A travel guide to climb Mount Fuji

By Binod - February 03, 2018

I was thrilled with the love and respect of Japanese people for Mt Fuji. Plus the enthusiasm in people of different age group to climb it was something new to see. 
Mt Fuji (3776m) has been a source of inspiration for Japanese artists and public, it is worshiped by people here. It is an active volcano that last erupted around 300 years ago.
It was added to World Heritage site as cultural site on 22nd of June 2013 as it has much cultural influence than natural.
Last week I climbed Mt Fuji aka Fuji San with few friends, it is the tallest mountain of Japan. By the way that's me on the top. What a wonderful moment that was.

Some when, how to get there and what to take.

The official climbing season is between July and August. These two months are the hottest in Japan with maximum  temperature  around 40 degree Celsius but the temperature at the peak is still around 0. Off season climbing is too dangerous as the temperature can drop up to -40 Degree Celsius.  

Climbing begins from the fifth base station kawaguchiko but you wont' get direct train, you have to take bus from the nearest station. If you are around Tokyo then you can take direct bus from Shinjuku (In front of Yodobashi Camera), it takes 140 min and will cost around ¥ 2500. If you are travelling in a personal vehicle take Chuo Express Highway from Sinjuku

You can climb Mt Fuji during day as well as in night, I climbed during night. No matter the climbing season is summer its windy/cold up there day and night, you will notice the temperature change from the 5th base station. 

  • Take wind-cheater , warm cap, gloves and a raincoat  
  • good trekking shoe
  • sun-blocks , sunglasses
  • flash light, head light
  • toilet paper, remember you have to pay ¥100/¥200 every-time you use toilet.
  • you can buy trekking stick at souvenir shop in kawaguchiko
  • Carry around 2 litre of water, you can buy it on the way too but the price goes double or triple. 

One cup noodle that costs around ¥ 150 in stores will cost you ¥ 400 on the way. You can take bento or chocolate for calories. You can buy portable oxygen if you feel difficulties in breathing.

Remember: There are no dust bins at/from 5th station, so you have to carry all your litter with you to the top and all the way back to base station and carry it with you on your way back to home . 

I took bus from Sinjuku, it took me 140 min, I started climbing at 19:00. I was at the top by 04:00. So it took me 9 hours including rest. Remember that it was a night trip, watching sunrise is one of the main attraction there so be there by 0400 if you are planning so. It was summer holiday so there were hundreds of people which caused heavy traffic. 

A view of amusement park with Mt Fuji in the background.
I was surprised to see number of people climbing the mountain, I had to wait many time in queue to move ahead. It was always a nervous moment seeing people getting altitude sickness, some of them vomited, while most of them had nose bleeding. Small kids who were too tired were crying holding their parents. Climber were encouraging each other by saying Gambarimas (Try Hard, keep moving). So be careful, move with your own pace and take frequent rest through out the journey.

Headlight of climber
On the way to the top you can enjoy the panoramic view, you will notice a lake, dense forest of Fuji conservational area, some wild animals if you are lucky enough and beautiful stars, I recommend you to stop and enjoy the scene, never try walking and watching at the same time.   

Luckily there are shops in every 1-2 hours where you can buy drinks and food. You can there sleep if you are too tired, but they charge almost triple. Although no one is assigned to check but every time after using toilet climber are supposed to donate ¥100/¥200.  

A shop at the summit.
I pushed myself to the top, I climbed first mountain in my life, when I reached there the moment was emotional
Temperature was freezing and the cold wind was making the situation hard. I was waiting for the sun to rise, temperature to get  high for my body to warm.
That sunrise was the most waited sunrise I have had in my life.

At the top

I was tired after walking for nearly 9 hours and the cold wind and temperature was making it really hard. After spending few hours at the top we started descending. Initially I was happy to see sloppy route full of volcanic ash and debris but later it became the toughest part of the whole trip. Descending is one of the difficult part of the trek, I was expecting some hard surface or at least something different than that but walking in same surface for hours took all the fun out of it. Getting back to base station was a moment of relief and success.


It was a wonderful experience, if you are planning a trip to Mt Fuji then I recommend you to do it soon, if you are reading this from any other countries than Japan then try your local mountain or a may be a hill. Im planning some trek when I get back to Nepal.

Thank you everyone for making it happen!!!

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