Many gardens in Japan often seem to have a hill that’s been named Mini Fuji due to its vague resemblance in shape to the iconic and spiritual mountain. This one though is a bit different as it’s in the middle of nowhere and is also privately owned. Luckily Tokyo Fox was given permission to take photographs from inside the grounds by the very kind owner.
It was another early start that morning as I left Sendai and headed down to Koriyama via Fukushima. I then headed eastwards for just 18 minutes on the rather infrequent Ban-Etsuto Line (in the direction of Ononiimachi) to Kanameta Station. With rain expected on this day I was mightily relieved that the sun was still shining for my duration in the area.
After just under 25 minutes walking south of the station I came to a a bridge and could see the “snow-capped” part of Mount Fuji in the distance. I’ve seen the real Fuji-San countless times from many wonderful viewpoints like Miho No Matsubara, Fuji Shibazakura and the 5th station. I even climbed the thing in 2007 but seeing this was something else!
This cone-shaped hill is on the corner of some fairly quiet country roads. The address is 513-2 Funehikimachiharuyama and this is all the work of one man who I got to meet. He was probably surprised as anyone to see a foreign guy outside his home and came to talk to me.
He guided me round the “mountain” from inside his garden and he showed me the best angles including it’s reflection in the pond in front of it. He then took me over to his car and I thought he was pointing out the reflection in the car window for he was talking in Japanese so quickly that I couldn’t keep up. I eventually he realised he was referring to his car registration plate 3776 which is how high the mountain is in metres. He named his son (Fujio) after the mountain too so it’s fair to say he’s obsessed with the Japanese landmark.
He used to live and work in Shizuoka and fell in love with the mountain that he saw every day. He longed to see Fuji-San when he returned to Fukushima so spent 18 months building this seven metre high mound in his garden. The “snow” is made of cement and shadows have been drawn to make it look three-dimensional. It is lit up at night.
There’s only so many different shots you can take of the same thing so after 10-15 minutes I had had enough. With nothing else to do in the area (other than a 7 Eleven convenience store!) I decided to stroll back slowly to the tiny Kanameta Station where I still had over twenty minutes to wait for the next train which would take me on to the next stop eight minutes away!
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