|Sept. 10, 2016 ~ A perfect day for climbing!|
First, for the ascent, my hiking partner and I took the Fujinomiya route. It's the shortest, taking 5~6 hours up and 3 hours down. It's also quite steep, and should be attempted by more experienced hikers as there are tough sections where you have to climb up large boulders using all four limbs. Info pertaining to the Fujinomiya route is HERE and a detailed map is HERE (courtesy of Mt.Fuji Explorer & MTG).
Photos at Fujinomiya 5th station, the starting point:
A quick guide before you start climbing:
- You cannot take a car to the 5th station during the official season as vehicles are banned from the national park. You'll need to take the bus. Return ticket is 1,800 JPY ($18 USD). The bus stop looks like this:
- Buses leave every 10~15 from 5:30 AM. After 8 AM the departure times slow to every 20~30 minutes. Don't worry, it's very well-organized and impossible to get on the wrong bus. Japanese + English signage seen. From the parking area (near American army base Camp Fuji) to Fujinomiya 5th station takes about 15~20 minutes.
- Volunteers will give you a detailed map in English (Chinese & Korean may be available too) before you get on the bus. Study it; it has info about where to seek medical attention + approximate hiking times between each station. You can also make a 1,000 JPY donation to the Mt. Fuji Conservation fund. It goes to trail maintenance and is not compulsory.
- All toilets on Mt.Fuji are "tip toilets", meaning you should donate 100~300 yen per use ($1~$3). The money aids maintenance, cleaning & toilet paper stock. So, bring lot of 100 yen coins before you start the climb. You should pay to use the toilets (at the summit, payment is mandatory).
|Cutenekko's finger indexes our starting point!|
- Take 30 minutes to an hour to allow your body to acclimatize to the altitude. Many hikers skip this step and the result may be headaches, shortness of breath, and more. Use the time to eat breakfast, see the souvenirs, or use the toilet. You can also stretch your muscles before the climb.
- There is a large souvenir shop and food + drinks are sold at this station. You can stock up on supplies if you forgot something. Frugal climbers should bring all supplies from outside the Fuji area -- much cheaper!
What to bring:
I cannot stress this enough: Mt.Fuji is a real mountain, so be sure to bring proper climbing gear. These include:
- solid hiking shoes (sneakers are not recommended) + a sturdy backpack
- a warm jacket or sweater; the summit is about 8 degrees C
- a flashlight (during descent, you'll likely be hiking in darkness)
- sunscreen + a large hat that will not blow off in the wind (it's VERY windy at many points)
- about 2 liters of water for one person
- hiking stocks (if you have them, they are useful).
Insider secret tips:
- Bring a mask to cover your nose and mouth. Why? Fuji is full of ash, and that stuff blows around getting into your nose, mouth and ears.
- Some people recommend snowboard/ski goggles too, especially for contact lens wearers as the ash particles can easily get into your eyes.
The trail from Fujinomiya 5th to the 6th station (notice the ash!):
|The wide trail on the right is not for hikers -- it's for bulldozers which carry supplies up to the mountain huts.|
I'll post more pics of the climb itself + photos of the mountain huts.
~ Enjoy hiking!
The official Japan Tourism Office site for Mt. Fuji is HERE.
Another great resource for hiking this mountain is Japan-Guide.com's site HERE.
The official climbing season is usually July ~ early September. It is not recommended to hike after October due to heavy winds and snow.