Climbing Mount Fuji
Climbing Mount Fuji
If you are traveling to Japan this summer, you may be looking for things to put on your bucket list. Well, if you’re up for the challenge I would definitely recommend climbing up Mount Fuji.
My friends and I climbed Mount Fuji in late July, 2014. And let me tell you, it was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had in Japan. It was, without a doubt, a challenge but it was a very worthwhile challenge. So let me continue to give you information on what you need to know before and during your climb up Mount Fuji.
First of all, you need to decide when you will be climbing Mount Fuji. The climbing season starts early July to mid September. Any time before or after this, the trails will be closed as it is too dangerous to climb due to the snow. Of course it would be most ideal to climb Mount Fuji on a sunny day, however, the weather is constantly changing at a higher altitude thereby making it difficult to predict the weather. After deciding which day you will be going up Mount Fuji, you will have to decide whether you will start climbing at night or during the day. My friends and I wanted to catch the sunrise so we took the bus up to the 5th station and arrived around 9pm.
We predicted that it would take us around 7 hours, give or take, to climb up Mount Fuji. We believed that 7 hours would give us enough time to take rests in between and to even lay down and rest at one of the huts if we needed. However, since we had more than enough energy we decided to climb to the very last hut and rest there until around 3 am and then start climbing to the summit. But if you prefer to take a nap at one of the huts that is totally fine too. Just remember that the hut must be reserved ahead of time. The reservation for the hut is 1000 yen per person.
As we started climbing, we realized that it was much darker than we thought it would be. None of us had flash lights so we only had our phones to guide us through the dark path. So I would definitely recommend bringing a flashlight or a headlamp! Also, remember to dress appropriately! Even though we started to warm up while climbing up, once you arrive at the summit it will be extremely windy! And it did start to drizzle as we ascended and so when we arrived at the summit it made it increasingly cold with the wind hitting our wet clothes. The best thing to do would be to wear sweater or fleece wear and rain gear on top. Even though this may be common sense, on our way down, we did see a few people who were climbing up Mount Fuji in shorts!! Also, please be sure to wear climbing shoes as it will make it easier for you to walk on rocky areas near the summit.
Here’s a picture that my friend took during our climb at night. It was absolutely stunning!
Unfortunately for us, it was too cloudy when we arrived at the summit that we were not able to see the sunrise.
However, when it is not cloudy this is what the view from the top of Mount Fuji looks like
Also, note that there are 4 different ascending trails that you can choose from; Yoshida trail, Subashiri trail, Gotemba trail (new), Fujinomiya trail. The opening period varies depending on which route you take so please make sure to check the opening date for the trail you decide to take.
As for the access, depending on the trail that you take the access will differ.
1. Fujisan Station
Kawaguchiko Station (Mountain Bus) → Fuji-Subaru Line 5th Station
2. Shinjuku Bus Terminal (Express Bus) → Fuji-Subaru Line 5th Station
Kawaguchiko Interchange on the Chuo Expressway
Fujiyoshida Interchange on the Higashi Fujigoko Toll Road → Fuji-Subaru Line à Fuji-Subaru Line 5th Station
JR Gotemba Station
Odakyu Line Shinmatsuda Station (Mountain Bus) → Subashiri Trail 5th Station
Subashiri Interchange on the Higashi Fujigoko Toll Road → Fuji-azami Line → Subashiri 5th Station
JR Gotemba Station (Mountain Bus) → Gotemba Trail New 5th Station
Subashiri Interchange on the Higashi Fujigoko Toll Road
Gotemba Interchange on the Tomei Expressway → R138 → Gotemba-Fuji Park Line → Mt.Fuji Skyline → Gotemba New 5th Station
JR Shinkansen Line Mishima Station / Shin-Fuji Station
JR Tokaido Line Fuji Station
JR Minobu Line Fujinomiya Station (Mountain Bus) → Fujinomiya 5th Station
Gotemba Interchange on the Tomei Expressway
Susono Interchange on the Tomei Expressway → Mt. Fuji Skyline àFujinomiya 5th Station → Fuji Interchange on the Tomei Highway. Shinfuji Interchange on the Shin-tomei Highway →Nishi-Fuji Toll Road/R139 → Mt. Fuji Skyline à Fujinomiya 5th Station
I hope that you find this information helpful when planning your trip up Mount Fuji. Although it was unfortunate that I was unable get a clear view from the top the view at night of the floating clouds was unforgettable and worthwhile. I plan on taking up the challenge of going up Mount Fuji again this summer so I hope that this time I will be able to catch the sunrise!
Stay tuned for more blogs on Japan!
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