Climbing Mount Fuji
The official season for climbing Mount Fuji is in July and August, otherwise it’s to cold and dangerous. I heard that you can register if you want to climb off season, but I also heard from Japanese people who haven’t done that.
I wanted to see the sunrise, so I decided to climb over night with a descent in the morning. If this is too hard for you, it’s possible to sleep in one of many huts, but they’re expensive.
I took a Keio Bus from Shinjuku which left at 7:30 pm and took about 2,5 hours to Kawaguchi-ko 5th station. This was the last chance to have a little rest. It cost 2700 Yen, which is a good price.
Arrived at 2305m it was freezing and I took on my jacket, scarf and long pants. It already seemed a bit crowded as this famous route is climbed by many people.
The way has many Japanese and English signs, but there aren’t any lights. From there you can climb the Yoshida trail which is about 6km long. All in all it took about 6 hours to climb to the top. I didn’t take any pictures because it was too dark. The higher you climb the stronger the wind blows and the colder it gets. There are many station on way with toilets where you can do a little break. The strange thing was that I just didn’t see where I was walking. At some points the trail is so narrow that there was a little congestion because of the many people.
On the top you can find many huts where hot drinks and food are sold. Those are a good place to wait for the sunrise as it’s really cold and windy outside.
The sunrise was gorgeous, although there were so many people. I also walked to the crater but this took a while because of the strong wind.
After about an hour on the top, I descended this took really long and it got warmer and warmer, that I finally used sun screen, but I got a little sunburned anyway.
As I hadn’t known how long it’s gonna take, I hadn’t bought a ticket for the way back. So I had the option to wait for three hours or take a bus to Kawaguchi-ko for 1300 Yen. There I found another bus for 1900 Yen to Shinjuku, so it was slightly more expensive but faster.
Here is what I would recommend to bring if want to climb Fuji-san:
- ✓ Good hiking shoes
- ✓ Good hiking socks
- ✓ Windproof rain jacket
- ✓ Torch
- ✓ Energy-bars, z.B. Calorie Mate
- ✓ Scarf
- ✓ Gloves
- ✓ 100 Yen pieces for paying the toilet
- ✓ Sunscreen
Although the tour was really exhausting, I highly recommend it. But next time I would bring some hot tea with me.
Fuji-san (富士山) and Fuji-yama (富士山) are also common terms for Mount Fuji. Translated to English those terms mean no more than Mount Fuji. Although the Kanjis (Chinese characters) are identical the terms Fuji-yama is neither correct in Japanese nor used by Japanese people. It might be something made up by foreigners.