Japan Adventure: Climbing Mt. Fuji

Early this Summer 2017, me and some of my friends climbed Mt. Fuji. That was second time climbing Mt. Fuji and up until now, it’s still the most brutal thing I ever experienced.

I’m not really that fit when I did the climb. I was usually short of sleep and lung capacity is not really that good anymore. But luckily I was able to reach the top despite a couple of minor hiccups.

The Plan

  1. Ride the bus from Shibuya to Mt. Fuji 5th station
  2. Eat dinner in the 5th station
  3. Start the climb at around 8pm
  4. Reach the summit before the sunrise
  5. Eat and rest for a while on the summit
  6. Climb down back to the 5th station
  7. Ride the bus back to Tokyo

Things You’ll Need

  1. Good hiking shoes
  2. Gloves
  3. Good jacket for the cold night
  4. A rain coat
  5. Flashlight or Head lamp
  6. Energy bars and/or small snacks
  7. Water (in my case, 2 liters is enough)

The Climb

Our group had 6 members; 2 Filipinos, 3 Koreans and 1 Japanese.

We started our adventure on Shibuya. We met there and rode the bus which took us to Mt. Fuji 5th Station.

We then took a quick dinner in one of the restaurant in the 5th station.

We started the preparation for our climb. We bought some wooden walking sticks. Those wooden sticks helped us during the climb as a support for uneven land. There are also stamping area in every station where you pay ~500 yen and the staff would put a “station stamp” in your wooden stick.

This year, because we have some first time Mt. Fuji climbers in our group, we decided to climb the Yoshida Trail again. This, as far as we know, is the easiest of the trails going up the summit. There are 4 trails to the summit; Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba and Fujinomiya.

We started our climb at around 6pm and it started relatively easy. The weather was very nice compared to my first climb the previous year. The climb from the 5th to the 8th station was very smooth. I didn’t even had to wear my jacket yet.

By the way, after the 7th station you will notice that there are a lot of 8th stations. Another fun fact, there are mini stores and vending machines in each stations where you can buy drinks and food. The prices are more expensive but that’s the cost of convenience.

By the time we reached the 8th station, it’s already very dark and cold. We started to wear our down jackets and turned on our head lamps.

The climb between 8.5th station and the summit was very difficult for me. The wind was becoming stronger and colder as we climb up. I only brought three Snickers bars with me that day and as pointed out by some of my friends, my jacket wasn’t really think enough for the cold winds of Mt. Fuji. This was around 2AM to 3PM.

So after 10 hours worth of climbing and two incident of public puking near the summit. Me and my buddy were able to reach the summit at 4AM just in time for the sunrise.

There were a lot of people climbing in queue starting the 9th station and there are more people waiting for the sunrise in the summit.

In the summit, we ate some food inside a ramen restaurant and stayed there maybe for two good hours to rest our bodies before we climbed down.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it’s a great experience. I am not really a fan of climbing mountains but I enjoyed physical and challenging activities. However, now that I climbed Mt. Fuji twice, I am not really sure if I still want to climb it next year.

Again, it’s definitely the worst feeling I ever experienced in my life physically; the cold and strong wind, the fatigue, the dizziness and the headache.

Let’s see next summer if I’ll climb it again. 🙂

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