Sunrise at the peak of Mount Fuji

We all have a list of things we want to do before the year ends and on top of my list was to climb mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan. Although the are a lot of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, I finally had a chance to climb mount Fuji with friends this summer. I`d like to share my experience and create a guide to climbing mount fuji for aspiring climbers in the future.

Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan and it is worldwide known for its beauty and perfect cone shape. It stands at 3,776 meters. It is nowhere near Mt Everest or Mt Kilimanjaro but it`s not an easy hike either. Mount Fuji is a tough hike. Sneakers and Jeans will not do good for your hike.

Beginners guide to climbing mount Fuji

Mount Fuji was registered as a world heritage in 2013. Its beauty attracts 300,000 mountaineers every year before the pandemic. There are thousands of climbers a day and this usually causes congestion but there were very few foreign climbers this time. Paths were clear and the climb flow was smooth.

So, what else can you expect when climbing mount Fuji?

Altitude sickness is real. Don`t underestimate it. It helps so much if you stay in for the night at the 7th station so you can get used to the high altitude. You can book guesthouses for 10,000 yen ($100) and sleep for at least 6 hours. Get some rest and be ready to climb to the summit.

Climbing season

Mount Fuji is only open in Summer. It is only permitted to climb when the trails are open since it can be very dangerous to climb in other seasons. 2021 climbing season started on July 1st and ends on September 10. Although, the 5th station is open all seasons. It`s the starting point to climb.

There are four trails available in climbing mount Fuji. The Yoshida trail is the most popular and the easiest since there are more shops along the trail. It is best recommended for beginners.

You can check more information on Mount Fuji`s Official website.

How to get there

Buses from Shinjuku station are fewer than before because of the Pandemic. They offer direct transport from Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal to the 5th station of Mount Fuji where the climb starts. The trip takes 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic, and costs a reasonable one-way price of 2950 yen ($30).

BOOK TICKETS HERE

Cost and expenses breakdown

Climbing Mount Fuji is no cheap. I spent a total of 40,000 yen ($400) for the entire trip. It was the best decision to stay in the middle of the mountain to get enough rest but you can save your $100 dollars from the guest house.

We needed to take a lot of coins since toilets are not for free. Water and food are twice expensive in the mountain. It is better to buy your food and drinks at a local supermarket or convenience store.

Since I don`t have proper mountaineering shoes and clothes, I had to rent a set for 10,000 yen ($100). It is best to rent an entire 6-pieces set for beginners but if you have some clothes, you can rent only shoes or a backpack.

Other expenses are entrance fees, food, and souvenirs. You can buy souvenirs such as cookies, sweets, clothes, and t-shirts at the fifth station. You can also collect stamps (300 yen) along the climb.

ALSO READ: Why you should travel to the rural side of Japan

Preparation

Climbing Mount Fuji needs a decent plan and preparation. You need to prepare your body to cope with the high altitude and long trek.

The best thing to do is try hiking low mountains before your trip. To prepare your body, you can exercise and get used to activities such as running, steps, squats, or cycling for at least a month.

What to bring on Mount Fuji hike

Before the climb, I had no idea what to expect and bring with me so I also did my research. Here is a list of the things you need to bring for your trip:

  • A solid hiking backpack
  • Rainwear to protect yourself from the wind. Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headlights / torch since you will be climbing at night
  • Trekking shoes. Sneakers are a no no
  • A down jacket. Temperature can drop to zero or sometimes negative and it`s windy. Having a downkacket is very helpful and convinient to carry.
  • Underwear and heat tech undershirts. It`s very cold at night and at the summit
  • Snacks such as peanuts, chocolate bars, rice balls, cookies and chips
  • 1 or 2 liter of water. Bringing 2 liters can be heavy so you can bring just one and refill it later
  • Trash bags. It is strickly no littering on top so everyone must bring their trash back
  • Cash especially 100 yen coins. They don`t use credit cards and using the toilet costs 100 or 200 yen
  • Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, and dust mask to protect yourself from the sun
  • Earplugs. Guest houses can be crowded and you will be sleeping next to each other and it can be noisy at night. Some climbers snore!
  • Wet wipes. There are no showers in the mountain
ALSO READ: Understand Japanese culture with cultural codes

My experience climbing mount Fuji

It was a spectacular and valuable experience for me. I will forever cherish this memory since I have never pushed myself to do something big until I climbed it. I might not climb again since it was really tough and expensive but I highly recommend it to everyone. Climb the tallest mountain in Japan at least once.

We started the climb at around 2 o’clock and reached the 7th station at 4:30 PM. We picked the best day to climb because the weather was so clear and sunny. We could see the blue sky and it was the most beautiful thing I`ve ever seen.

We had curry and rice for dinner at 5PM and went to bed at 6PM.

Although the climb was not always glamour. When we started the hike at dawn, I started to feel nauseous and had headaches. The best thing to do is to take a break and slow down. Allow your body to adjust to the altitude.

Reaching the summit was the goal here and we finally did it at 5:30 AM for the sunrise (goraiko in Japanese) It was such a beautiful scene and to witness the sun slowly rise was out of this world.

After reaching the summit, we ate breakfast and bought some stamps. What`s amazing is that you buy a postcard stamp on top of mount fuji and send it to your loved ones. You can have a look at the crater, rest, and then go back.

Now going down is tougher than the climb for me. My knees were fragile and hurt a lot at the end. I almost wanted to give up but I couldn`t do anything but do my best and go home!

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OVER TO YOU

Climbing Mount Fuji has been on top of my list for years while I`m living in Japan and I finally crossed it out of the list. It was such a valuable and rewarding experience for me. if you want to experience the same, use this as your guide to climbing Mount Fuji, especially if it`s your first time.

I hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions in the comment section. If you want to work and live in Japan, you can check how I landed a job article. If you are on the fence about whether you would like to visit Japan or not, this article will convince you to.

QUESTION: Would you climb Mount Fuji? What`s the best part of climbing a mountain?

Japan has so much more to offer. Explore the country, imbibe with culture and gain unique experiences and bring home some Omiyage (souvenirs) for your friends and family.

TokyoTreat is a subscription-based service that delivers you a box full of unique and fun Japanese snacks every month. Each box contains a hand-picked collection of Japanese candies, DIY kits, traditional Dagashi snacks, and savory snacks and drinks for you to enjoy.

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16 Comments

  1. Neely Moldovan

    September 11, 2021 at 7:03 PM

    WOW! What an incredible experience. Your guide is super helpful! This would be a dream!

  2. Ifeoluwa

    September 11, 2021 at 3:15 AM

    I been wanting to go on a mountain trip! The list of things to bring is really helpful.

  3. Fransic verso

    September 11, 2021 at 2:28 AM

    This looks fun to climb, I guess with winter coming, I’m sure how it will be but congrats for doing that!

    Fransic – https://www.querianson.com/

  4. Nkem

    September 10, 2021 at 4:34 PM

    Mountain climbing seems like one of those activities that one has to prepare a lot for and that can be taxing in many ways… but totally worth it!

  5. Talya Stone

    September 10, 2021 at 8:57 AM

    Ahhhh this looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to visit Japan and this is definitely top of my list for when I do. Really useful guide for those embarking on a climb.

  6. Gervin Khan

    September 10, 2021 at 8:52 AM

    I have never tried to do a trail hike but I would love to congratulate you for making it.
    That was really a wonderful experience for you.

  7. Ivan M. Jose

    September 10, 2021 at 6:57 AM

    What a great adventure. It must be an unforgettable experience to climb Mt. Fuji.

  8. Heatherkleinwolf

    September 9, 2021 at 9:36 PM

    Congratulations on the climb! That’s a wonderful experience and the phots from the top are stunning.

    1. Ali

      September 10, 2021 at 5:34 AM

      Thank you. It was truly beautiful on top

  9. Brianne

    September 9, 2021 at 8:57 PM

    Talk about an adventure! The view must be amazing, but the climb must be even better!

    1. Ali

      September 10, 2021 at 5:34 AM

      It was an adventure!! And view was just amazing and beautiful

  10. Ben

    September 9, 2021 at 8:24 PM

    I think climbing Mount Fuji would be an amazing experience. I can only imagine what the views are like up there.

    1. Ali

      September 10, 2021 at 5:35 AM

      Thank you Ben. Views are incredibly amazing!

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