Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
September 18, 2006
The journey up during the first two hours,was not particularly difficult, but the winding, serpent-like trail was very steep, so I had to rely a lot on my walking stick. After an hour and a half of walking and winding up the path, we finally arrived at the 7th station hut. I could feel the effects of the thinning air on me, as I struggled to catch my breathe as I sat down, exhausted. After 30 minutes or more of rest, we started again up the trail. The trail became more difficult as the winding slope became actual rocks that you had to scale. The trail was poorly lit but we could still see the ropes that kept the climbers within the trail, which now became considerably narrower. It was purposefully made this way since the other rocks outside of the roped enclosure had an even larger gap and was less flat, so stepping and scaling on them would have been even more difficult.
I dozed off while sitting on a rock, and did not really made it to the top until 30 minutes after sunrise. I did catch the sunrise from a spot shortly under the 10th station. The sunrise was well worth it because it was the most amazing sight you could ever behold. I felt groggy and hungry, but as the sun rised, I could slowly see the sea of clouds parting ways and revealing mountains, rivers, streams, fields and settlements down there. What was a sheet of dark clouds and a moon eventually became green expanses of land and white, fluffy clouds. You really have to climb the mountain to feel the success, the immensity of perseverance, and the intensity of nature's beauty.
Considering that it was already off-season, there were many people climbing Mt. Fuji that night. There were hiking tours with guides leading a group of about 15 people. And people were extremely nice, since they would say "Ganbatte" or just strike up a random conversation with you just to kill the silence.
So finally, it took me 10 hours to get up the mountain, and I was the last one. It also took me 5 hours to hike down the mountain, which was even harder because I was already exhausted, dirty, and sleepy. Although it was hard work, it was a feat not for the faint of heart, and I proved that I could do it. There is a Japanese saying that says that only a fool would climb Mt. Fuji twice. Well, consider me an idiot because I am going to do it again next year.
From journal Conquering Japan's Mt. Fuji
Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
June 21, 2006
From Hakonemachi, we boarded a Hakone Sightseeing Ship—a pirate galleon—headed for Togendai. This portion of the excursion involved a 30-minute cruise across Lake Ashi, which was created from a volcanic crater and has a circumference of 19km. Standing on the top deck of the ship, we were again afforded the opportunity to observe majestic Mount Fuji in the distance. While the travel brochure mentioned being able to see the reflection of Mount Fuji in the calm waters of the lake, we were not fortunate during our trip to observe such a wonder. We were happy enough to simply capture a view of Mount Fuji from the middle of Lake Ashi.
Our journey continued from Togendai where we boarded the Hakone Ropeway. As the car journeyed over the mountainside, the high altitude provided an excellent view of Lake Ashi nestled among mountains and woods. The elevation also allowed for a different viewpoint through which to experience the splendor and glory of Mount Fuji.
The first leg of the Ropeway ended at Owakudani, which means "great boiling hell" or "hell valley." Owakudani was formed by volcanic explosion and from the Ropeway we can see clouds of steam escaping through cracks in the ground to the surface. As soon as we stepped out of the car, our senses were assaulted by the stench of sulphur, easily recognizable as the foul smell of rotten eggs. Surprisingly, despite the pervasive smell of rotten eggs, the local specialty of Owakudani were the "black eggs" —eggs boiled in sulphur pits (the sulphur turns the shell of the egg black) whose consumption is believed to add 7 years to a person’s life.
From journal Mount Fuji, Hakone-Yumoto Trip
Jarrow, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom
September 12, 2005
The easiest way to get to Fuji from Tokyo is on the highway bus from Shinjuku. The last bus departs at 5.50pm, taking two and a half hours to reach the 5th station at Gogome, 2,400 metres up the mountain. Return tickets cost 5,200 yen from the English-speaking staff at the Odakyu Sightseeing Center in Shinjuku Station. You’ll need to book around a week in advance to guarantee a seat at weekends.
The prices once you get to Fuji are almost as high as the summit so buy everything you need before you go. For a night climb, I’d recommend the following:
Two litres of water and enough food for two meals, including high energy snacks like chocolate and bananas. The first bus back to Shinjuku isn’t until 11am, and the cheapest drinks you’ll find in the rest stops are small cups of miso soup or hot chocolate for 400 yen.
Waterproof pants and jacket. You can buy these at 100 yen shops in Tokyo but you’ll need at least three pairs if you do as they split very easily. There’s nowhere to shelter outside of the lodges and you’ll be moved on at busy times if you spend too long inside with just a hot chocolate. Take a pair of cheap gloves as you need to pull yourself over loose rocks using ropes on the way up, though the majority of the climb is a long trudge along man made steps and small stones. I managed to get up and down in running shoes but they were too badly scuffed to ever wear again.
A torch. Including rest stops, the average climber takes around seven hours to get to the top so make sure you’re carrying enough batteries. Other things to consider are a change of clothes, a towel and a hat for the morning descent, as well as altitude sickness tablets and oxygen (which you can buy in bottles from Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku).
Gogome 5th station closes at 9pm. The trails at the top of the mountain get very congested after the Japanese tour groups come out of the lodges just before sunrise so, weather permitting, try to get to the summit with time to spare. If you don’t want to do the climb in one go, you can stay overnight at the rest stops for 5,000 yen.
From journal Days Out of Tokyo
Mexico City, Mexico
February 15, 2002
At 3776 m Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan. It is also one of the
most famous sights in Japan and is often used as the symbol of Japan. This
volcano crater may well be the most photographed mountain in the world. From
certain angles its conical shape displays almost perfect symmetry. The crater
has a distinct circle shape with a diameter of 500 m at the top and around 50 km
at the base.
The sight of Mt. Fuji, especially when snow covered and etched against a blue
winter or late autumn sky, is unforgettable. However, Mt. Fuji presents a
headache for tourists and especially to the independent traveler. Mt. Fuji is shy and only visible on about 50 days each year. Sometimes it is not to be seen for weeks as it hides behind a cloud cover - it may be sunny in Tokyo or Hakone and you would not even know in which direction to look to see the mountain.
During the official climbing season - July and August - Mt. Fuji can easily be reached by bus from Shinjuku station in Tokyo. Traveling time is about 2 hours. Buses are less frequent during other months and are not available from December to April. It takes about 5 hours to climb the mountain and three hours coming down. It can be very crowded on weekends during the official season and resembles walking in a busy station. Up to 400,000 people ascend Mt. Fuji each year - the vast majority during the two official months.
I belong to the school of thought holding that Mt. Fuji is just for viewing but even people who actually climbed the mountain subscribed to the famous Japanese saying that everyone should climb Mt. Fuji but only a fool would do it twice! The summit is above the clouds so a sunrise is guaranteed for people who climbed late night to arrive at the top early morning.
It is easy and generally pleasant to drive from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji, although
that is not a very realistic option for the independent foreign traveler.
Several web sites with web cameras give you the opportunity to see whether the
mountain is actually visible or not before setting out. Several companies offer
tours to Mt. Fuji but if the mountain is covered by clouds there is not an awful
lot else to see - bookings must be made a day in advance so the web cams don’t
With luck you can see Mt. Fuji from the Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo
to Kyoto. It is also possible in good weather to see Mt. Fuji from central Tokyo
- not only from high buildings, I once saw it from the fourth floor of the Hotel
New Otani. It is also visible from the Akasaka Prince Hotel - phone the front
desk and ask if the mountain is visible!
From journal Tokyo Highlights - the essential must sees