Things You Need To Know Before Hiking Mt. Fuji
Mount Fuji is the dream of many hikers to climb the magnificent Mount Fuji-san summit, an active volcano which has been sleeping for three hundred years. The sacred mountain of Japan reaches a height of 3776 meters. According to tradition, every Japanese should come to it at least once in a lifetime, the ascent takes place at night because the purpose of the trip is to see the sunrise. It is one of the most powerful energy places in Japan and a muse of artists and poets, the country where people are used to honoring the beauty of nature and makes the most impression in winter when it is covered with snow. A symbol of the land of the rising sun, it is beautiful at any time of year. Everyone who has conquered Fuji feels that he has seen his Fuji and it opens only with a strong spirit. It’s both a difficult and an amazing hike. The beauty of the clouds, the wind and the beauty of the sunrise, which will open up to you and yield to the strongest.
Mount Fuji is the highest and most sacred mountain in Japan. The ideal cone of Mount Fuji looks at the city of Fuji Yoshida, about 100 (one hundred) kilometers west of Tokyo, from where you can see it on a very clear day. The last time this active stratovolcano erupted was in 1707, as evidenced by the paintings of the Japanese artist Hokusai.
Tradition requires climbing to the top of the mountain and possibly bypassing the crater. The entire distance from Fuji Yoshida to the top can be covered in 12 (twelve) hours, so many people take the bus and then continue on foot. The route is divided into seventeen sections or stations, and the buses take people to the fifth station.
There are four main routes from the fifth station and from the foot of the mountain. From a safety point of view, the law prohibits climbing the mountain in winter without the permission of the police. The peak of the season is in July and August when many people try to climb to the top at night to see beautiful dawn from it. Looking down, their lanterns leave a bright orange mark on the slope of the mountain. Those who do not want to climb the mountain can admire the beautiful views from the shores of the surrounding Fuji lakes – Kawaguchi, Sai, Motosu, Shoji, Ashi, and Yamanaka. It can be very cold at the top of the mountain.
The locals call it Fuji-san, emphasizing a special attitude and deep respect for one of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world. The ideal, cone-like shape of the mountain can not leave indifferent any tourist who turns out to be at the foot of it. It is not surprising that thousands of tourists from all over the world go to conquer the mountain every year.
Recently, climbing does not require phenomenal training and expensive climbing equipment. Almost everyone can see small Japan from the highest point of the island. All you need to do is to have zeal, a great desire, and small financial savings. Nowadays, the country of the rising sun has opened its arms to millions of tourists from all over the world.
Store patience, a camera or camcorder, the right clothes, and go on the road. Enjoy an unforgettable journey to one of the world’s most beautiful peaks, vivid impressions, and unique photos. Let’s go on this exciting journey together!
Included in the mandatory equipment kit:
a special staff stick with bells
flashlight and spare batteries
In addition, you can bring with you a few more useful things in the form of an oxygen bottle, a camera and so on. It is better to give preference to a waterproof jacket, boots or other seasonally appropriate clothes.
How To Get To Fuji
The extreme journey begins in the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Therefore, the first thing a tourist should do is to get to this city.
Next, you will have to change to a bus that will take you to the town of Kawaguchiko. By the way, on the north side of the mountain, there are several beautiful lakes with the cleanest, coolest water. And one of these lakes is named after the name of this small town. The whole journey will take a little more than an hour, despite the decent distance from the capital of Japan to the mountain range. This is facilitated by the first-class road surface of the local road. By the way, in order to be able to drive on it, it is necessary to pay a certain fee.
You can see a lot of interesting things on the way. For example, everyone knows that Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world. But when you see with your own eyes how densely built up this country is, you understand how much the Japanese value each square meter. And how valuable are the few places where Mother Nature remains the rightful owner.
Having escaped from the concrete jungle, you get to the hilly places, which, as it seems, are not touched by a man at all. It seems that a huge Japanese construction machine has not yet reached these places. Here, the plain is replaced by the first hills, and the main mountain of Japan is just a stone’s throw away.
This impression is deceptive. The Japanese are just very clean and try in every possible way to maintain cleanliness and pristine condition in these wonderful places. Here and there are elderly people with green bandages, who volunteered to collect garbage, which often remains on the slopes of the mountain after another group of tourists. And what’s surprising: mostly elderly people clean the slopes.
The First Resting Place
The first overnight stay is recommended right on Lake Kawaguchiko. Here is small camping, where you can spend the night and gain strength before climbing for a typical fee – $10. If you have your own camping tent, the accommodation is free of charge. And for connoisseurs of comfort, even in the most severe conditions, you will have to taste one of the many houses. The cost of living in it – $ 40 per night.
Do not forget about the additional costs that will be required as payment for access to water, toilet, as well as the use of some other amenities. Of course, if you are an avid traveler and always visit the sights of a small group, you can provide such pleasant and useful things as primus, tent, folding furniture. It is with this set that most Japanese come to Lake Kawaguchiko. They set up first-class tents equipped with electricity in an instant and continue to enjoy the charms of civilization even hundreds of kilometers away.
Having enjoyed the beautiful view and gained strength overnight, we go on the road. You need to be agile to get the best seats in the buses. It is on this transport that we have to overcome the last stretch of the way before the ascent.
By the way, climbing Fuji used to be equated with a real challenge, which only brave and strong samurai could pass. And the Japanese went to conquer the top from the most remote corners of the country on foot, taking with them only the most necessary. This way allowed us to realize the insignificance of man, to look into the farthest corners of the soul and be alone with the pristine nature. Even now, among the Japanese, there are such brave and brave people who are able to pass this section of the road of a true samurai.
Now there are 10 stations from the foot to the top, five of which are easily accessible by a comfortable bus. Today we will reach the fifth station from the camping site. It is located at an altitude of 2300 meters. There is no further way for transport, and we will have to do the rest of the way on foot up a special staircase.
It is also worth considering the issue of drinking water (other refreshments) in advance. During the ascent, of course, you will meet a lot of vending machines, but you have to pay for everything. At the same time, the higher you go up, the higher the price is displayed on the machines. If at the foot to buy a jar of beer or drink can be an average of 1 dollar, then closer to the top of the cost will be 3-4 times higher.
There is another interesting point here. Every pilgrim who goes to the top has an unusual staff in his hands. It is decorated with bells and some of the pilgrims have some marks on the shaft. You can buy staff here for only 10 dollars. But the marks are only given to those who have overcome the whole way. At each station, which will meet on the way, travelers put marks on the staff. Therefore, below you can immediately determine who is just going to conquer the top, and who has already had the honor of meeting with her.
The Way To The Top Of Fuji
The whole road is like a huge gangway with rope rails. Along the way, you can find signs in two languages – Japanese and English. From time to time you come across a kind of scaffolding made of volcanic rock. They will make the journey much easier, giving you a chance to take a break.
It’s always crowded here. It seems that you are in the thick of the May Day procession or in a large bazaar. It is necessary to have a rest only on a command of the accompanying person. Though it is possible to become a witness of how the exhausted travelers without forces descend directly on volcanic ledges, greedily swallow cool water or absorb oxygen from special cylinders.
Oxygen needs to be discussed in more detail. As its air content decreases with height, such cylinders with increased oxygen content will be very useful. You can buy them at the fifth station, where we started or in the shops on the way. In addition, along the trail, there are dozens of shelters and places where you can not only relax but also to eat well with one of the local dishes. It is in one of these shelters that you will have to stay overnight in order to travel in the morning when the body regains its strength. What could be more beautiful than the sunrise in the country, the old name of which is associated with this celestial luminaire?!
Special extremists prefer to continue climbing in the twilight to spend the night on the mountain peak, which is considered the highest point in Japan. Even at the top of each traveler is waiting for the usual set of shelter, vending machines with cool drinks and beer, as well as relatively cozy apartments for the night. Have you ever slept on a sleeping volcano crater? No? It is now that you have such a unique opportunity. Try and share new impressions from such an unusual kind of extreme rest. I bet there are no friends among your friends who can boast of anything similar.
It is here, at an altitude of 3776 meters above sea level, that amazing landscapes open up. The view to the ocean, tiny villages and huge, shimmering lights of Tokyo. Yes, the journey to Mount Fuji is amazing and touching. Everyone who wants to experience new feelings, feel like a real conqueror of mountain peaks, must find time and strength for this most interesting journey.
The top of the mountain is very similar to the surface of Mars. Well, at least the one we all saw in NASA photos. On the edge of the crater is a modern weather station. Although, until a few decades ago, there was nothing here but a dilapidated, forgotten hut by God and people. Nowadays, a whole town will open before the eyes of tourists, where travelers can hide from the rain, spend the night and even have a snack. It is clear that the price of all these services will be much higher.
The Way Back
When you admire the sunrise, breathe in the freshest, farthest mountain air, it’s time to get ready to go back.
The path to the foot is a lot easier. Only have time to move your legs, going down the tangled stairs. It’s like a game when you need to go down the steepest stairs, here and there, jumping over two or three steps. The easiest way to get down is to start early in the morning or at dusk. Because at this time, the stairs seem to be empty, and all the tourists scatter through the numerous shelters or wait for the night at the top. Once you get to the familiar camping night, you can still enjoy the beauty of the area. Then head back to the campsite.
What You Need To Know
Today you can only climb to the top of Fuji at certain times of the year. The doors of hospitable Japan are open to all extremists from July 1 to August 26. At this time, there are shelters, good weather and the most favorable conditions for climbing, especially those tourists who go on a difficult route with children. A trip to the top in autumn and winter or in spring is possible only after a long procedure of coordination with the local police department.
To simplify the route and reduce the time for climbing, you can hire a car. As mentioned earlier, it can be used to reach level five at once.
The average time required to climb to the top is 5 to 10 hours. Everything depends on the preparation and excursion program. Interestingly, the local population has a tradition associated with climbing Mount Fuji. Every Japanese is obliged to pay tribute to the gods, ancestors and the whole country. It is possible to do this only after such a long and difficult journey.
As the stairs with reliable railing and ropes are equipped all the way round, even the most unprepared tourist can make a pilgrimage to the holy mountain top of Japan.