Life Lessons Learned From Climbing Mount Fuji in Japan
Beginner’s Guide to Climbing Mount Fuji
Let me start off by saying I am not an experienced hiker. Also I don’t exercise regularly (kinda out of shape). I don’t know the technical ins and outs of hiking. All I know was I had always wanted to hike Mount Fuji but never got around to it. Climbing Mount Fuji was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding experiences I have had in my life. I was glad I did it, pushed myself to the limit and felt more alive. 🙂
Official Climbing Mount Fuji Season:
Yoshida Trail: July 1 to September 10, 2017
Two Day Climbing Mount Fuji Equipment List: Backpack, sunglasses, gloves, sun hat, warm hat, thermal underwear, waterproof trousers, warm fleece jacket, waterproof jacket with an attached hood, hiking boots, wool socks, gaiters, head lamps, hiking Stick, etc.
Fuji Subaru 5th station 富士山五合目
Altitude: 2305 meters
There were tons of people in the Subaru 5th station. We took Yoshida trail (吉田). There are 4 main trails leading up to the summit of Mt. Fuji. If you are a more experienced climber and prefer it to be less-crowded, consider taking other paths such as Fujinomiya (富士宮), Subashiri (須走口) and Gotemba (御殿場駅) trails.
Even if you have no intention climbing Mount Fuji, you can spend some time in the Fuji Five Lakes area. It is a really nice resort area. Lake Yamanaka, Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Saiko, Lake Shoji, Lake Motosu.
Yoshida trail – Started climbing Mount Fuji! Departed at 11:17am.
Mt. Fuji 6th Station 富士山六合目
Arrived at 12:18pm. Altitude: 2390 meters
Mostly pebbles and red soil trail. The walk from 6th – 7th Station was wide enough to fit the crowd, to pass others and climb at your own pace.
Mt. Fuji 7th Station 富士山七合目
Arrived at 2:04pm. Departed at 2:40pm. Altitude: 2700 meters
My level of commitment increased as we approached station 7. There was no turning back you just had to move forward. Station 7 was almost all giant rocks where you need to use some arm works like rock climbing but still manageable. Getting difficult!
Toilets cost 200 yen entrance fee. Like most places in Japan the toilets worked and were clean, although no fancy high-tech toilets.
Mt. Fuji 8th Station 富士山八合目
Arrived at 6:08pm. Departed at 6:18pm. Altitude: 3250 meters
This was where weather changes drastically, I added three layers of top and wore snow hat here.
The sun had almost set and the clouds had completely enveloped the world below.
Mt. Fuji 8th Station Tomoe Kan 富士山八合目トモエ館
Arrived at 8:25pm. Altitude: 3400 meters
By the time we reached our mountain hut, it was already dark. We checked in and were given bags to put our shoes in. Ate curry rice for dinner and got ready for bed. There were not much water to brush teeth or wash hands. The hut had no private bed, just a sleeping area with a pillow, sleeping bag and a hook to hang your bag above your head. I didn’t know if I’d be able to sleep (turned out I slept for about an hour).
Sunrise from 8th Station Tomoe Kan 富士山本八合目トモエ館
A sunrise with clouds was so beautiful. Watching it from Mt Fuji was magic. The view made it worth all of the effort!
Departed at 5:50am.
After hiking for not too long this morning, my chest was instantly a little tight due to the altitude. I was having more trouble breathing. We tried to walk slowly and took multiple stops and it helped.
Mt. Fuji 8.5th Station 富士山八合五勺
Arrived at 6:17am. Departed at 6:22am. Altitude: 3450 meters
Mt. Fuji 9th Station 富士山九合目
Arrived at 7:15am. Depart at 7:20am. Altitude: 3600 meters
Top of Mt. Fuji 富士山山頂
Arrived at 8:10am. Departed at 9:25am. Altitude: 3756 meters
Finally, after our legs had started to give out from the long ascent, we approached the summit. Unfortunately the post office and restroom were not opened yet…
Back Down | Mt. Fuji 8th Station – 5th Station 富士山八合目 – 五合目
Arrived at 11:20am. Departed at noon. The hard part was just beginning! The climb down took us almost 6 hours since we took a lot of short and long breaks. There were tons of volcanic rocks everywhere causing you to slip and slide down the hill. At some points, I lost patience and tried to run down like other people did and sprained my ankle. Tendon strength took about 3 months longer to build up. My tendon was still relatively weak to support myself and the weight I was carrying. The hike down sucked. I just wanted it to be over. Also no place to purchase water after the 8th Station. I was hydrated for too long. Afterwards we were absolutely exhausted.
Lessons Learned from climbing Mount Fuji: Always takes your time (slow down especially when hiking down hill), be patient. It takes time to get strong. It takes patience to keep with it until you get there. Don’t give up, take a break whenever you need it. When I sprained my ankle I was ready to call an ambulance but it seemed to be a lot of trouble to get one. Afterwards we managed to walked down slowly. Trust yourself, you can do it!
Checked in Hotel Konanso Yamanashi
After we arrived Ryokan I was vomiting and couldn’t keep anything down. It was still hard to believe that we had actually climbed it. Glad we made it back safely! Climbing Mount Fuji was on my bucket list and I was glad I did it. Every step was worth it. This is something you’ll never forget in your life!