At 3776 meters (about 1150 feet), the peak of Mt. Fuji is the highest point in Japan. And there is a Japanese saying, "A wise man climbs Fuji once. Only a fool climbs it twice." Which means that climbing Mt. Fuji is not something to be taken lightly and indeed some preparation is definitely needed to conquer this beast of a mountain. Below are some tips to help you prepare for that once in a lifetime climb.
Many people start to climb in the late afternoon and in evening, so they can see the sunrise the next morning. The official climbing season is between July and August. From early to late July the sunrises between 4:20 - 4:30AM and between early August to Late August around 4:40-4:50AM.
1. What should I bring?
It is suggested you bring comfortable trekking shoes, a warm sweater, water-proof rain gear, quick-drying clothes, a head lamp, sunscreen, about 4 liters of water & sports drinks, snacks, trash bags, a face mask, sunglasses, gloves, small change (for the bathroom), cash and a hat.
2. What are the weather conditions on Mt. Fuji?
Even though the climbing season is during the summer, the temperatures can reach below freezing and strong winds are common. The weather on top of Mt. Fuji is quite fickle, and a clear day can suddenly turn into a rainy day.
3. Are there any dangers to climbing Mt. Fuji?
Mt. Fuji is climbed by everyone, from young and old, from beginner to advanced climbers. But keep in mind the higher you go, the less oxygen there is in the air and there is a decrease in air pressure. This can lead to altitude sickness, so it's important to pace yourself.
5. How do I get to Mt. Fuji?
The Yoshida Trail is the most popular trail to take and can be reached from the 5th Station. On the other hand, it can also get very crowded during the peak climbing season since this is the most popular and most accessible trail by public transportation. Between July and August, you can reach the 5th Station directly from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo
by bus. You can make reservations online
.It takes about 3 hours to get there by bus. The 5th Station also has souvenir shops, restaurants, restrooms, a viewing platform, and a local firefighters & police station and a small post office.
6. Are there any rest areas along the trail?
There are mountain huts along the Yoshida trail that sell food & beverages, have rest areas and restroom facilities.Some huts take reservations in advance during the peak season.
It's best to make a reservation, if you plan taking an overnight hike to see the sunrise. You must call the hut directly to book a reservation.
7. Can I hike during the day?
You can hike during the day and the Yoshida trail might be a little less crowded during the day.
8 .How long does it take to reach the summit?
From the 5th Station it takes about 6 hours to reach the summit and about 3 1/2 hours to climb down. For first time climbers or casual climbers, it might be best to book a room for a nap and meal in a mountain hut to break up the hike, no matter if it's a day or overnight hike.
9. What's at the summit?
There is also a huge crater at the top that takes about 1 1/2 hours to walk around. There us is no snow at the top during the summer. There are small food vendors that sell hot noodles and coffee.
It's definitely a once in a lifetime experience to see the sunrise at the top of Mt. Fuji. Happy Trails!!!