Mount Fuji is located on Honshu Island in Japan. The origin of the volcano's name is somewhat disputed. It is thought to either be a reference to Fuchi, a Buddist fire goddess, or to mean "everlasting life" in the aboriginal Ainu language. The first recorded ascent of Mount Fuji was accomplished by a monk in 663.
Women were not allowed to climb Mount Fuji until the late 19th century during the Meiji Era. The first Western man to climb the volcano was Sir Rutherford Alcock in 1860. Lady Fanny Parkes was the first Caucasian woman to climb to the summit in 1867. Many different belief systems consider Mount Fuji to be a sacred place. Buddhists believe that the mountain holds the gateway to another world. The Fujiko believe that Mount Fuji is a living being with a soul. Shintoists have a shrine to Sengen-Sama, a nature goddess, at the summit.
Over 100,000 people climb to the summit of Mount Fuji every year, approximately 70 percent of which are native Japanese people. The mountain is considered to be one of Japan's most popular attractions and is close enough to Tokyo that it can be viewed from the city on a clear day. The peak climbing season for the mountain is July to August, and there are trails to the summit that are open to visitors.