For many visitors Mt Fuji is the most beautiful symbol and icon of Japan. The snow-capped summit atop a glorious, near symmetrical volcano is a perpetual reminder of the country’s connection with the earth and the deities within. It 3776m above sea level Mt Fuji is the highest point in Japan and is located approximately 60 miles from central Tokyo. Whilst Fuji is technically still an active volcano it is currently listed as being of “low risk” of eruption and is currently in a dormant state. The last major eruption was December 1707.
Climbing Mt Fuji
Official climbing season is between 1st July and 31st August although a few weeks either side of these dates some of the mountain huts may open for the 200 000 people that undertake the climb. There are four established routes to the top, known as Kawaguchiko, Subashiri, Gotemba and Fujinomiya. The summit can be exceedingly cold, usually down around freezing point throughout the climbing season so make sure you are well prepared with warm clothes and decent footwear.
On arrival at the Mt. Fuji the 5th station (2300 meters above sea level) visit the shrine for a quick blessing and then start the climb to the 8th Station. The walk takes around 3 – 4 hours to complete so you will have plenty of time to rest. You will need to go to bed very early to prepare for the walk to the summit, departing around 2am, for the sunrise in the next morning.
Overnight on Mt Fuji
Note: Mountain hut accommodation on Mt Fuji is very simple. You will be sleeping on the floor/tatami mat or bunk beds sharing space with other climbers. Facilities are NOT en suite.
Set off for the walk to the summit in time for sunrise. This will mean waking up around 2am for the 2-3 hours walk to the summit to witness one of the world’s best sunrises!
The walk down to the 5th Station will take around 3 hours.
From here take the local bus with your guide to Kawaguchiko station, and then the train on to your next destination.
Fuji is not a technical peak, but not everyone successfully reaches the summit. The most important factor affecting the success rate is the time you spend acclimatizing on the mountain, we recommend that you do the climb with an experienced guide who will take you up at a comfortable pace.