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Climbers near a mountain hut on the top of Mount Fuji. Image: SHIN /Pixta
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Mount Fuji hiking season nears with warnings against 'bullet climbing'

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god damnit, i arrive in tokyo on the 11th of september so one day after the climbing season. its unfortunate that i cant climb it this time around, hopefully next time. Need to get on top for my bucket list

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

See the sunrise on the way up, and you'll have some far nicer views as you climb with the sun. Start climbing at 4 or 5am from the fifth station (you'll need to get a taxi there) and you'll be at the top by 11am for an early lunch. Then back down by 3pm for a nice long soak in an onsen. Don't stay in the huts; they are nasty and overcrowded. I've climbed Fuji twice both in and out of season. I recommend late September the weather is still great and there is no one around.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

@fatrainfallingintheforest

yeah i know but im too much or a coward to even think about this.

thanks for the information but unless i grow a spine in the next 2 months i dont think its possible

13 ( +13 / -0 )

From near where I live, I can see the lights of these bullet climbers ascending the side of the mountain at night.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Its at best a hike, anyone even half fit shouldn't need a "night stay over". Avoid the queues by starting at 6am then hike up and down by lunch time.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

To prevent such incidents, Yamanashi Prefecture has decided to shorten the night hours of the Fuji Subaru Line toll road that connects the 5th station of the Yoshida entrance and the foot of the mountain during the climbing season.

Muppets. So typical of them to address the problem by dicking about with transport instead of actually dealing with the real issue. The last bus to the 5th station from Kawaguchiko eki is now at 1.50pm (used to be 8pm), but from the park and ride its 5.30pm.

What they are doing is preventing so-called 'bullet climbers' (known elsewhere as 'climbers') that don't have a car (i.e. foreigners) from having evening access to the 5th. But if you have a car, then bullet climb away.

I predict that more foreign tourists will be either hanging around at the 5th until nightfall or will just do the full climb from the base. Either way it won't solve the problem that they are concerned about.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I took the Gotemba Trail when I did the hike. Its the longest route. No taxis involved either. I saw the sunset on the way up from the first hut where you buy the hiking stick you get the stamps on. Took about 6 hours to get to the top, spent an hour or so wandering around, and then 5 hours to get back to the parking lot.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I guess I won't be climbing Mt Fuji this year.

Just like last year. And every year before that.

Also next year, and every year after that....

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Don't stay in the huts; they are nasty

@mountaingrill

The hut I stayed in wasn’t nasty at all. Super clean in fact. I’ve used the facilities on the way up at other huts and they were clean as well. I stopped in at another hut for lunch and it had a full stainless steel kitchen. Super clean. Impressive actually.

As for your advice, while I have “bullet climbed” before, I think they are dissuading people so this.

Sunrise at the top is magical. Done it twice.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@ mountaingrill,

True about the lights coming down the mountain. I live in Yamanakako and can see them from my balcony.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The old phrase I've heard about climbing Mt.Fuji: You're mad if you don't climb it once and crazy if you climb it twice. I'll just look at the pictures, thanks.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

yeah i know but im too much or a coward to even think about this.

You can still stay at the huts during the off season. In fact, it's better to home during the off season and before the snowfall as there are way less chances of people creating a rocks dominoes effect, like in summer 2019 with the unfortunate Russian lady.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I climbed many peaks in Nagano but was never tempted to climb Fujii even at the peak of my fitness. Not even a wet dream.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So an association of mountain hut owners (hotels) are saying people shouldnt climb as they want and imstead should pay them money for a hut stay.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A lot of thoughts come to mind. At 3776 meters, Mt. Fuji is high enough that climbers should take precautions. The mountains where I live, around South Cal, are only a little over half that high, and every year hikers get lost, fall down a hill, or get caught in a winter snow storm and die. I don't think anyone ever got altitude sickness from climbing around here, but Mt. Fuji is high enough for that to be a problem.

I remember a friend of ours, Mary. She was an avid mountain hiker. She often climbed Mt. Whitney. At 14,505 feet, it is the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Mary liked to climb the mountain up a trail, going to the top and back down in just one night. I have always thought that was an amazing thing to do. She also climbed it during the day. I am sure that if she had the chance she would have absolutely loved to go to the summit of Mt.Fuji. Who wouldn't?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Limiting the number of climbers per day seem to be the logic thing to do, they all get to sleep and safely continue and as they leave the huts others can go in and nap.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One summer we hiked on the John Muir trail, in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We camped at a lower elevation for a few days to get used to the altitude, and then went up the mountain with our camping gear. Took 6 hours to get over a pass, at over 10,000 feet. Only took one hour to come back down the mountain on the way home. We hired mules to carry our heaviest items up the trail. In those days, there was lots of snow on the ground, even in August. I saw pictures from friends who went there more recently, and there was no snow at all on the ground. It is normal for snow to start falling in September. Whatever the case, there is something about mountains that is truly awe inspiring.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Been up 3 times but only once by trail with family the other 2 times were with mountaineering groups in the fall and winter I have gone mountaineering or mountain climbing in well over a decade that is a younger person's thing (permits are required and mountaineering membership) .

I liked the Subashiri trail and the 7.5 cabin stay as it is less popular smaller and very nice service and very clean.

Best of all is the descent.

I is a steep wide volcanic sand run.

You can get down in half the time of any of the other trails.

But be forwarded wear climbing spats and clothing you are not worried about throwing away if needed.

The volcanic sand will get everywhere and in everything and may not come out .

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I am starting to see a pattern, the national government wants tourists but the tourist spots like Kyoto and Mount Fuji Yamanashi seem determined to chase people away.

Guess a bunch of old people that don't want outsiders around.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

AI=All in this will not be stopped the technology is nothing but an advanced library of information that gives people what they want in nano seconds with out little or no effort.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bullet climbing is an issue only for the ones never doing exercises. And there are a lot climbing Mount Fuji. That’s why it is an issue.

Otherwise, bullet climbing is not an issue at such an altitude. It is more the length of the cling the problem, specially from Gotemba

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Trapped (June 22  06:57 pm JST): The old phrase I've heard about climbing Mt.Fuji: You're mad if you don't climb it once and crazy if you climb it twice.

The version I heard was "a wise man climbs Mount Fuji once - a fool climbs Mount Fuji twice". I did the latter. The first time I got a late-night call from some crazy Japanese friends saying let's drive out to Mount Fuji. We got to a car park and it was too cold to stay in the car so we went for a walk. After a while I found I was ahead of my friends, but it was October, I was on the Fuji trail and knew it was closed, so I decided to keep on going until I found the barrier or whatever marked the closed trail. There wasn't one, and I was alone, above the snow line and not equipped. I slipped and slid down, I don't know how far, hundreds of meters, until I reached a less steep part where I could slow down. My jeans were torn and knees were bleeding but I could just about stand up. I climbed back up and was approaching the summit as the sun rose over the skyscrapers of Shinjuku. I got to the top, went back down saying konnichiwa to climbers coming up equipped like Everest mountaineers and realized I was lucky to be alive.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The version I heard was "a wise man climbs Mount Fuji once - a fool climbs Mount Fuji twice". I did the latter. The first time I got a late-night call from some crazy Japanese friends saying let's drive out to Mount Fuji. We got to a car park and it was too cold to stay in the car so we went for a walk. After a while I found I was ahead of my friends, but it was October, I was on the Fuji trail and knew it was closed, so I decided to keep on going until I found the barrier or whatever marked the closed trail. There wasn't one, and I was alone, above the snow line and not equipped. I slipped and slid down, I don't know how far, hundreds of meters, until I reached a less steep part where I could slow down. My jeans were torn and knees were bleeding but I could just about stand up. I climbed back up and was approaching the summit as the sun rose over the skyscrapers of Shinjuku. I got to the top, went back down saying konnichiwa to climbers coming up equipped like Everest mountaineers and realized I was lucky to be alive.

Writing a fiction story about your life? You friends waited around all night for you to come back? They knew you were climbing the mountain? If it was too cold in the car, I guarantee that the top of Fuji was a hell of a lot worse, and how in the heck did you meet other climbers in the afternoon, on a closed trail?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bullet climbing a mountain? In a rocket? The term bullet should not be used to describe this popular climb up Mount Fuji. It is only fitting to call trains that can almost fly on land. The term only attracts more climbers to overcrowd the poor mountain. And what about sanitation for overnight climbers? Mount Fuji should not only be considered a sacred mountain because it is a sacred mountain. So will the overnight climbers bring home their litter and natural wastes in their backpacks? In the warm months, a strong tall metal fence should be built around Mount Fuji and locked with strong locks. Or if that does not work a summer electric fence should be temporarily installed to protect this sacred mountain which represents Japan to the World!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The beauty of Mt Fuji can best be appreciated from below at a distance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 Mount Fuji should not only be considered a sacred mountain because it is a sacred mountain. 

You were fine up to this line. Sacred? Hmm...... You lost it there.

So will the overnight climbers bring home their litter and natural wastes in their backpacks? 

Good point, goes for Japanese climbers too! Who happen to be the biggest culprits of dumping garbage on Fuji it seems. So much for "sacred" huh?

In the warm months, a strong tall metal fence should be built around Mount Fuji and locked with strong locks. Or if that does not work a summer electric fence should be temporarily installed to protect this sacred mountain which represents Japan to the World!

Right, destroy even more nature, and attempt to ring a mountain, let that sink in a minute, a mountain, with a fence. You can not be serious.

Oh and if Fuji is THE representative of Japan to the world, and is so "sacred", why let anyone climb it at all? Oh and while you are at it, tear down the weather station and monitoring station at the top, along with all the huts and way stations as well, they are just money makers for people, and leech those climbing your sacred mountain.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have climbed Fuji in July 2022.

There were still covid restrictions but we could book the hut on top. It was amazing and so less people at that time.

Good view on top and climbing up without any people trafic jam.

Now i would not enjoy but plan again maybe next year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I did bullet climbing in 2001 and it was an awesome experience, especially with the rain. Vowed never to do it again, but it was worth it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YubaruToday  03:38 am JST

Writing a fiction story about your life? You friends waited around all night for you to come back? They knew you were climbing the mountain? If it was too cold in the car, I guarantee that the top of Fuji was a hell of a lot worse, and how in the heck did you meet other climbers in the afternoon, on a closed trail?

The trail is never ”closed”, it’s a mountain. You can hike it anytime you want. Just because some idiots put up a small fence does not mean anything.

If the weather is good, there are always hikers on the trail. Seen more than a 100 people on a ”closed” trail on Mt Fuji.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would say that it is an easy hike up. I took the bus from Shinjuku, jumped off and started hiking right away. No problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice photo, I was under the impression that around Fuji was flat and didn't have big mountains nearby like those in the right middleground of the photo.

This is a tricky issue, not least because the climb can be a lot of trudge in darkness for the collective experience of seeing the sunset. Other mountains have nice sunrises, on many there is a hut with beds at the top and all you have to do is wake up early, but you do not get the collective experience. Even by keen hiker standards, about 1500m of vertical hiking in a single go is a lot of trudge, a "big day". 1500m of descending in one go isn't easy on aging legs either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ 1glenn

Mt. San Jacinto and Mt. San Gorgonio are considerably higher than "a little over half as high as Mt. Fuji". Both are high enough to get altitude sickness as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i climbed mt.fuji in the summer of 1960 and slept at the last hut to see the sun rise..i'll always cherish the whole experience and my love for the japanese people

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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