Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain, standing at 3776 meters tall. It’s also one of the most popular and recognizable mountains in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of people each year.
People often forget that Mount Fuji is an active volcano that most recently erupted in 1707 and is expected to erupt again at some point in the future.
The nearly perfectly symmetrical volcano has been worshiped by many over the centuries, and people still come from all over the world just to experience the awe-inspiring views of the mountain.
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You’re only able to climb Mount Fuji from July, through to about mid-September as this is when the trails are not covered in snow. During these months, the mountain is packed with hikers, all wanting to reach the summit and witness the incredible Sunrise.
Climbing – or at least viewing – Mount Fuji should definitely be on your to-do list in Japan.
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However, before you make the climb, there are several things you must know before setting off. It’s really important that you’re prepared for this!
While there are still a few hardcore climbers that hike all the way from the bottom, most people choose to start the climb from the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, which is about half way up the mountain.
It is still a very challenging climb from here, with the route taking around 6 hours 30 minutes to complete (on average). This is just a rough guideline. Times will vary depending on the weather, your climbing experience, how your body adjusts to the altitude, and a host of other reasons.
Now, let’s get into the essential survival tips!
One of the essential pieces of equipment that you will have with you is your shoes.
Make sure you’ve got some good quality, sturdy hiking boots.
If you don’t have a pair of your own, there is a rental shop, along with other shops ad restaurants at the 5th station.
Food on the mountain is expensive, and the cost increases as you climb higher.
So, it’s pretty important to bring some food and snacks with you.
Bring food that’s portable and not too heavy. Also, make sure it’ll provide you with enough energy to continue climbing.
Water is also incredibly expensive on the mountain, so make sure you bring plenty of your own.
One of the best things for fighting altitude sickness is having plenty of water. It’s definitely worth the extra weight.
Bring layers to put on, have layers that you can easily peel off, and have some extra layers just in case.
You may want to start off with just a couple of layers, but as you climb higher, it will get a lot colder so you’re going to want to wrap up for those higher sections.
Also, the weather can change really quickly up there so it’s absolutely essential that you have a waterproof jacket with you! Trust me, there’s nothing worse than being stuck on the side of the mountain, in freezing temperatures, and all of a sudden it starts raining. You will be pretty miserable if that happens.
A hat is another piece of clothing that you should bring. It’ll keep your head warm as you get higher, and also while you’re waiting for the sunrise at the summit.
Because of the wind up there, lots of dust gets blown around so it can also be handy to bring a face mask with you to shield yourself from this stuff.
As you can probably guess, climbing Mount Fuji is a very challenging, energy-draining experience, so make sure you’re well rested before you set off.
You may feel fine, to begin with, but after 4 or 5 hours, you’ll wish you had a better sleep the night before!
As well as being rested, it’s also important that you take plenty of breaks along the way.
This will ease the affects of the altitude and will also help you conserve energy for the highest and steepest sections of the climb.
There are a number of huts and stations that you pass on your way up, but you’re usually not allowed inside unless you’re staying there or if you are willing to buy something from them. Bear in mind that everything gets more expensive the higher you climb.
It can cost you around 500 yen (£3.50 ish) to get inside for 15 minutes.
However, most of these huts have benches and seats outside them which you can use.
If you are wanting to stay in one of these huts and complete the climb in two parts, you have to book in advance!
Check out this guide for more information.
7. Bring some 100 Yen Coins
It costs to use the toilets on the mountain so, unless you’re planning to hold it until you make it back down, I suggest you bring some 100 yen coins with you.
It will cost you about 200 yen per trip, so spend wisely.
One last vital piece of equipment for you to bring is a torch.
Ideally, bring a head torch as this will free up both of your hands for when you have to do some climbing.
Obviously, this won’t be necessary if you’re climbing during the day, but most people climb at night because they want to catch the sunrise, which is usually around 5 am.
This is what makes this climb so special.
Witnessing the sunrise from the summit of Mount Fuji is one of the most spectacular views in the world. It’s definitely one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen!
No matter how challenging the climb is, witnessing the sunrise will make it all worth it!
We just climbed up last week.
I wish we’d had access to this guide beforehand because we were so unprepared and we greatly underestimated how hard this would be.
We decided to climb through the night, all the way to the summit, witness the sunrise, and then climb back down to the 5th station, all in one go.
We managed it (barely) but it would have been a much more pleasant experience if we had arranged for somewhere to stay for the night on the mountain. This is what most people opt for and I can see why!
All in all, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and I would recommend it to anyone. Just make sure you’re prepared for the challenge!
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