Yamabushi are said to have spiritual, mystical and supernatural powers gained through their asceticism. The threatened Japanese red-crowned crane population is on the rise with the establishment of winter feeding stations and conspicuous marking of utility lines.
Nearly three quarters of Japan is mountainous, with a heavily forested mountain range running through each of its major islands. However, the Worldwide Fund for Nature WWF and other environmental groups are taking steps to protect at-risk animal populations.
Mount Fuji is the most well-known natural attraction in all of Japan. Japan's length and diversity of climactic zones has resulted in a high diversity of wildlife.
An incredible variety of alpine plants grow on the mountaintops of Japan. Hot springs are abundant in the mountain regions, and they play a major role in Japan's leisure and tourism industry. Yamabushi, Japanese for "one who prostrates himself on the mountain", are followers of a long tradition of Japanese mountain ascetic hermits and holy men.
Japan is also home to many endemic species of rodents, birds, monkeys, insects and bears. Load comments. It is believed that Mount Fuji is a holy being, home to the goddess Sengen-sama, and the incarnation of the earth spirit itself. Holidays such as the newly-inaugurated Mountain Day add much-needed revenue to the economy, particularly in the sectors of international tourism, hospitality, transportation, and retail.
Mount Fuji's beautifully symmetrical, snow-capped cone, visible all the way from Tokyo, has inspired artists, poets and photographers, and has been attracting pilgrims, sightseers and climbers for centuries.
The Japanese islands themselves are the summits of mountain ridges rising from the outer edge of the continental shelf.
The Japanese Alps often see heavy winter snowfall, which can cause landslides, flooding, and avalanches. This page was last updated on April 25, 2017.
Tens of thousands of pilgrims climb to Mount Fuji's summit every year.
Highest Mountains In Japan. Mountains loom just as large in Japan's cultural and spiritual life as they do in its geography.
Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines can be found dotting many a mountain slope, particularly on and around Japan's three "Holy Mountains", which are Fuji, Tate, and Haku. Sport hunting and vehicular collisions are severely impacting bears and other large animal populations, and the sable population is also declining because of poaching.
Hundreds of thousands of people climb the mountain each year, typically in July and August, and patronize the many hospitality facilities along the mountain trail. As Japan's population has slowly encroached upon mountainous terrain, increased pressure is being placed on these delicate environments.
Sub-alpine coniferous forests are being cut down due to agricultural and industrial development, creating habitat loss and degradation. In the north, there are many subarctic species, while the south is home to many south-east Asian species.
By Caroline Oberheu.