13. Mt. Fuji, Sacred Place and Source of Artisitic Inspiration:
Mt. Fuji has been an object of worship as the embodiment of Shinto Goddess named "Konohanasakuya", since ancient times. It was emphasized as a religious significance for a holy mountain which has been worshipped since long time ago, as well as its artistic significance as an object depicted in many "Ukiyoe" woodblock prints in the Edo period.
Yakushima Island was located in the south from Kagoshima, Kyushu. it was one of the first sites chosen to be a World Heritage site in Japan together with Himeji Castle, Horyu-ji and Shirakami Mountain range in 1993. Yakushima has many mountains more than 1,000 meters high and also has a lot of rainfall annually. With the environment, a famous "jomon Cedar" is told to be approximately 4,000 year old.
It is said that the beech forests in the Shirakami mountain range located between Akita and Aomori preferctures in the northen part of Japan were created after the Ice Age, about 8,000 year ago. The beech forest, known for its power to retain water and even as the "Green Dam", is the home of animals such as black bears, Japanese monkeys and golden eagles.