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A beginner’s guide to climbing Mt Fuji

6 Comments
By Ashley Owen

If you were looking for an image to represent Japan, chances are the perfect, snow-capped cone of Mt Fuji would be high on your list. It’s not just there to admire from a distance, however. Conquering Fuji is at the top of many people’s bucket lists and there’s no time like the present to decide to take up the challenge!

The official climbing season for 2019 starts from July 1 (Yoshida trail), and July 10, (Subashiri, Gotemba and Fujinomiya trails) and ends on September 10. 

To help you along the way, here’s our beginner’s guide to tackling this most iconic of mountains.

Choose your Mt Fuji trail

Climbing-up-the-Yoshida-trail.jpg
Climbing up the Yoshida trailClimbing up the Yoshida trail. Photo: ASHLEY OWEN

There are four different trails you can take to reach the summit of Mt Fuji: Yoshida (yellow), Subashiri (red), Gotemba (green) and Fujinomiya (blue). Trails are split into 10 stages. Most climbers will start from the fifth station of each trail.

The Yoshida trail is by far the most popular and is equipped with the most support facilities, including mountain huts. This makes it an excellent choice for first-time climbers. If, however, you want more of a challenge or a quieter climb then you might want to consider trying one of the other routes.

The Subashiri trail has more varied views and joins the Yoshida trail at the eighth station, so it’s another good option for beginners. More experienced hikers or those who have already crested Fuji once might want to try the longest and least crowded Gotemba trail or the steep and rocky Fujinomiya trail.

More information on the characteristics of each trail can be found on the official website for climbing Mt Fuji.

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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6 Comments
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If bad weather - even light rain and wind - come on, it’s best to turn around and descend. You won’t see anything at the summit anyway.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Look at the weather forecast before you go. Jump in the onsen instead if it looks bad.

You probably want to wear some kind of synthetic base layer that will keep you warm after you've sweated in it climbing up. Uniqlo's heat tech or the like. You can buy also perfectly fine rain gear for 4-5,000 yen in Workman for example. I wouldn't hike in actual rain, but rain gear is lightweight and very windproof and can be layered with a thin down jacket to make something toasty for the summit. There is lots of lovely stuff in mountain shops, but it all costs at least five times the stuff I buy.

For extra fuel, just take gummis, not expensive power bar things. Almost pure sugar-type sweets are fine. Regular cup noodles can also be better than more expensive dehydrated food, because they are designed to soften up at relatively low temperatures like 70C. Water will boil at well below 90C on top of Fuji.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Regular cup noodles can also be better than more expensive dehydrated food, because they are designed to soften up at relatively low temperatures like 70C. Water will boil at well below 90C on top of Fuji.

You're gonna lug a gas stove up there to boil water for cup noodles? No need, for just 800 yen ( probably a bit more now, haha ) you can get cup noodles already boiled for ya at the top!

Don't forget climber's insurance so you won't be out half a year's salary for a chopper rescue if you fall and break a leg up there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The official climbing season for 2019 starts from July 1 (Yoshida trail)

Due to rock slides near the top, the opening has been delayed until at least July 10th. At the moment you cannot climb above the 8.5 station due to construction & repair work. Don't be tempted to climb the last 300m off-trail, it's not pleasant. Worth knowing if you plan to climb that route in the next couple of weeks.

http://www.fujisan-climb.jp/en/info/190621_yoshidaandsubashiritrails.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've not been, so I didn't know you can buy hot cup noodles at the summit. How civilized! Can you get yakitori and beer too? I suppose 5G wifi is a given.

As it happens, I'd rather just take my bike and try riding up the Azami line. 11.5km long at 10% average makes it one of the world's hardest climbs. To hike it, I'd have to go on a weekday. 200,000 people a season over seventy days must mean close to ten thousand on a Saturday night.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SerranoToday wrote 12:40 pm JST

You're gonna lug a gas stove up there to boil water for cup noodles? No need, for just 800 yen ( probably a bit more now, haha ) you can get cup noodles already boiled for ya at the top!

Or you can just carry very hot water in a stainless bottle/mug (appropriate for that, else you gonna be left with wet stuff everywhere). Not only it can be used with cup noodles and alikes, but also freeze-dried stuff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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