‘Phantom Waterfalls’ Made from Melting Snow Appear at Area of Mt. Fuji; Water Formations Likely to Last Until End of May

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A ‘phantom waterfall’ is seen near the fifth station of the Subashiri Trail on Mt. Fuji in Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Saturday.

OYAMA, Shizuoka — Waterfalls that are formed by flowing water from melting snow have returned this year to the delight of climbers at an area of Mt. Fuji in Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The “phantom waterfalls” appear when the snow melts on the mountain. They appear in a lava-formed land area located about 30 minutes by walking from the fifth station of the Subashiri Trail.

On Saturday, water from the melting snow turned into waterfalls of various sizes after flowing over rock surfaces that were formed by lava.

Mt. Fuji is covered with rough volcanic surfaces, so rainwater and melting snow is easily absorbed into the underground soil. Because of this, it is thought that the formation of waterfalls and rivers is difficult. However, it is believed that flowing water can form in areas where lava-formed rocks are exposed.

Yoshitaka Ueta, chief of the secretariat of the Oyama-Town Tourism Association, said that the waterfalls have often been seen between the middle of May and the middle of June. However, as snow began melting earlier than usual this year, Ueta said that flowing water had been seen in late April.

“It is likely that the waterfalls will be gone by the end of May. I hope people who want to see them will visit as soon as possible,” he said.

There is a trail to see the waterfalls, but visitors should be aware of the need to choose suitable clothing and footwear when traversing the rocky surface.