Fuji In 3D!

Fuji-san (Mt.Fuji) is perhaps the single most photographed spot in Japan. Seen from a distance its conical form rises elegantly and majestically from the surrounding land and it is no surprise the shape has earned iconic status. Fuji-san has understandably has become synonymous with everything Japanese.

With the changing seasons, light and weather Fuji-san takes on an incredible range of moods and atmospheres.

Not so often seen are photographs of the mountain up close. The main reason for this is perhaps that it is simply not a beautiful thing – in fact above the treeline Fuji-san is a messy, not-so-smooth pile of scree, sharp volcanic stones, gravel and the odd shrub.

As one approaches, the picturesque quality of Fuji-from-afar may decrease, but instead one is confronted with the reality of this volcano’s sheer enormity – and as one gets closer and closer one notices that what we consider as Fuji’s slope actually stretches far beyond the imagined perimeter to absorb surrounding hills, forests and towns. It’s a massive beast of a mountain.

The base of Fuji-san has a diameter of almost 50km, the perimeter from which it rises constantly, and increasingly steeply, to the 3,776m summit. The land takes in an area of almost 2,000 square kilometres.
One forest, Aokigahara, at the base of the mountain is particularly notable. The trees in Aokigahara are so dense that wind cannot enter, with the uneven volcanic rocky ground there is an absence of wildlife. Silence pervades, the forest is reputed to be haunted, and it is in fact the world’s second most popular suicide spot, into which people regularly wander never to be seen again.

Above 2,300m the forest rapidly ends and the gravelly slopes begin. Looking towards the summit one sees an unremarkable gently rounded form, but if one looks sideways across the mountain the view is awe-inspiring – the profile of the conical slope seems staggeringly distant and huge as it curves gently but relentlessly upwards.

I recently took a trip to Fuji-san and the five lakes surrounding the mountain. One afternoon I went up to the treeline to a point about 1,400m below the summit, from where I took a number of 3D stereo-pair photos.

For those who don’t know how to view such 3D images, instructions can be found here.

(click the images to enlarge)

(click the images to enlarge)

~ by JapanGasm on 9 July, 2010.

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