Safecasting Mount Fuji

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From August 25 through 28 I made a family vacation by car circling Mount Fuji staying at pensions by the Fuji 5 lakes and in the Hakone-area, basically locations in a circle around Mount Fuji.

From the start from my home near Shimo-Kitazawa in Setagaya, Tokyo I mounted a Safecast bGeigie equipped with a MedCom Inspector, GPS-equipment and SD-card based recording facility. In other words this model does not require a separate PC, and it is very automated in its operation (except that you must remove the SD-card and move the files over a computer and send them as an attachment to Safecast).

“Parking the family” at some tourist attraction place, I entered the Fuji Subaru Skyline heading to the Kawaguchi-side 5th Station 2304m elevation. (There are actually several 5th Stations around the mountain with slightly different elevations depending on location.)

More information about Mt. Fuji here.

Actually the period we travelled, the weather was less than perfect with rain storms and lightening. One the day I headed up for the 5th Station, the weather was reasonable at first, but turned into thick fog while climbing “hairpin curves” in my BMW 530 Touring. At one point security guards stopped me asking me to be extra careful (in the fog), but luckily they did not stop me.

There is a fair amount of traffic with both private cars, tourist buses, and believe it or not: hillclimb-bent bicyclists! (Our own Safecast member Joe Moross told me he has done this bicycle climb a couple of times, so I salute him, and keep on slamming the accelerator of the BMW!)

On top there were lots of mountain climbers ready for the real climb all the way to the 3776 Mt. Fuji summit. There is also a Japanese Shinto religion temple with lots of visitors. I must admit that I was caught by the mood and felt inclined to make the actual climb (with a bGeigie) some day soon.)

On the remainder of our trip, we continued to circle Mt. Fuji (also called Fujisan or Fujiyama), and I elected going through the infamous Aokigahara forest (also called Jukai) where a considerable number of people have chosen to end their lives. It seems like it ranks second to the Golden Gate in San Fransisco. The drive through it was beautiful, but I could also feel the “Dark Side” as you get engulfed by the trees going along the narrow road through a “tunnel of trees”.

In Hakone we enjoyed a Japanese (outdoor) bath. Mt. Fuji is of course a (potentially) active volcano, and surrounding areas a rife with hotsprings.

The results of the radiation measurements you can see on Safecast Drive # 195 and #196. Luckily I did not find any real hotspots. The typical figure for Fuji 5-lakes and all the way up to 5th station was about 43CPM or 0.13uSv, the highest value I saw was 53CPM at 0.151uSV near Narusawa, and in Hakone, where we stayed, we enjoyed a comfortable 19CPM or 0.054uSv.

Greetings from the_STIG