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Mount Fuji rocks

11th April 2012 Print

Rock up at one of the best music festivals in the world, Fuji Rock, and then regain composure at the top of the eponymous sacred mountain.

Fast becoming one of the best-loved festivals in the world, this year's Fuji Rock will take place on 27, 28 and 29 July. The Stone Roses and Radiohead have confirmed their places amongst what will be an eclectic line-up of established favourites, up-and-coming stars and home-grown talent.

Originally launched in the foothills of Mount Fuji, a typhoon stopped play in 1997 and, since then, Mount Naeba in Niigata, on the edge of the Japanese Alps, has provided a beautiful setting of forests and mountain slopes. Add the world's longest gondola, which opens for the event so that people can ride high above the 100,000 festival-goers, plus hot spring baths, and this becomes a truly unique festival.

Organised with meticulous attention to detail and a genuine respect for the natural surroundings - Fuji Rock is carbon neutral - the site is made up of a colourful mix of stages, marquees, cabaret venues and art installations; even the waste disposal/recycling areas are brightly decorated. Head to the Green Stage for big production shows, the Red Marquee for dancing 'til dawn, the Palace of Wonder for edgy artistic performances and the Café de Paris for cocktails and burlesque. If you're a smoker, do as the Japanese do and take a portable ashtray wherever you go.

And after one kind of rock, head to another - Mount Fuji itself, immortalised in Japanese art and literature. The official climbing season runs from 1 July - 31 August and is popular with pilgrims who aim to reach the sacred mountain's summit of 3,776 metres in time for sunrise. InsideJapan Tours can arrange group-guided climbs (groups consist of seven people maximum) that are timed to arrive at the mountain-top at 4:30am.

InsideJapan Tours' seven-night Fuji Rock Festival package costs from £902 pp (two sharing) and includes three nights' hotel accommodation in Tokyo's exciting Shinjuku district, rail passes (including the shinkansen bullet train), airport transfers, tents for collection at the site and a three-day festival ticket. Excludes flights, available from Virgin or BA from around £650 return. A Mount Fuji climb can be added to any trip.

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