Travel Guide to Mount Fuji

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Mount Fuji is 3776 meters tall and last erupted in 1707-1708. It is a stratovolcano that is located only about 100 kilometers away from Tokyo. Since it is almost always visible, it gave the name to Fuji-san, the largest city near Mount Fuji and the western gateway to Shizuoka Prefecture. The often snow-capped summit can be seen from Tokyo, Yokohama on a clear day. At the north-center of Shizuoka Prefecture, Fuji City is overlooked by Japan’s most famous mountain. The climb itself is relatively easy, and hiking Mount Fuji can be done in one day from the 5th station. If you want to hike from the bottom, you can make reservations at mountain huts or camp. However, the climb itself, albeit not very difficult, must be taken seriously, as thousands of people get into trouble and need to be rescued every year.

Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and the most iconic one. If you are able to hike to the top during the climbing season, which is from early July to mid-September, you will earn the ultimate bragging rights: you have climbed the tallest mountain in Japan. If you are a little bit adventurous and brave enough to climb down in darkness, you can hike it after the official season has ended. If you are in Japan at the right time, hiking Mount Fuji should be on top of many hikers’ bucket list.

History of Mount Fuji

The Japanese themselves have a deep respect for Mount Fuji, even though on the quiet it destroys not only entire cities and towns but picks up the molten rock from deep within itself and proceeds to burn outwards to destroy wide areas of countryside. Apart from the numerous works of art that portray Mount Fuji in different aspects, it has also served as inspiration for many writers and poets. The poem most associated with Mount Fuji is the ‘Nihon Ka le’ by Futehiko Hosokawa, which talks about the ‘invisible’ snow on the slopes of the mountain.

History of Mount Fuji There is an almost mystical reverence held for Mount Fuji by the Japanese. Many artists, writers, and poets have been inspired by this 3,776-meter Yamanashi-ken. Fuji-Son Highland, whose snow-covered peak is held to be one of the most magnificent in the world.

Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and the focal point of the sprawling Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. This symmetrical volcanic cone is a cultural and spiritual icon that has featured in Japanese art and literature for centuries.

Geography and Climate

Due to its height and shape, Mount Fuji creates its own weather. On sunny days, the mountain tends to create its own weather, which can be seen as an almost permanent “hat”. It is not uncommon for lenticular clouds to form over the peak and they often mark extremely high winds, which generally keep the official routes to the summit closed. The mountain is primarily a summer destination, as the unforgiving weather at the summit and other hazards such as landslides make access difficult. In the winter months, the mountain is almost always closed. Even in May, access to the summit is not possible (each year the routes that open are decided by the local authorities). Note, however, that climbing the official routes is only allowed between July and September.

The area around Mount Fuji is unique, as it rises relatively high in the midst of a vast, level plain. In the most strict sense, the mountain is an active stratovolcano with the primary cone having a peak over 3500 meters high. However, the mountain is mostly known for its wide symmetrical shape, which makes it one of the most famous and beautiful mountains in the world. The entire mountain is made up of layers of volcanic ash and other material ejected from different vents over the past several hundred thousand years.

Cultural Significance

Art and Mount Fuji are inextricably linked in the Japanese tradition. The volcanic mountain has been the subject of thousands of paintings and woodblock prints by artists both outside of Japan and within. The artistic association still plays its role in the Japanese and non-Japanese popular culture in the creation of media related to the mountain. Mount Fuji is a popular resort for tourists and climbers, especially in the summer months. In warmer seasons, people can summit the great mountain. The view of the solitary snow-capped conical mountain looming over the surrounding green hills and the azure sky attracts many people and rises in a remarkable number, probably far more than are drawn by the actual attraction of the long and ascetic climb. It is estimated that more than 200,000 people climb Mount Fuji every summer. They sell lucky charms, such as a gold coin, to people who climb to the summit. This hope is unshakable among climbers.

Mount Fuji has many cultural and religious ties and is a visible trademark of Japan. The mountain is sacred to Japan’s Shinto religion and, along with the cherry blossom, has come to symbolize the beauty of Japan through countless ancient poems and works of art. Among the religions associated with the volcano is the Fujiko sect of Shinto, which considers the volcano itself to be sacred. A number of Shinto shrines are located on the volcano, a fact that is attributed to the reclusive tradition that is practiced on the mountain. However, the two most important are Sengen Jinja shrines at the summit and at the base. These shrines have been considered important for nearly 1,000 years.

Practical Tips for Visiting Mount Fuji

Toilet on Mount Fuji. There are toilets on the 5th, 7th, 8th Stations and the summit of Mount Fuji. The charge per usage is ¥200 to ¥300. These are not the comfiest toilets, but it does the work at those heights. The shorter the line, the higher the chance of sitting comfortably.

Mount Fuji’s Drinking Water, Melting Snow and Beverages. The drinking water on Mount Fuji comes from melting snow. Please do not drink water from a river or puddle on the mountain, as the water may not be clean. Depending on the day, you may see people transporting food and beverages by cable car to mountain huts. Water costs up to ¥500 per 500 ml on Mount Fuji and all prices go up as you ascend.

Sleeping at Mount Fuji: Mountain Huts. If you wish to see the sunrise on the summit of Mount Fuji, you can stay at mountain huts, roku-gome, along the mountain trail. The sleeping bag is packed and you can buy or rent blankets and mats at the mountain huts, with dinner and breakfast available at some rokugome.

Buying the Mount Fuji climbing ticket from Yoshida Trailhead. You can buy the Mount Fuji climbing ticket for one way from the 5th station of the Yoshida Trailhead at the ticket booths along the trail. They typically open around 9:00 and you can check their seasons at the official Yoshida Trailhead site.

Best Time to Visit

It is theoretically possible to climb Mount Fuji all year round, though attempting to do so requires serious snow and ice climbing experience and the necessary equipment. The Yoshida trail is the most accessible of the four routes leading to the summit, and the fifth station of the trail is by far the most popular trailhead. From Kawaguchiko, a toll road winds its way up to the Fuji Subaru Line fifth station; during the climbing season, it can get very busy, and taking public transportation instead is a great alternative. Prior to and after the climbing season, the road leading up to the fifth station is closed to private cars, but some sections remain open for shuttle buses. Alternatively, one can hike along the unsealed substrate of the toll road.

Summer and early autumn are not just the best, they are also the only seasons when climbing Mount Fuji is a reality. During the official climbing season of July 1 to August 27, the trails and mountain facilities are open 24 hours a day. Outside of this window, there are very few people on the trails, and the mountain huts are closed, making climbing nearly impossible. And while some people do climb outside of the official season, it is considerably more difficult due to the risks of encountering severe weather conditions, such as low temperatures, strong winds, and deep snow above the eighth station.

How to Get There

This can also be done as a day trip from Tokyo, depending on what you feel like doing. Basically, the closer to Fuji you get, the less touristy and more beautiful it is. So, I advise planning a few days in the area if you are planning on doing some serious exploring! Note that the above method is to go to Mount Fuji itself, the actual mountain, from Tokyo Station. Of course, you can get a great view of Fuji from the surrounding areas, even from Tokyo, but it won’t be the same as visiting the actual mountain itself. However, it takes quite a while to actually get to Mount Fuji itself from the surrounding areas.

Mount Fuji is a world-famous monument, widely enjoyed by many through visits to its summit. It is also seen as an object of worship and respect. Mount Fuji is a symbol of Japan. Mount Fuji is one of the three Holy Mountains of Japan and as a natural monument, it has been officially registered as Japan’s first World Heritage Cultural Site. Mount Fuji earned the acclaimed status of a World Heritage Cultural Site as a sacred mountain that has been praised and depicted in art from antiquity to the modern ages.

Accommodation Options

Aside from the mountain huts run by the local Yamanashi and Shizuoka mountaineering clubs, Gotemba and Subashiri offer the most variety for budget walkers who don’t have their own tent. There is also space for camping around the Subashiri trail entrance. With a bus terminal and a town at the trailhead, travel is also quite simple. The main climbing period is from early July to the end of August, and during this period, the heavily packed trains and traffic jams show that it is also the busiest time to visit Mount Fuji. If you can get the days off work, I would usually recommend climbing on a weekday, but for Mount Fuji, it is the opposite. The mountain huts do serve dinner and breakfast, but although they can keep your luggage while you climb, I would not want to leave too many valuable belongings behind. Expect a lot of people to be around when you climb. Large groups may also want to contact mountain ashrams for extra camping space.

Kawaguchiko is the most convenient base for climbers, but Yamanakako is also a possibility. Kawaguchiko has train and bus stations and is the most popular option. There are many places to eat and large bathhouses. Yamanakako is much smaller, but has a couple of convenience stores, a bus terminal, and two bathhouses. Accommodation here can be a little cheaper. Both towns have hotels, pensions, minshuku, and ryokan. Lake Saiko and Lake Shojiko at the center of the Five Lakes region are further from Mount Fuji but have some really peaceful places to stay. The town by the entrance to the Komitake trail is the closest, followed by Gotemba. This area is also your best bet if you want to book the overnight mountain huts. People driving their own cars can access these huts from Gotemba or Subashiri.

Recommended Hiking Trails

Hongu Sengen Taisha – Subashiri Route: This route starts from the Hongu Sengen Taisha front entrance. The history feels long toward the starting point. On the desired course, you can climb to the mountain ridge, look up at the mountaintop, and worship from a vantage point. After praying, the mountain entrance starts from the shop and hut buildings. The eyes can reach the east · 6 gorges of Lake Motosu. It feels like a mountain gate that opens the view. Just get trekking and become a hiking path on the edge of the ridge. Since it is a small path on the top of the rock, the sense of adventure is plenty.

Fujinomiya Route: It is gentle and slopes from the start. You will be able to reach the best 6th and 7th stages in two hours. The resting place is also in a convenient location. However, the inside road of the mountain is narrow and unstable. It is useful for climbers from the Eigutou 7th station to hurry to the top.

Gotemba Route: The length of the trek route is long, but the elevation difference is small, so it’s not tiring. Around the 8th station, there is another tough but very different level of trekking course. However, it is an unstable road with sand and stones. Therefore, as the night is late, a small stone is beaten and miserable.

Subashiri Route: The grassy trekking path is soft for hiking. There are many switchbacks. You can reach the 8th station at a fast walking pace. The only bottleneck is the narrow path. Hikers concentrating on sunrise should avoid the main route and follow this route.

Fuji-Hoshida Route: The main route is very crowded and filled with commercial establishments. I would recommend not hiking through the main route, as it is crowded and falls prey to illegal tree cutting as well.