On top of Mt. Fuji with the Street View Trekker

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Back in June UNESCO granted Japan’s tallest mountain Mt. Fuji official status as a World Heritage Site — not just for its natural splendor or spiritual significance but also for its enduring influence on Japanese culture. The currently dormant volcano has inspired countless haiku and woodblock prints over many centuries, and around the world, its perfect conical shape has become one of Japan’s most iconic symbols.

This newly elevated status from UNESCO is likely to send a record number of climbers to Mt. Fuji during the summer’s official climbing season. To help them prepare for the grueling trek over loose igneous rock, we hauled the Street View Trekker up all 3,776 meters of Mt. Fuji, and today we are launching the resulting 360-degree panoramic imagery. The Street View collection covers the highly popular Yoshida trail that takes hikers up the mountain, the full walk around the crater at the top, and the quick zigzag descent. We hope these 14,000 panos of new imagery will give climbers a sense of the terrain to expect under their feet — especially all the night-time climbers who shuffle up in the dark to see the sunrise at the crack of dawn.



If you can’t get over to Mt. Fuji this summer for the big hike, you can use Street View to take a virtual trek up its peak and enjoy the views of the world below. And after conquering the mountain on your virtual vacation, we also recommend taking a peek at other UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan such as Himeji Castle, the old village at Shirakawa-go, the floating Itsukushima shrine, the pine forests of Yakushima, the subtropical Ogasawara Islands, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.