Mount Fuji is one of the most iconic symbols of Japan, and considered not just a national treasure, but one of the most beautiful spots on Earth. Thanks to the luck of the draw, this formerly active volcano is almost perfectly symmetrical, and is so commonly discussed in poems and shown in Japanese art that it was declared an important cultural site.
That said, that art is the closest most of us will ever get to it. Even though it’s believed the mountain was first summited by a monk in 663, it’s infamously a tough climb: The joke is that you’d be a fool not to climb Mt. Fuji once… and a fool to climb it twice. Adding to the “fun”, many climb the mountain at night and camp at the top for the purpose of seeing the sunrise… which by all accounts is beautiful, but come on.
Fortunately for us, Google has taken all the work out of climbing Mt. Fuji; they sent up one of their Street View Trekkers to the top of the mountain so that we can all enjoy the hike without buying a plane ticket, and, you know, all that gross hiking.
The trek Google recorded is the entirety of the Yoshida trail up the mountain, generally the most popular way to get to the top, a complete walk around the top crater, and the far more rapid descent down the mountain. In all, you’ll be climbing nearly three miles into the air.
Google has stated they’ve made this record for hikers so they’ll understand exactly what they’ll be up against when they hit the Yoshida trail, but it’s also useful for those of us who may never get a chance to make it to this national landmark.
Also, we can use it to bluff that annoying guy at parties. Which is just as useful.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.