Mount Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji is one of the most beautiful and inspiring mountains to climb. A Japanese proverb once said “You’d be a fool to come to Japan and not climb Mount Fuji, but an even bigger fool to climb it twice.” Climbing Mount Fuji can be a very trying experience, but it is a great mountain for hikers and offers breath taking views. The Mountain is one of the most incredible places in Japan so be sure not to miss out.

When to Go

Mount Fuji is only open for part of the year, in late summer ( July and August). If possible try to have flexibility in the day you choose to go to Fuji, this will allow you to hike on the day with the best weather. Rain or severe weather conditions can put a wrench in your plans and make a hike dangerous. If possible, a midweek hike will be less crowded.

I hiked Mount Fuji overnight and enjoyed this option because it allowed me to get to the top in time for the sunrise. I highly recommend reaching the summit for the sunrise and there are two ways of doing so. One is to hike starting around 10pm and hike up the mountain. Another is to start a hike in the afternoon around 3pm and sleep in one of the minimalist shelters until around 4am, then hike to the summit. There are benefits and negatives to both options so research which ones fits your lifestyle best.  The last mile up to the summit can get very crowded before sunrise so allow extra time for this portion.

Hiking
Hiking up Mount Fuji can be very challenging. It is definitely a difficult hike but not a full out Mount climb, no climbing equipment is necessary. The hike up can take anywhere from 5-7 hours and physical fitness is necessary. A good measure would be the ability to run around 4 miles and also have the stamina to walk for several hours.

If you are not interested in summiting Mount Fuji, you can always hike part of the trail and turn around as part of a day trip.

 

Rest Stations

There are rest stations along the hike up that offer some drinks, bathrooms, and overnight housing. A word of caution, they will be closed for the night. The water can also be expensive so make sure to pack snacks and water.

Supplies

At night, it is very important to bring a flashlight, and a headlight.

Water and food is available in the rest stations but can be expensive, and are  usually closed at night. Bring money for these options though, and for restaurants at the base.So make sure to pack an excessive amount of water, food, and gatorade. Slight altitude sickness is common as the elevation gain is very high, so make sure to drink more water than usual, and to watch for signs of increasing severity. A medical supply kit would be helpful as well.

Hiking shoes are necessary to climb the mountains. Bring additional layers of clothes as it is VERY cold at the summit. It is a very high elevation and most of the ground is frozen, you will want snowpants and a warm jacket.

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