Mount Fuji Vacation: Get Incredible Experience at Japan’s Highest Point
A Fuji vacation can be one of the best travel experiences of your life. And this is not surprising, because to see this majestic mountain live, or even better, to conquer it – is the dream of many. Today we want to tell you how to visit Mount Fuji and what you need to know before making an ascent.
Mount Fuji Information
Mount Fuji is the highest point in Japan, a kind of visiting card of the country. The mountain has a symmetrical cone of volcanic origin. The height of the volcano is 3776 m. Its last eruption was in 1707-1708. Throughout its history, Fuji has fallen asleep several times for centuries. Particular attention to the possibility of an eruption has been focused on the famous mountain after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. But today, climbing is not dangerous.
The Weather in Fiji
Considering the difference in altitude and pressure, the weather conditions at the beginning of the route and the summit are markedly different. Especially in the afternoon, the weather becomes unstable, and you can get into a thunderstorm. Thunder can overtake you at any point on the way, and the safety precautions strongly recommend that you find shelter during this time.
The temperature difference is about 0.6 °C per 100 meters in height, so the air temperature at the foot and the top may differ by 20 °C. At the summit, the temperature is low enough to snow, even in summer, and due to the frequent strong winds, the drop in temperature is felt much more strongly.
When planning to climb the mountain, it is worth going to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) website and checking the weather forecast, which is usually fairly accurate in Japan.
How Far Is Mt. Fuji from Tokyo?
Mount Fuji is located about 90 kilometers southwest of Tokyo. From the center of the city, the mountain can be reached in about 2 hours via the expressway. You can even see Mount Fuji from some places in Tokyo. For example, the Tokyo Skytree Tower is the best place to view Mt. Fuji, as it offers a beautiful view of this majestic sight. The best chance to see the peak in all its splendor is to climb the tower before 10 a.m., if possible.
How to Get to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo?
From Tokyo to the 5th Station near Fuji-san, tourists are delivered daily from morning to evening by express buses of the Fujikyu and Keio companies. They leave every hour from the Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal. The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours, and the ticket costs 2,700 JPY.
Getting there by train is a little more difficult and more expensive. The best option is the Fuji Excursion Limited Express train, which takes you from Shinjuku Station (considered the busiest train station in the world) to Kawaguchiko station and may cost you about 4,000 JPY. But please note that upon arrival, you would still have to take the local bus to get to Subashiri 5th station. Mount Fuji hike distance from this station to the summit is about 5 km. Fuji Excursion Limited Express departs Shinjuku twice on weekdays and three times on weekends from 7:30 am. And the last train from Kawaguchiko station leaves at 5:38 pm, so plan your trip to Fuji ahead of time to meet this limited time slot.
There are also a few additional bullet trains that can take you to the Fuji area, but they all require switching along the way, as well as using the bus upon arrival. Unfortunately, there are no direct trains to the 5th station of Mount Fuji.
Best Time to Climb Mount Fuji
You can visit Mount Fuji from July 1st to September 14th, and the peak season lasts from late July to late August. The most crowded slopes of Fuji were observed from 5 to 15 August. But sometimes, even in early July, the top of the mountain is covered with snow, and given that the rainy season in Japan ends by the third decade of July, it is best to plan the ascent for the period from late July to late August. Summer weather is very changeable here, and therefore it is necessary to take into account both the short-term weather forecast and the weather conditions on the day of going to the mountains. Climbing at other times is extremely dangerous and is practiced only among professionals.
Many travelers are planning a two-day hike – with an overnight stay in a mountain shelter halfway to the summit. On the second day, they usually leave before dawn to see the incredible view from Mount Fuji.
To avoid accidents, use extreme caution when climbing Mount Fuji at night. Beginners are better off going later when dawn breaks. During the day, the trail is much safer, warmer, and less crowded.
You can climb the main mountain of Japan with one of four routes. The most popular of these is the Yoshida Trail from Yamanashi Prefecture. The mountain is divided into 10 “stations” and each route starts from its fifth station.
This is the most popular and accessible route for climbing the Fuji mountain. It leads down the slope from Yamanashi Prefecture. There are direct buses from Tokyo to the beginning of the trail. This route has the most mountain shelters and other amenities. The ascent takes about six hours on average, and the descent takes about three hours and goes along a different path. It is this route that is most often used to meet the beautiful sunrise at the summit. The ascent is usually divided into two stages, with an overnight stay at the seventh or eighth stations.
Due to its popularity during the high season, the Yoshida Trail is crowded with tourists, especially on weekends and holidays. An abundance of people can make it difficult to move at your own pace.
Vertical drop: 1405 m.
Length: 13.8 km.
This route is shorter but more difficult than Yoshida. There is no separate trail for the descent, so you have to go through it twice: up and down. The ascent takes about five hours, the descent – about two and a half.
Vertical drop: 1330 m.
Length: 8.7 km.
Subashiri’s route runs along the eastern slope of the mountain. There are far fewer people here, but also fewer shelters and other amenities. In the area of the eighth station, Subashiri merges with the Yoshida trail.
Vertical drop: 1740 m.
Length: 12.9 km.
The Gotemba trail is the longest, it starts several hundred meters earlier than the others. The ascent can take seven or more hours. There are only a few mountain shelters on it in the area of the seventh and eighth stations.
Vertical drop: 2260 m.
Length: 17.4 km.
If you have little experience in mountain climbing, then we strongly recommend choosing one of the first two routes, as they are the safest.
What to Do around Mount Fuji?
In addition to climbing the mountain and enjoying the beautiful views from a height, there are no other entertainments at the very top. But there are plenty of fun things to do around Mount Fuji if you want to make your adventure even more intense. For example, you can spend time at Fujiten Snow Resort, which is one of the largest ski resorts on the mountain. And if you are into extreme sports, we recommend that you try an incredible paragliding experience with magnificent views of the mountain. For lovers of quiet rest and picturesque landmarks, we recommend visiting the Five Lakes Region. Here you can also see the life of real Japanese peasants, get acquainted with their way of life and traditions, enjoy the stunning beauty of parks and caves and swim in thermal springs. By the way, these places can become the main destination if you are planning a day trip itinerary to Mount Fuji. And if you want to enjoy the view of its snow-capped peak with all this, then be sure to check the weather forecast, as it is covered with clouds most of the year.
Should I Take Mount Fuji Tours?
If you are not confident in your abilities and have not had the experience of climbing high mountains, then we strongly recommend that you take the Mount Fuji hike tour to make your trip as safe as possible. In addition, among such a wide selection of different tours, you can find a suitable one for yourself.
Well, those who have already conquered high mountains and have sufficient experience and knowledge can try to climb Fuji on their own.
Tips for Visiting Mt. Fuji
Climbing Mount Fuji requires extra care. Careful planning, proper equipment, and mental preparation are the keys to safety on a mountain hike. If you are going to spend the night on the mountain, book a place in the mountain shelter in advance. They tend to be crowded during the high season.
At high altitudes, there is a lack of oxygen. This leads to decreased concentration, blurred consciousness, and increased fatigue. An overnight stay on the mountain can allow the body to acclimatize and prepare for the ascent. Mountain sickness is by no means uncommon on the slopes of Fuji. You must be aware of your limits and turn back if you feel unwell. It is very important to move at a comfortable pace, stay hydrated, and have an adequate supply of food for the entire hike.
Tourism in Fuji is very popular today. More than a million people come here every year, almost a third of whom climb the mountain! And this is not surprising, because you would remember such an adventure for the rest of your life. However, climbing Mount Fuji is not an easy task. If you doubt your abilities or have any health problems, then it is better to relax at the foot of the mountain, especially since many fascinating things can give you no less vivid emotions!
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