Fearful of an erupting Mt. Fuji, the shrine was built to appease the spirits
Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha, as the head shrine for the nation’s 1300 Sengen shrines, is also the oldest shrine in the Tokai region. It is the central place for worship of Mt. Fuji, and it is said that when talking of the mountain, this shrine also has to be included. The enshrined deity is Konohanasakuya-hime, the goddess of Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms, along with water which is the symbol of Japanese beauty. Asama-no-Okami which symbolizes the volcano of Mt. Fuji is also enshrined. The shrine was established in the year 27 BC over 2000 years ago when it was built at the foot of Mt. Fuji to appease Asama-no-Okami for the repeated volcanic activity of the time. A rear shrine for this head shrine exists at the top of the mountain, and the entire top of Mt. Fuji above the 8th stage has been made sacred ground for the rear shrine.
The grounds are famous for 500 beautiful cherry trees offered to the shrine
The main shrine building, which was built in the distinct two-tiered Sengen style, received a large donation from Ieyasu Tokugawa after his victory at the Battle of Sekigahara. It is said that construction was done by attracting famous carpenters specializing in shrine construction from all over the country. In times of good weather, a wonderful view can be seen with Mt. Fuji in the background. The sacred trees of the Sengen Taisha are the cherries so approximately 500 cherry trees have been planted inside the grounds. The blossoms have been blessed by Konohanasakuya-hime herself. For that reason, there is a cherry blossom festival which is held at the beginning of April when the sakura are at their peak so that they can be celebrated. From the end of March to the early part of April, the sakura are illuminated so it is also recommended then for nightly viewing of the cherry blossoms.
Purify yourself with the sacred water of Mt. Fuji before climbing the mountain
When you visit the Sengen Taisha, go to Wakutama Pond which has been designated as a National Special Natural Monument. This pond was created over a long period of time as snowmelt water from Mt. Fuji filtered through several layers of lava. Since ancient times, climbers of the mountain purified themselves through this sacred water before making their attempt. Next to the pond is Mizuya Shrine where the sacred water is enshrined. To the left of the shrine is a pumping area so that water can be pumped freely. This water has percolated through the mountain’s layers of lava so it is rich with natural minerals such as vanadium. It has even been selected as one of the Top 100 Sources of Water of the Heisei Era.