will find the Special Natural Monument Wakutama Pond, which is fed by snowmelt from Mt. Fuji, honored as miraculous water. At the watering place, you can draw samples of the miraculous water to take home, and enjoy a drink infused with the blessings of the power spot.
The first dish that pops up in your mind when you hear B-grade gourmet must be Fujinomiya fried noodles, the winner of Japan’s B-1 Grand Prix for two consecutive years. Omiya-Yokocho alley is right across the Sengen Taisha Hongu, and the savory smell of the sauce from a number of stalls fills the air. The noodles are thick and chewy—they fully capture the fish powder, seaweed powder, and sauce, providing a satisfying texture, while the delicious seafood taste fills your mouth. And express your delight by saying “Yum-miya! (Yummy Miya!)”
Tagonoura on the Suruga Bay is famous for the local specialty of ocean-fresh whitebait (the young of herrings, etc.) Since the fish quickly lose freshness, a one-ship trawling method is used with a priority on freshness rather than quantity. The whitebait caught at a nearby fishing ground is immediately delivered to the fishing port.
You can enjoy other hidden delicacies such as the boiled-peanuts, a local treat, and “Tsuke Napolitan” (a tomato base soup for dipping noodles.) There are many sightseeing spots around Mt. Fuji, including the Shiraito Falls, Asagiri-kogen Highlands, Nihon-Daira, and Kunozan Tosho-gu dedicated to Ieyasu Tokugawa. So please visit Fuji and Fujinomiya, within easy reach from Tokyo.
Marubeni Group communication site “MS+ (MS Plus)” (October 21, 2015)