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Chureito Pagoda is a cenotaph for the war dead located halfway up Mount Arakurayama in Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture. The area surrounding the pagoda is maintained as Arakurayama Sengen Park, which is administered by the city of Fujiyoshida.
In mid-April, the 650 someiyoshino cherry trees in the park all bloom at once, attracting many tourists from home and abroad.
Arakurayama Sengen Park, where the Loyalty Pagoda is located, is about 100 meters uphill from the foot of the mountain, about 25 minutes from the nearest station. You will have a panoramic view of Mt. Fuji and the city of Fuji-Yoshida there. Especially during the cold winter season, the beautiful snow-covered Mt. Fuji.
The Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument,also known as the Chureito Pagoda,was built by the mayor of Fujiyoshida and the Fujiyoshida Cenotaph Monument Construction Committee on August 12th,1958 to enshrine about 960 citizens from Fujiyoshida who died in the wars which occurred after 1868(the First Sino-Japanese War,the Russo-Japanese War,World WarⅠ,and the Pacific War of World WarⅡ).
The committee sold the former Shimoyoshida Veteran Grove to the Onshirin Regional Public Organization and received 3 million yen which was in turn used as the fundamental funds for the construction of the monument; furthermore,the remaining shortage of funds were donated by citizens.The construction commenced on April,1959 and completed on April,1962.
Chureito Pagoda have been erected throughout Japan to commemorate and honor the spirits of the war dead who unfortunately did not return to their hometowns alive after serving in the Pacific War.
In Fujiyoshida City, too, a plan to erect a cenotaph to commemorate the war dead from Fujiyoshida who unfortunately did not return home alive after serving in the Pacific War, and to honor their achievements for many years to come, was spearheaded by Mr. Masakin Toyama, a resident of Taishoji Temple who was a soldier repatriated from the Pacific War, and Mr. Keiji Kishiro, then Mayor of Fujiyoshida City, and others. The original construction site was located in the city of Fujiyoshida.
Initially, the site was selected as Kobuneyama in the Niikura district of Fujiyoshida City, and the site was cleared and the ground-breaking ceremony was held, but a subsequent geological survey revealed that the ground was too soft for a high-rise building, and the decision was made to construct the building on the present site.
Incidentally, Mt. Kobune was later displaced by the construction of the Chuo Expressway, which overlapped with the route of the Fujiyoshida Line, and the earth and sand was extracted for the construction of the Chuo Expressway. If the Chureito Pagoda had been built on Mt. Kobune, it might have been moved to a different location afterwards, or the route of the Chūō Expressway might have been changed.
Mt.Fuji was registered as a World Heritage site, an observation deck was installed behind the Chureito Pagoda in 2015 to ensure the safety of the increasing number of tourists. Mt. Fuji, visitors had to enter a dangerous steep slope to take pictures of the five-story pagoda and Mt. Fuji. However, the observation deck has been improved over the years, making it safer for visitors to enjoy Mt. Fuji from the Chureito Pagoda.