Mt Fuji is one of the most famous symbols of Japan and many people climb it every year, Japanese people and travellers from overseas alike. We’ve created a guide to climbing to the summit of Mt Fuji just for you! It includes some ways to climb up Mt Fuji, as well as what to expect and prepare for the climb.
Some Ways to climb up Mt Fuji:
There are many different ways to climb up Mt Fuji! Before embarking on your journey to Mt Fuji, ask yourself some questions – Do you need a climbing guide? Do you want to watch the sunset? Are you going with family? And so forth.
Below are some recommended ways you can climb Mt Fuji.
1. Hire a private guide for a family trip
It can be a scary experience to climb Mt Fuji for the first time. But with a veteran guide accompanying you, it can help make you feel relaxed.
The guide helps show you the easiest routes and where scenery is particularly beautiful. Prices start at 18,000 yen per person for a group of 10.
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Also, you don’t have to worry about bothering other groups and you can take a rest whenever you want. Children from 5 years old can climb so you can bring the whole family!
2. From sea to the summit
For experienced hikers who want to try a challenge, have you thought about climbing this way as a challenge?
Starting from sea level at Tagonoura port, you can try climbing all the way to the highest point in Japan.
For the first day, walk from the old Todaido to the old mountain trail, experiencing the path that connects old and new.
For the second day, aim for the Murayama Asama Shrine, the holy place of enlightenment, while viewing the beautiful tea plantations in Fuji city.
This would be an unforgettable experience for hiking veterans.
3. View the sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji
For Japanese people, the idea of climbing Mt. Fuji brings up images of the sunrise seen from the summit.
However, for beginners, there are a few people who give up part way through.
In order to have a fulfilling hiking trip, and enjoy the sunrise, you can join a veteran guide to show you the easiest path to climb, and the best place to see scenery. They can also show you the best place to descend and guide you to shortcuts.
For anyone who is worried about crowds, Mt. Fuji is comparatively quiet in September.
Why not enjoy the sunrise from within the sea of clouds?
Things to Prepare and Expect:
Climbing Mt Fuji is certainly doable but not entirely easy! Sufficient preparation for the climb is essential to making it an enjoyable and triumph climb.
Below are some things you will need to prepare and also expect to encounter at Mt. Fuji.
1. Hiking Equipment and Food
If you think you can climb Mt Fuji with just a t-shirt, shorts and sandals, I hate to break it you but it’s not that simple.
You will need to consider hiring or bringing your own hiking equipment (including comfortable shoes, beanie, a windbreaker and warm sweater, longer pants, etc.). A backpack to store snacks for the climb is highly suggested! You can also hire hiking equipment (can be sent to an address, or can be picked up from the 5th station).
2. Lodging Accommodation
Climbers who intend to watch the sunrise from the summit usually climb overnight and reach the top early morning (around 4-5am). Therefore many of these climbers stay in a lodge at the 8th station to rest before they continue their journey up the mountain! Mt Fuji is relatively colder up top, so many climbers don’t want to freeze to death. (Usually if you are going with a tour group, this is included!)
3. Large Crowds during Peak Season
If you already shudder from the large crowds at Shibuya crossing, I assure you that Mt Fuji might not be any different during peak climbing season! You will undoubtedly discover a horde of climbers at Mt Fuji in the summer (July and August), so be wary of that. Also, be prepared to wait behind a huge crowd of climbers from the eighth station to the summit in the morning.
4. Colder Climate and Mountain Sickness
Mt Fuji is considerably colder than big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Plus, climbers are prone to mountain sickness at Mt Fuji, so if you know you don’t fare well with mountain sickness, make sure you prepare some medication or climb slowly up the mountain to familiarise yourself with higher altitude and climate.
5. Environmental Preservation Donation
Unfortunately every year, many climbers and locals dump their rubbish on Mt Fuji – from plastic bags to car tyres and refrigerators. Waste management is very important to Mt Fuji, or the beauty of this mountain will be tarnished. In efforts to ensure the sustainability and the beauty of Mt Fuji’s environment, the local government has set up a clean-up campaigns and a donation system.
It is expected that Mt Fuji climbers donate some money (1,000 yen) to this campaign when they visit the mountain. However, these signs are all in Japanese, so many visitors are unaware of such campaign. Be sure to prepare a 1,000 yen conservation donation when you visit Mt Fuji!
I hope this guide has given you a better idea as to what it is like to climb the national icon of Mt Fuji! Once you reach the summit of the mountain, you will feel an immense sense of pride and accomplishment. For those who are visiting Japan during the summer time, climbing Mt Fuji is an absolutely worthwhile experience!
Blog by Rachel and Tuna
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