A sight so otherworldly even the photographer doubts whether they’ll see it again. 

Out of all the famous World Heritage sites in Japan, none has inspired more art than Mount Fuji. This famous landmark, standing tall at its current height of 3,776 metres (12,388 feet) for around 10,000 years, can be viewed from a number of vantage points, but one that’s particularly impressive for artists is Satta Pass in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Satta Pass was the site used by famous ukiyoe woodblock print artists like Utagawa Hiroshige, who included a view of Mt Fuji from here, entitled “Yui Satta Pass“, in his Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido series.

▼ Yui was the 16th station on the Tokaido road, an important transport route that linked the old capital of Kyoto with the new capital, Edo (Tokyo)

Image: Wikipedia/Hiroshige

▼ Hiroshige also used Satta Pass for this 1859 print in his Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series.

Image: Wikipedia/Hiroshige

The Satta Pass vantage point overlooking Yui remains popular today, and the view of Mt Fuji from here still looks surprisingly similar to Hiroshige’s paintings from the 1800s, albeit with modern roads now in the foreground. The sky around the mountain itself is ever-changing though, and some days, if you’re lucky, the conditions become just right for a spectacular image of Mt Fuji that would’ve made Hiroshige sigh in awe.

Recently, photographer and Twitter user Ohtake was at Satta Pass when the conditions were right, snapping this amazing image of Mt Fuji, showing it partly concealed by a mysterious cloud formation. While dome-shaped cap clouds like these are sometimes seen above mountain peaks, on this particular day, there appeared to be five of them stacked up on top of each other, creating an image so striking that even Ohtake says, “I don’t feel like I can shoot this kind of cap cloud again“.

The stunning photo struck a chord with so many people it earned over 60,000 likes and more than 14,000 retweets online.

People who saw the image were clearly impressed, saying:

“Wow! I’ve seen cap clouds on Mt Fuji plenty of times but I’ve never seen it like this!”
“A wonderful photo–it’s not easy to take photos of the mountain looking like this.”
“It looks like Ghibli’s Laputa, the Castle in the Sky!”” 
“Stunning–this is a miraculous cap cloud!”
“No wonder this has been a famous place for viewing Mt Fuji since the Edo period. I want to show this to Hiroshige!”

It really is a stunning vantage point from which to view Mt Fuji, and the good news is, you can enjoy the same sight too, no matter where you are in the world, thanks to the live webcam set up at Satta Pass.

Mt Fuji looks beautiful at all times of the year, but especially now when it’s shrouded in snow. For more beautiful images of Japan, be sure to give Ohtake a follow on Twitter and Instagram, and if you’re looking for more vantage points from which to see the mountain in a new light, don’t forget to check out this one in Nagano Prefecture, where you can see Mt Fuji floating above the lights like an ethereal spirit on the horizon.

Source: Twitter/@planetx44 via Net Lab
Images: Twitter/@planetx44
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!