Recently announced on the new list of UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites, Mt. Fuji is an icon of the East. Standing proud at a majestic 3,776.24 meters (12,389 feet), Mt. Fuji (or Fujisan as it’s known by locals) lies 100 km southwest of Tokyo crossing the borders of the Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures.
Snow-capped for several months a year, the mountain has been an inspiration for not just artists, poets and writers, but also mountaineers, and as mentioned in a recent New York Times article, ascending the mountain has become an incredibly sought-after experience. Although many covet the recognition of scaling to the peak of Fujisan, it’s actually only possible to reach the top during Japan’s summer months (July to August).
There are four routes to the summit that climbers can take from the fifth climbing station halfway up the mountain side (a station that’s possible to drive to). Although the climb ranks nowhere near the top of the world scale for climbing difficulty, it’s certainly no stroll in the park.
Our favorite route to the peak starts from the Mt. Fuji Five Lakes area, which stands 2,300m above sea level. We take our aspiring alpinists on a steady three-hour hike up the 8th hill station where we then spend the night resting in preparation for the morning ascent.
Facilities, as you may imagine, are fairly basic on the mountainside, but the cabins still provide the fundamentals such as bunk beds, pillows and toilets! The rustic flavor adds to the aura and the feeling of being an intrepid explorer, reaching out into the unknown on the adventure of a lifetime.
An early night is essential – but we rarely need to wake our excited travelers in the early hours – they are usually up and raring to go. Just after midnight, we set off on a quest to conquer the peak, reaching the summit before sunrise.
Seeing a sunrise from the peak of a mountain is a moment that enables a feeling of absolute immersion in nature – an ethereal experience that some proclaim gives them a window to the heavens.
No matter if you’re an ambitious alpinist or rookie rock climber, you can organize your ascent of majestic Mt. Fuji with us. Simply get in touch with one of our expert Travel Specialists based in Japan who would be delighted to customize one of our atmospheric adventures to include a journey to scale the fabulous Fujisan.