As the Japanese proverb goes, “He who does not climb Mt.Fuji is a fool, but he who climbs Mt.Fuji twice is also a fool.” An ascent to Japan’s highest peak (3,776 m) is a once in a lifetime experience that most do not want to repeat. The mountain is officially open only during the months of July and August.
- Access: Bus from Shinjuku (2,600 yen each way) is the easiest way to get to Mt.
- The Climb: The hike up from the 5th station takes 4 to 7 hours, and the descent another 2 to 3. The trail consists of fairly steep switchbacks and has people going up and down 24 hours a day. Altitude sickness does affect some people, so many opt to stay in one of the many mountain huts (Average 5,000 yen) and climb to the peak early in the morning to see the sunrise. It is important for all climbers to be properly prepared with the proper equipment and clothing (it can be very cold at the peak even on hot days). For more information about the climb, please check any of these websites.
Grand Prize winner of the 2006 Japan Ecotourism Award, Mt. Fuji Ecotour is a series of eco-tours offered by the WholeEarthNatureSchool. They have a Summer Mountaineering (Fuji climb) 2-day, 1-night package for 16,000 yen (mountain hut and meal fee of approximately 8000 yen not included). They also have a Lava Cave Exploration Tour (3 hours, 5,000 yen) and several other tours year round.