- Mount Fuji. Its cone shape makes the mountain a suitable yorishiro or vessel suitable for the residence of a kami. The mountain is inhabited by the deity Kono-hana-saku-ya-hime also known as Sengen and Asama (Mt Asama is about eighty miles north of Fuji). It is believed to have appeared some time after the creation of the land of Japan by Izanagi and Izanami. Fuji remains the archetype of the sacred mountain for many Japanese people. The ascent is divided into ritual stages in shugendo style and a constant stream of visitors now makes the eight-hour ascent during the short summer climbing season, many with the intention of seeing the sun rise from the top. Until the Meiji restoration when pollution restrictions were relaxed in a number of areas of religious life the mountain was out of bounds to women. As it happens the first to reach the summit was Lady Parkes, wife of the British Ambassador, in October 1867.See Fuji-no-yamabiraki.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.