We woke up at 6 am for our bus to go to Kawaguchiko from where we had to go to the mountain Fuji, but my friend saw an e-mail that our bus was cancelled because of the typhoon. Oh well, things happen and in Japan, you can plan things, but weather can change those plans in a minute. We bought another ticket and we were late for our hike for only 5 hours.
It was probably the hardest hike I had in my whole life and even though we planned our trip quite well we still made some mistakes which I think we could have missed. So here I will speak from my experience and I just want you to have a great trip for which you will prepare properly.
How to plan your trip to Mount Fuji?
First of all, the hiking season is from early July to early September. On some trails, you can hike and later, but I don’t suggest you do so, because the med points and some stations will not work.
Highlights of the things you have to consider:
- Most of the people start their trip from 5th station and that’s what I recommend you to do because it will still be a lot of hiking.
- Pack some snacks that are easy to carry like nuts, dried fruits, chocolate and so on. In the stations, you will be able to buy some soup and other food.
- Pack some trash bags, because you will have to bring all of your trash back with yourself.
- Have some cash for the toilet, snacks and stamps.
- On the top of the mountain will be freaking cold so be prepared for that.
What to pack?
Check my whole packing list what to take to Mount Fuji here. Most of those items I personally packed and some I wish I had packed for this trip.
Which trail to choose?
If you want to see a sunset on a mount Fuji choose: Subashiri trail
If you want to see a sunrise choose: Fujinomiya trail
Those are two trails which we chose. Be aware that to reach mountain Fuji top in one-go is not so easy and probably you will need to stop to sleep in a hotel. Here are full official info about all the trails.
Is it for beginners?
Well, not really, the trails were not so easy to hike. At some points, it felt like climbing and not hiking anymore. By the way, if you want to see a sunrise or a sunset you will need to hike during the dark hours of the day.
What to expect at 5th station?
When you arrive at the fifth station you will easily find the information centre, restaurants, souvenirs shop, toilets (which will cost like 100 – 200 yen), drinks vending machines. Basically, everything you need except a convenient store, where you can actually buy food for your trip.
Mountain Fuji walking stick
The best souvenir you can bring from mount Fuji is a walking stick. In every station, you stop you can pay for a stamp which station workers will burn on your stick. The stick will cost around 1200 yen, the shorter one 600 yen and you already get with the first stamp. I recommend you to buy a longer walking stick because it actually helps you to hike while the shorter is just an additional weight for you. We bought them both so I am talking from my own experience here. The additional stamps on other stations will cost you from 300 yen to 500 yen.
Sleeping on Mt. Fuji
We chose to sleep on the top of mountain Fuji, the temperature was like 5 ° C, but it felt like 0 °C because of the wind. We slept in sleeping bags which are suitable for cold weather, but it was still cold because the ground was cold and the wind was too strong. Here are some tips on how to choose the best sleeping bags for your trip. We didn’t want an additional weight so we didn’t bring any mats. After an hour of suffering the cold, we managed to find a concrete platform which was way better than the ground and we managed to sleep for a couple of hours. Would I recommend to sleep on the top of the mountain? Not really, because it’s not sleeping it’s just trying to survive the night.
The other option is a hotel in the stations below and it is cheaper to book a place in advance. Remember you will not book a room, but just a place to sleep on a tatami floor and you will sleep in one big room with like twenty other people. Not comfy, but better than sleeping on the top of the mountain.
Before hiking to mount Fuji we knew that it is a bit dangerous. Although, when you hear falling rocks near you like 20 – 30 metres then you truly understand how dangerous it is. Actually, it is more dangerous to hike during night time, but you kinda have to if you want to see a sunrise. When we finally climbed down the mountain Fuji, the information centre was a bit surprised that we came from Kawaguchiko, Subashiri trail, because it was closed of the rocks damage, the rocks which we actually saw and heard falling.
It is easy to follow the track because you will see many signs which will lead you to the top. The thing which annoyed us the most was the time written on them. The time how long you will go to the next point, station or summit. It was not like an average time, but more how a pro hiker would go. For example, to go down to the 5th station via Fujinomiya trail it was written that it will take us about 2 hours, but we went down in like 4 hours. And we were quite fast.
If you have any additional questions you can write to me personally or comment on this blog post and I will answer you.