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Climbing Mt. Fuji (富士山) -
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Page 2 of 2

This page is a continuation of Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Page 1.



Got a question or story about climbing Mt. Fuji?


Frequently Asked Questions (continued from Page 1):

Q: Is it possible to climb to the summit of Mt. Fuji from the base of the mountain?  (updated Mar. 11, 2015)
Q: What time is sunrise and sunset on Mt. Fuji during climbing season?  (updated Feb. 23, 2016)
Q: Can I leave my large backpack in a locker at the train station and take only a smaller pack with me to climb?  (updated July 25, 2015)
Q: What kind of coin lockers do they have at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station?  (added Aug. 21, 2015) 
Q: Where can I find a list of tips on "How to Climb Mt. Fuji"?
Q: Do I have to worry about altitude sickness when climbing Mt. Fuji?
Q: What should I do if I have an accident, get sick, or have some other kind of trouble or emergency?
Q: Are there are any live webcams showing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 12, 2015)
Q: Where can I find a good route map or elevation profile for climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated June 28, 2016)
Q: What is the latitude and longitude of Mt. Fuji?
Q: What does it look like from the summit of Mt. Fuji?  (updated April 7, 2014)
Q: Where can I view videos of Mt. Fuji from an airplane?
Q: Is it ok to climb Mt. Fuji with children?  (updated June 21, 2014)
Q: I'm looking for a Mt. Fuji climbing partner. Are there some online forums where I can hook up with other climbers?  (updated July 1, 2016)
Q: Where can I read some stories, both pro and con, by people who've actually climbed up Mt. Fuji?  (updated Aug. 3, 2016)
Q: Where can I view some good videos that encapsulate the true spirit and essence of climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated Aug. 5, 2015)
Q: Where can I eat, sleep, and sightsee at the base of Mt. Fuji?  (updated April 18, 2015)
Q: How can I get myself in good enough shape to climb Mt. Fuji?  (added June 15, 2014)
Q: I'm not confident in my own mountain climbing abilities. Can you recommend a good local mountain climbing guide?  (updated April 11, 2016)
Q: If I make it to the top of Mt. Fuji, can I get a certificate for my accomplishment? 
Q: I'm not a mountain climber. Are there guided Mt. Fuji bus tours I can join?  (updated July 15, 2016)
Q: Are there any races or trail runs up or around Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 12, 2016)
Q: Is it possible to mail a letter or postcard from the summit of Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 16, 2016)
Q: Are there places around Tokyo to rent/buy gear (i.e. hiking boots, warm jackets, headlamps) when climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 24, 2016)
Q: Does it really cost ¥1000 to climb Mt. Fuji?  (added June 27, 2015) 
Q: I've heard that a Japanese university professor predicted Mt. Fuji would erupt by 2015. Should I be concerned?  (updated July 3, 2015) 
Q: Will I be able to access the internet while climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 1, 2016) 
Q: I plan to climb all night to catch the sunrise from the Mt. Fuji summit, but I've heard this is unsafe. Is it REALLY that dangerous?  (updated June 28, 2016) 
Q: I read somewhere that credit cards are not accepted on Mt. Fuji, so how much cash should I bring, anyways?  (added July 21, 2015) 
Q: Who's the oldest person to have ever climbed Mt. Fuji?  (added Aug. 23, 2015) 
Q: Where are the most congested spots on the Yoshida Trail?  (added July 12, 2016)
Q: Where are the most hazardous places on the Yoshida Trail?  (added July 12, 2016)
Q: Where can I get more helpful info on climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 12, 2016)






Q: Is it possible to climb to the summit of Mt. Fuji from the base of the mountain?  (updated Mar. 11, 2015)
A: Yes, indeed. Since most climbers start from the 5th Station, if you want to escape the crowds and surround yourself with a quiet, breathtaking forest, you should seriously consider the historic Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail, which starts from the northern base of Japan's highest peak.

The original Yoshida Climbing Route starts from the Fuji Sengen Shrine (formally known as Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Jinja), where the pilgrims of over 500 years ago came to pray before they started their climb up the sacred mountain. Today, traditionalists claim that the only way to climb Mt. Fuji is from the Fuji Sengen Shrine (elev. 850m), which is designated as a national cultural asset & part of Mt. Fuji’s June 22, 2013 registration as a World Heritage Site.

But many climbers hike from Umagaeshi, from where it only takes two and a half hours to reach the 5th station. Located just below the 1st Station and easily accessible by bus, Umagaeshi is a great starting point to climb Mt. Fuji. Recently there has been a surge of people starting their climb from Umagaeshi because it provides a much more traditional & historical climbing experience, free from the hordes of climbers above the 5th Station.

Bus service from Mt. Fuji Station (formerly Fujiyoshida Station) is available to the Fuji Sengen Shrine, and up the road to Naka-no-Chaya and Umagaeshi. Click here for bus information to the Fuji Sengen Shrine, Naka-no-Chaya, and Umagaeshi. (A special thanks to Robin @ the Fujiyoshida City International Affairs Desk for kindly sharing this info.)

Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail hiking times
Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail hiking times
(Click image above to view more details, including trail map)
Courtesy: Robin @ Fujiyoshida City International Affairs Desk

A new brochure published in Nov. 2013 by Fujiyoshida City shows even more details about this pilgrimage route and can be viewed here



Q: What time is sunrise and sunset on Mt. Fuji during climbing season?  (updated Feb. 23, 2016)
A: Sunset times for the 2016 climbing season are exactly the same as shown below or vary by only 1 or 2 minutes.

2015 Mt. Fuji sunrise and sunset times
2015 Mt. Fuji sunrise and sunset times
Source: U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.
(based on 35°22'N, 138°44'E)



Q: Can I leave my large backpack in a locker at the train station and take only a smaller pack with me to climb?  (updated July 25, 2015)
A: The availability of coin lockers depends on a number of factors, including the trail you take, day of week, & time of day of your climb, all of which will affect how crowded it is at the time. You should be aware, though, that the number of coin lockers large enough for backpacks is usually quite limited, and may be all filled during peak times. According to the City of Fujiyoshida, some coin lockers for large luggage are available at both Mt. Fuji Station & Kawaguchiko Station (operated by the Fuji Kyuko (Express) Line), and possibly at the Fuji Subaru 5th Station. Although, they warn that sometimes people have had problems storing large hard-shelled luggage. The starting cost is ¥300/day. Also, it is possible that arrangements might be made at either the Mt. Fuji or Kawaguchiko Tourist Information Centers.

The chart below shows the sizes and costs for coin lockers typically found at train stations operated by JR East, although all sizes may not necessarily be available at the smaller train stations in the Mt. Fuji area.

JR East coin locker sizes & costs
JR East coin locker sizes & costs
(photo courtesy: JR East)

On the following train station maps, if you mouse over the coin-operated locker symbols, you can see the number of various size lockers that are available there:
Shinjuku Station: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e866.html
Tokyo Station: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e1039.html

If you're climbing Mt. Fuji during peak climbing times (just about anytime in August), I think the chances of finding a coin locker at the Mt. Fuji 5th Station trailhead would probably be somewhere between slim & none.  smiley  I think you're better off leaving your stuff at Shinjuku or Tokyo Stations, where you can use the coin lockers there for up to 3 days (from ¥300/day). "Days" are counted from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm (not 24-hr. periods from the time you insert ¥100 coins to pay for the 1st day) and they check the lockers everyday, and so if your stuff is not out after 3 days, it's taken to an office where you can claim it & pay the extra charges upon your return.

Japanese train station coin locker
Japanese train station coin locker


Also, if you stay at a hotel at the base of the mountain, you could possibly leave your pack at the hotel during your climb. Another option might be that, while climbing Fuji-san, some climbers have their suitcases shipped to their next destination by "takkyubin" (local ground transport service, like UPS in the states).



Q: What kind of coin lockers do they have at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station?  (added Aug. 21, 2015) 
A: There are at least 200 coin lockers inside the Unjokaku Lodge, located right where you get off the Keio highway bus from Shinjuku. But only 12 of the 70 coin lockers that are in the 1st floor souvenir shop are large enough (34 cm wide x 76 cm high x 50 cm deep)​ for a backpack and they cost ¥600.

The small-size (34W x 30H x 42D) & mid-size (34W x 39H x 42D) coin lockers cost ¥300 & ¥500, respectively.

The other 130 coin lockers are on the 3rd floor, along with the coin showers, separate capsule bed rooms for men & women, and the larger community rooms for rest or overnight stay. Please note that these coin lockers are only accessible from 7 am till 10 pm.

There are also coin lockers inside the Fujisan Miharashi shop & restaurant, a photo of which you can view on this page.


Unjokaku coin lockers
Large-size coin lockers inside the Unjokaku Lodge


Q: Where can I find a comprehensive checklist of tips on "How to Climb Mt. Fuji"?
A: This is one of the best checklists I've seen so far, courtesy of Toru Sasaki:
How to Climb Mt. Fuji


Q: Do I have to worry about altitude sickness when climbing Mt. Fuji?
A: If you are not an experienced hiker nor have trained properly, there is a real possibility of altitude sickness, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting. The best way to avoid this is to pace yourself, take lots of breaks, and to acclimate yourself to the higher elevations. Perhaps you can even sleep for a while, say, at the 5th, 7th, or 8th Stations, giving your body a chance to adjust to the thinner air. If your travel schedule permits, staying overnight at one of the area hotels at the base of the mountain before starting your climb will also help with the acclimation process. While some mountain huts have oxygen bottles, if you suffer a severe case of altitude sickness with vomiting, it is probably best to get down off the mountain ASAP. An excellent report on the causes and prevention of altitude sickness can be found here.






Q: What should I do if I have an accident, get sick, or have any other kind of trouble or emergency?
A: Carrying a first-aid kit is a good idea, but if you need emergency assistance, it's best to try to make it to the nearest mountain hut. There are emergency aid stations at the 7th & 8th Stations on the Yoshida course and at the 8th Station on the Fujinomiya course, which are open from mid-July to mid- or late August. For more serious emergencies, you should dial "110" on your cell phone (assuming it works on Mt. Fuji) to receive immediate assistance. Also, at the Yoshida trail 6th Station (Tel. 0555-24-6223) as well as at the Fujinomiya trail 5th Station (Tel. 0544-22-2239) are Safety Guidance Centers where you can get help with injuries and other emergencies.

Let's be clear, Mt. Fuji can be quite dangerous, and during the past 5 years has claimed on average nearly 8 lives per year. Overconfidence results in deaths & injuries on Mt. Fuji every single year. This page shows a current & fairly detailed list of Mt. Fuji fatalities since 2003.


Q: Are there are any live webcams showing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 12, 2015)
A: Yes, try these:
http://fujicalm.jp/livefuji/index.htm
http://live.fujigoko.tv/?e=1&n=22
http://live-fuji.jp
http://www.vill.yamanakako.yamanashi.jp.e.kh.hp.transer.com/zekkei/index.php?cam=t (I like this one best. Plus, it refreshes every 2 min.)
http://www3.shizuokanet.ne.jp/sinet/cam.acgi
http://www.pref.shizuoka.jp/~live/english/index.html
http://www.fujisanguide.com/forms/info/info.aspx?info_id=22895

(Japan time = UTC + 9 hrs.)


Q: Where can I find a good route map or elevation profile for climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated June 28, 2016)
A: Since the trails are very well marked, and are almost always filled with throngs of people, it'll be difficult to get lost & you probably won't need one. Free English brochures are available at the tourist information centers in Tokyo & Kawaguchiko. Just make sure before you head down, you choose the right trail, or you'll wind up at the wrong 5th Station and that'd be a real bummer. 

Click thumbnails below to view detailed Mt. Fuji trail maps for each of its 4 climbing routes:

Mt. Fuji Kawaguchiko Yoshida trail map
Yoshida
trail map
Mt. Fuji Fujinomiya trail map
Fujinomiya
trail map
Mt. Fuji Subashiri trail map
Subashiri
trail map
Mt. Fuji Gotemba trail map
Gotemba
trail map


Here are some additional helpful maps:

- 2016 guide map for the main Yoshida Trail, issued by Fujiyoshida City new icon
- 2014 trail map for the Fujinomiya Trail, issued by the Mt. Fuji 5th Station Facility Maintenance Committee

One of the best internet maps, in my humble opinion, is my own customized Google Map of Mt. Fuji below, which I created in Oct. 2009 as I thought it'd be cool to see all of Japan's 25 highest mountains at a glance. 

My Google Map of Mt. Fuji (富士山)

(zoom out to see all of the 25 highest mountains in Japan)


The actual 3776m Mt. Fuji highpoint is named
Kengamine (剣ヶ峰), one of 8 peaks around the summit crater rim.
(View 25 Highest Mountains in Japan in a larger map.)

Another useful route map for climbing Mt. Fuji is the Yamareco map shown below, which includes an elevation profile graph from a person who hiked up the Yoshida trail and then all the way around Mt. Fuji's cone.

Route Map & Elevation Profile
for Climbing Mt. Fuji (富士山)



Source: Yamareco.com

Also, I was impressed with the interesting 3D schematic below of the Yoshida climbing trail, courtesy of the Fujiyoshida City International Affairs Section.

Mt. Fuji Kawaguchiko Yoshida Climbing Trail
(Click on image to view original full-size Yoshida trail map)


Q: What is the latitude and longitude of Mt. Fuji (富士山)?
A: Latitude: 35° 21' 28.8" N  (35.358° N)
    Longitude: 138° 43' 51.6" E  (138.731° E)



Q: What does it look like from the summit of Mt. Fuji?  (updated April 7, 2014)
A: In July 2013, Google sent a team up Mt. Fuji to get a "Street View" of the summit. Using the Street View Trekker backpack device, equipped with a remarkable 15 cameras, the Google team was able to capture a full range of 360-degree panoramic imagery from atop the mountain. This YouTube video shows the making of the Mt. Fuji Street View and here is the new 360-degree Street View panorama from the abandoned weather station atop Kengamine (剣ヶ峰), Japan's actual highpoint. Seven (7) additional Mt. Fuji area street views are now available here


Q: Where can I view videos of Mt. Fuji (富士山) from an airplane?
A: This is probably one of the better ones, but not necessarily because it's mine. smiley face 


If the player above is not visible, you can view it @ YouTube here.


Here are a few more:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMTQNE1DJWo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udigRRR2a5E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iPkkAAiAI4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paaHSzgJqPE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EieXCWknSQ



Q: Is it ok to climb Mt. Fuji (富士山) with children?
A: The minimum age for climbing Mt. Everest is 16 (from the Nepal side) and the minimum age for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is 12. smiley  Ok, Mt. Fuji (富士山) is not THAT difficult, but let's be clear, it's also not a Sunday stroll in the park. Having been climbing mountains since my Boy Scout days and having scaled all of the 25 highest mountains in Japan, 12 of the U.S. State Highpoints (tallest peak in each state), and 12 of Colorado's 54 famous "Fourteeners" (peaks higher than 14,000 feet (~4267 m)), I can honestly say climbing Mt. Fuji (富士山) was one of the more difficult hikes I've ever taken in my life.

The trail gets quite steep above the 9th station, involving some moderate rock scrambling which requires giant steps, even for an adult. And when it rains, the rocks can get very slippery. The winds can get so strong, some hikers literally get blown off the trail, and this risk of injury is obviously much greater with little munchkins. When I climbed Mt. Fuji, I saw many kids, some appearing as young as 6 or 7, and who seemed to be part of some organized outing, like a school or scout trip, etc. But many of them had frowny faces & were obviously in a lot of pain, and some of them were even whining.

Because of a million other reasons, including the very primitive & scarce toilets, lightning risk, and the inherent dangers in descending Mt. Fuji including rock slides and the occasional dislodged boulder tumbling down from above......in my humble opinion, I believe taking young kids up the highest mountain in Japan is a mistake.....unless of course they are already experienced mountain hikers and in good physical condition. Therefore, although some tour groups allow kids as young as 8 to climb Mt. Fuji, I'd recommend a minimum age of 10. That said, if taking children, the less crowded weekdays are probably best, and because of all the huts, resting points, emergency aid stations, and other services, the main Yoshida climbing trail would be the preferred route.

June 20, 2014 update: 

"Parents should think twice before pushing their children to scale Mount Fuji. More than half of the children who attempted to reach the summit of the iconic mountain developed symptoms of acute altitude sickness, a Japanese medical society survey found....Of the respondents, 55 percent said they had developed common symptoms of acute mountain sickness such as headache, nausea and dizziness, and half of the children had given up trying to reach the summit....At its worst, altitude sickness can result in death."
--Asahi Shimbun, June 20, 2014



Q: I'm looking for a Mt. Fuji climbing partner. Are there some online forums where I can hook up with other climbers?  (updated July 1, 2016)
A: These links are in a constant state of flux, but I'll try to keep them current. Please send me hate mail if you encounter a 404 error:  smiley
Mt. Fuji Friendship Hikes by Tokyo Gaijins 
"Hiking in Japan" Facebook group (this is by far the best, run by an amazing guy living in Osaka)
Trip Advisor Fuji Travel Forum
Trip Advisor Fuji National Park Travel Forum
Trip Advisor Japan Travel Forum
Trip Advisor Tokyo Travel Forum 
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/
http://japan-guide.com
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ (These are some sample recent posts (Use advanced search to specify date range, e.g. just for the past few months) by searching "Northeast Asia" forum for "climbing Mt. Fuji" posts. Search "Travel Companions" forum for trekking partners.)



Q: Where can I read some personal stories & opinions, both pro and con, by hikers who've actually climbed up Mt. Fuji?  (updated Aug. 3, 2016)
A: Here are a select few, in (more or less) reverse chronological order:
Climbing Mt. Fuji: Tips to the Top  (added Aug. 3, 2016)  
Leading Locations: Mt. Fuji, Japan  (added Aug. 2, 2016)
Mt. Fuji: A Hike ANYONE Can Do  (added Aug. 2, 2016)
I climbed Mt Fuji; What You Should Know July 2016  (added July 27, 2016)
A Full Account of Climbing Mt. Fuji in July  (added July 16, 2016)
Climbing Mt Fuji (because you don't need a catchy titlewhenyousleeponand summit a volcano)  (added July 15, 2016)
Gear, Tours and Tips: Making the Most of Your Mt. Fuji Climbing Experience  (added July 13, 2016)
How NOT to climb Mount Fuji  (added May 6, 2016)
Climbing Mount Fuji: 8 Hours of Lava and Clouds all for Bragging Rights  (added April 12, 2016)
Mt. Fuji  (added April 3, 2016)
My Mt. Fuji Night Climb (download this free eBook, a standalone chapter from author Nick Hall's forthcoming book)  (added April 1, 2016)
2-Day Hike to See the Sunrise @ Mount Fuji  (added Feb. 24, 2016)
One Day Trip To Mt. Fuji, The Most Famous Japanese Mountain In Mid Summer!  (added Feb. 23, 2016)
A non-traditional Fuji ascent: From sea to summit  (added Nov. 3, 2015)
Survival Guide: Bullet Climbing Mt. Fuji  (added Oct. 23, 2015)
Hiking up Mount Fuji  (added Oct. 13, 2015)
Little snail, slowly slowly climb Mount Fuji  (added Sept. 16, 2015)
Beyond the Summit - Climbing Mt. Fuji  (added Sept. 10, 2015)
Searching for the Sunrise  (added Aug. 25, 2015)
The Mt. Fuji Epic Saga  (added Aug. 23, 2015)
Hiking Mt. Fuji  (added Aug. 19, 2015)
Hiking Mount Fuji – On Yoshida’s Trail  (added Aug. 19, 2015)
NMMU'S Prof. Swartz Conquers Mt. Fuji to Raise Funds for Needy Students  (added Aug. 12, 2015; an excellent story by the Vice-Chancellor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to raise funds for financially-needy students)
The Ultimate Mt. Fuji Packing List  (added July 20, 2015)
Climbing Fuji  (added July 19, 2015)
Climbing Japan’s tallest mountain Fuji: personal experience  (added July 17, 2015)
I climbed Mt.Fuji! (includes 4 cool embedded slideshows) (added July 13, 2015)
Fools in the Rain: Climbing Fuji-san  (added July 11, 2015)
What I learned from Climbing Mount Fuji in August  (added June 6, 2015)
Why is climbing Mount Fuji a ‘horrendously’ bad idea?  (added May 10, 2015)
Chelsea man, daughter reflect on climbing Mt. Fuji  (added April 18, 2015)
Trip Advisor Mt. Fuji reviews
Submarine Group 7 and Japanese Fleet Submarine Force Deepen Bonds by Climbing Mt. Fuji  (added Aug. 20, 2014)
The light fantastic on Mount Fuji  (added Aug. 9, 2014)
Climbing Mount Fuji in August, My Story and Tips  (added Aug. 6, 2014)
How to Summit Mt. Fuji Without Looking Like An Idiot  (added Aug. 6, 2014)
71-year-old sets record with 1,673 ascents of Mount Fuji  (added Aug. 6, 2014) 
Climbing Mount Fuji 
A climb by moonlight with unbeatable views 
Mt. Fuji: A Day-trip Climb 
Climbing Mt. Fuji, the World Heritage Site-to-be 
Climbing the Fujinomiya Trail of Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji Sunrise Hike 
Mount Fuji
Japan Trip - Mt. Fuji Via The Fujinomiya Trail
Climbing Mt. Fuji
Report From Mt. Fuji
Fuji, Tramontane. (unsuccessful winter attempt)
Climbing Mt. Fuji
Climbing Mt. Fuji (Film) (part 1 ascent)
Climbing Mt. Fuji – The Descent (Film) (part 2 descent)
Guide to Climbing Mount Fuji (Don’t do it!)
Mt. Fuji: To Climb or Not to Climb? (The Real Guide)
Fuji love
On Highest Ground 
Climbing Mt. Fuji
Climbing Mt. Fuji – Mt. Fuji, Japan, Asia
What It Cost Me to Climb Mount Fuji
I'm No Fool - Climbing Mt Fuji!!!!!!!
Climbing Fools
Climbing Mount Fuji in August, My Story and Tips
Climbing Mount Fuji   
Climbing Mount Fuji By Night



Q: Where can I view some good videos that encapsulate the true spirit and essence of climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated Aug. 5, 2015)
A: There are perhaps an uncountable number at YouTube, but these are 3 of my favorites:


A grrrreat new video by "Sharla in Japan" just posted Aug. 4, 2015.
This amazing young Canadian has a remarkable 270,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel!
(If the player above is not visible, you can view it @ YouTube here.)




An Aug. 20, 2012 ascent by Dr. David Wallace
Don't miss his own electric viola as the background music.
You can also read David's amazing story about climbing Mt. Fuji here.
(If the player above is not visible, you can view it @ YouTube here.)




An Aug. 10-11, 2010 climb of Mt. Fuji
(If the player above is not visible, you can view it @ YouTube here.)



Q: Where can I eat, sleep, and sightsee at the base of Mt. Fuji?  (updated April 18, 2015)
A: The area surrounding Mt. Fuji is one of most beautiful parts of Japan and includes the Fuji Five Lakes region. One of the most interesting things about Mt. Fuji I've ever heard of while residing in Japan is what's known as "Diamond Fuji," a phenomenon which occurs only from Oct. to Feb. when the sun sets into or rises out of Mt. Fuji's cone, setting off sunbeams that resemble a glittering diamond. The Diamond Fuji pic below was taken by a Tokyo friend of mine from the shore of Lake Yamanakako, one of Fuji's 5 Lakes.

Berndt's Diamond Fuji
Diamond Fuji photo taken Feb. 17, 2011 by Berndt Otto

The Village Yamanakako Tourism Division has put together a helpful page of the best Diamond Fuji viewing spots, dates, and times around Lake Yamanakako along with a guide map and which can be viewed here.

Also, on Xmas Day 2014 I decided to put together a webpage listing the best high-rise spots in Tokyo for viewing Diamond Fuji along with recommended dates, sunset times, admission fees, and links to Google maps. You can view that page here: Diamond Fuji Viewing Spots, Dates, and Times in Tokyo

As an affiliate for Trip Advisor, the world's largest travel site, below I've compiled a list of links to their site to assist you in finding some good spots to hang out at the base of Mt. Fuji before or after your climb, whether it be a place to catch some shuteye, feed your tummy, or just a cool sightseeing spot or onsen to check out:

Fujikawaguchiko-machi (FK)  &
Fujiyoshida  (FY) areas

(serving the main Yoshida Trail)
Fujinomiya area
(serving the Fujinomiya Trail
Gotemba area
(serving the Gotemba & Subashiri Trails

Hotel Deals (FK)
Hotel Deals (FY)
Top-rated B&Bs/Inns (FK)
Top-rated B&Bs (FY)
Top-rated things to do (FK)
Top-rated things to do (FY)
Top-rated restaurants (FK)
Top-rated restaurants (FY)
Points of interest area map (FK)
Points of interest area map (FY)

Hotel Deals
Top-rated B&Bs
Top-rated things to do
Top-rated restaurants
Points of interest area map

Hotel Deals
Top-rated B&Bs/Inns
Top-rated things to do
Top-rated restaurants
Points of interest area map

New Fuji 5 Lakes restaurant guide in English 



Q: How can I get myself in good enough shape to climb Mt. Fuji?  (added June 15, 2014)
A: Fuji Mountain Guides has prepared an excellent physical fitness & conditioning guide to help you properly train for climbing Mt. Fuji. You can view the pdf file here.



Q: I'm not confident in my own mountain climbing abilities. Can you recommend a good local mountain climbing guide?  (updated April 11, 2016)
A: I suspect there are several, but here are just a few examples I've run across:
- Fuji Mountain Guides - One-day tours, two-day tours, and off-season tours thru Oct. 15. All tours are conducted for English speakers & in small groups with no more than 12 people per guide.
- FYG Mountain Guides, featured in the July/Aug. 2012 issue of Reiho Fuji, offers a number of 2-day & 3-day Mt. Fuji pilgrim & sunrise tours (off-season tours no longer available)
- 1-night, 2-day Mt. Fuji climb - by IACE Travel 
- Mt. Fuji Climbing Tour 2016, by Willer Express. 2-day bus tour from Tokyo from ¥20,800 yen. "...so popular that over a thousand customers joined last year."
- Mt. Fuji 2-day Private Climbing Tour, by JTB Royal Road Ginza 
- Mt. Fuji Climbing Tours in 2015, Zama ITT Fun Tours 
- Mt. Fuji 2-day Climbing Package, by My Tokyo Guide 
- VIP Liner bus tours (Japanese)






Q: If I make it to the top of Mt. Fuji, can I get a certificate for my accomplishment? 
A: Yes, you can get a personalized certificate for ¥1,050 or a commemoration letter for free from the Yamanashi Tourism Organization. More details here.



Q: I'm not a mountain climber. Are there guided Mt. Fuji bus tours I can join?  (updated July 15, 2016)
A: From the comfort of an air-conditioned motorcoach, you can enjoy not only the beautiful panoramic views from Mt. Fuji's 5th Station, but there are 1-day Mt. Fuji tours starting from ¥8,800, some that also take in the nearby Hakone hot spring resort and include a pirate boat cruise on Hakone's Lake Ashi. Three of the more popular Mt. Fuji bus tour services are Sunrise Tours, Japan Gray Line, & Hato Bus. Also, on only 2 days a week, K's Travel offers a ¥6,800 1-day bus tour of the Mt. Fuji 5th Station, the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine, Aokigahara Forest, & a couple of the Fuji 5 Lakes, departing from & finishing in the Kawaguchiko area.  



Q: Are there any races or trail runs up or around Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 12, 2016)
A: There are probably more, but I'm currently aware of these:
Sea-to-Summit - The Sea-to-Summit is an endurance charity fundraising event. Climbers trek all the way from the Shizuoka coastline to the summit of Japan's symbolic Mt. Fuji in under 24 hours.
4th Annual Mt. Fuji Marathon - Nov. 29, 2015
Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji - Sept. 23, 2016
13th Mt. Fuji Hill Climb cycling race - June 12, 2016
Fuji Mountain Race - July 22, 2016
Tour of Japan cycling race - May 29 - June 5, 2016 - The 11.4km Fuji-san Stage 4 runs from the Fuji Azami Subashiri IC (interchange) to the Subashiri 5th Station. A 2012 race report is here.



Q: Is it possible to mail a letter or postcard from the summit of Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 16, 2016)
A: Yes, by all means don't miss the chance to mail a letter or postcard to your family or friends back home from the highest post office in Japan. The Mt. Fuji summit post office (富士山頂郵便局, Fujisan-cho Yuubin Kyoku) will be open 6 am to 2 pm daily from Sun. July 10, 2016 till Sun. Aug. 21, 2016, including weekends and holidays except on days with inclement weather when they might have to close. It's located at the top of the Fujinomiya Trail, between the Fujikan summit mountain hut (頂上富士館) & the Sengentaisha-Okumiya shrine (浅間大社奥宮), about a 30-40 min. hike clockwise around the summit crater from the top of the main Yoshida trail. More info (in Japanese) is here.

Fujisan-cho post office
Fujisan-cho post office,
the highest post office in Japan



Q: Are there places around Tokyo to rent/buy gear (i.e. hiking boots, warm jackets, headlamps) when climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 24, 2016)
A: I'm sure this short list of online shops just scratches the surface, but it's a start: smiley

- https://www.fujimountainguides.com/mount-fuji-rentals-for-all.html
- http://mtfujirental.com/
- http://lamont.jp/en/ (in Fuji-Kawaguchiko-cho, near the entrance to the Fuji Subaru Line)
- https://tour.vipliner.biz/fuji/rental/ (Japanese)
- https://www.cuterek.com/ (Japanese)
- http://www.yamarent.com/ (Japanese) - Note: On Aug. 20, 2015, Yamarent had a small shop set up inside the 5th Station Unjokaku Lodge. Here are a couple pics of their English price list:
   https://flic.kr/p/wH1Ais
   https://flic.kr/p/xBGUNy
- http://www.soranoshita.net/en/ (new English webpage) - a number of shops @ the base of Fuji-san with varying hours/dates of operation
- Mt. Fuji Local outdoor shop (near Kawaguchiko Station)

Also, outdoor gear shops in Tokyo are in a constant state of flux, and this list is a bit outdated, but some of these may offer rentals:

- Kojitsu-sanso in Ginza (open till 10 pm on weekdays, 9 pm on weekends) new icon: https://www.kojitusanso.jp/shop/kanto/ginza/
- ICI Sports Shinjuku Nishiguchi: http://www.ici-sports.com/shop/shinjukunishiguchi.html (west side of Shinjuku Station, very near the departure point for the Shinjuku to Mt. Fuji 5th Station highway bus)
- Ishii Yamasen Shinjuku Higashiguchi BICQLO: http://www.ici-sports.com/shop/ishiiyamasen.html (on the east side of Shinjuku Station on the 8th floor of the amazing new BICQLO store, a collaboration between retail giants Bic Camera & Uniqlo)
- ICI Sports Harajuku: http://ici-sports.com/shop/harajuku.html (right outside Harajuku Station, next to Oshman's, which also has some gear)
- ICI Sports Tozan Honten: http://ici-sports.com/shop/honten.html (in Jimbocho)
- Haglofs Harajuku store:  http://www.haglofs.com/jp/en/store/hagjp-534/Tokyo/HAGL%C3%96FS%20%E5%8E%9F%E5%AE%BF
- Haglofs Japan main English page: http://www.haglofs.com/jp/en
- Mammut (off Omotesando): http://www.mammutstore.jp/
- North Face (Harajuku): http://www.goldwin.co.jp/tnf/
- Montbell:
http://store.montbell.jp/search/shopinfo/?shop_no=618851 (Shibuya)
http://store.montbell.jp/search/shopinfo/?shop_no=679919 (Ebisu)
http://store.montbell.jp/search/shopinfo/?shop_no=618937 (Shinjuku Station south exit)
Google Map of all Montbell shop locations in Japan



Q: Does it really cost ¥1000 to climb Mt. Fuji?  (added June 27, 2015) 
A: Beginning with a 10-day trial period in the 2013 climbing season and implemented in 2014 for the entire season, Mt. Fuji climbers are asked to donate ¥1000 to help enhance activities and services for environmental conservation, climber safety, and information provision. In particular, the voluntary fees are being used to construct new lavatories and repair existing ones, increase the number of personnel engaging in conservation efforts, and to expand the number of first-aid centers. Also, the study of new toilet technologies, surveys to monitor and analyze climber trends, setting up additional information centers, installing signage to raise awareness of climbing etiquette and rules, increasing the safety of the down trails such as the repair of protective fences, and developing mobile device apps & videos (for guidance in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese) to help climbers better understand climbing safety and environmental conservation.

[Note: Speaking of environmental conservation, some, if not all, public toilets around the Mt. Fuji summit area, which is in Shizuoka Prefecture, will be unavailable during July 1-10, 2015. They will also be closed September 11-14, 2015, except in the Fujinomiya Trail area. Climbers planning to summit Mt. Fuji during the above periods are asked to bring personal disposable toilets, which are not a bad idea throughout the season, given their usefulness in the case of congestion or emergencies. In 2014, excrement was found at 17 places along the Subashiri route.]

The funds will not be used to maintain existing toilet facilities, including those installed in mountain huts. To support the maintenance of these existing facilities, climbers are asked to pay a small fee (¥200‒¥300) when using these toilets.

All of these efforts will assist Japan in submitting a favorable state-of-conservation report to UNESCO’s World Heritage Center by February 2016, one of the strict requirements in order for Mt. Fuji to retain its World Heritage Site status.

Climbers who support the conservation of Mt. Fuji by donating will receive a badge of appreciation which reads "Certificate of Cooperation in the Conservation of Fujisan." For more details, a very informative brochure of the 2015 Fuji-san Conservation Donations Campaign is here.

Mt. Fuji donation badge
Mt. Fuji donation badge



Q: I've heard that a Japanese university professor predicted Mt. Fuji would erupt by 2015. Should I be concerned?  (added July 3, 2015) 
A: Yes, without question, various parts of Japan have experienced a very significant increase in volcano activity in the past year, most notably the eruption of Mt. Ontake-san, Japan's 14th highest peak, in September 2014 which killed 57 climbers. In early May 2015, area hiking trails were closed after volcanic activity started at Mt. Hakoneyama in the famous Hakone hot springs area, just 80km southeast of central Tokyo. The volcanic activity has intensfied recently, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency in late June to raise the peak's volcanic alert level to Level 3 ("Do not approach the volcano"). Mt. Hakoneyama lies a mere 30km (~18 mi) from Mt. Fuji.

Meanwhile, both Yamanashi & Shizuoka Prefectures and the City of Fujiyoshida have funded the preparation & distribution of a few thousand sets of safety helmets, goggles, and dust-proof masks to a number of mountain huts along the 4 trails.

But because during the peak of the climbing season as many as 9000 people climb Mt. Fuji every day, local authorities are urging climbers to bring their own helmets, goggles, and masks to protect themselves against a possible Mt. Fuji eruption.

Yamanashi Prefecture is also distributing evacuation route maps to climbers, showing four possible eruption patterns based on the vent’s location and the reach of lava.

one potential Mt. Fuji eruption evacuation pattern
One potential Mt. Fuji eruption evacuation pattern
(Photo credit: Japan Times)



Q: Will I be able to access the internet while climbing Mt. Fuji? (updated July 1, 2016)
A: Wireless broadband provider Wire & Wireless will be offering free wireless Internet access at a total of 49 locations on Mt. Fuji this summer from July 10 to Sept. 10, 2016, including all of the mountain huts along all 4 trails.

2016 Fujisan Wi-Fi network
2016 Fujisan Wi-Fi network
(image credit: Wire & Wireless)

Users will be able to access the Fujisan Wi-Fi network by registering their email address or social network account, or by downloading Wire & Wireless' free Travel Japan Wi-Fi app (for iOS and Android devices) from their website.

The Fujisan Wi-Fi network will offer support in 6 languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, and Thai.

Source: RocketNews24


2016 Fujisan Wi-Fi network hotspots
2016 Fujisan Wi-Fi network hotspots
(image credit: Wire & Wireless)



Q: I plan to climb all night to catch the sunrise from the Mt. Fuji summit, but I've heard this is unsafe. Is it REALLY that dangerous?  (updated June 28, 2016) 
A: Because of serious climber safety issues in recent years related to the one-day style of Mt. Fuji climbing called "bullet climbing" ("Dangan-Tozan" (弾丸登山) in Japanese), prefectural officials have worked diligently to educate & warn climbers against doing this, especially 1st-time climbers of Mt. Fuji from overseas, the segment of the climbing population where this seems to be the biggest problem. Climbing incidents most often involve people who view climbing Mt. Fuji like a sightseeing outing and thus fail to make adequate preparations. This sort of 1-day climber tourism is taking a toll on the Fuji-san's delicate environmental balance, and may accelerate future actions to limit the number of climbers on Japan’s holiest peak & newest World Heritage Site.

A recent report by Japan's environment ministry showed that 28% of all 1st-time climbers of Mt. Fuji opt to climb up & down in only one day, starting in the late evening (often despite inadequate fitness) and hiking all night long to reach the summit in time for sunrise. This number is drastically higher for foreign climbers who make up 30% of Mt. Fuji climbers. Furthermore, 14% of bullet climbers (compared to only 5% of standard climbers) give up climbing to the top because they become ill. Plus, the number of bullet climbers who seek help at 1st-aid stations is 3 times higher than that of standard climbers.

One-day bullet climbing is considered dangerous as it increases climber susceptibility to injury, below-normal body temperatures, & altitude sickness, a condition that should never be taken too lightly. The shortage of oxygen supply at high altitudes can cause fatigue, lethargy, and headaches, which in turn may lead to accidents, physical imbalance, dehydration, circulatory system anomalies, and even the possible lethal condition known as cerebral edema, or swelling of the brain caused by excessive fluid buildup.

To avoid safety problems from bullet climbing & altitude sickness, prefectural officials are urging Mt. Fuji climbers to follow a few simple guidelines:

- Get adequate sleep on the day before the climb. Climbers who have not properly slept are more prone to injuries and illnesses due to fatigue. Avoiding alcohol intake on the day before your climb (& during your climb) is also a good measure for warding off high-altitude dehydration.

- At the 5th station before departure, climbers are advised to rest for 1-2 hours before starting the ascent to the Mt. Fuji summit. This will help your body acclimatize to the higher altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

- Climbers are urged to take their time, pace themselves, and in order to avoid altitude sickness, to stop at mountain huts to take regular, short rest breaks, even if that involves forking over a few thousand yen to catch a catnap in a hut. For example, climb for 25 minutes and rest for 5 minutes, or climb for 50 minutes and rest for 10 minutes.

- In order to avoid getting cold, though, (temperatures at the summit may drop below freezing even in July and August), rest stops ideally should not last TOO long.

- In order to prevent dehydration, drink water (or isotonic sports beverages) regularly. Specially formulated sports drinks that replace water and electrolytes and contain either fructose or glucose polymers allow a slow release of carbohydrates for replenishing reserves of energy consumed while climbing.  It is not safe nor a good idea to avoid drinking water in order to save time & money on toilet breaks.

- To the greatest extent possible, try to avoid (or at least limit the number of hours) climbing at night. Due to nightime darkness, climbers are more likely to cause rocks to fall, a potential danger to other climbers below. Climbers are urged to stay as close as possible to the inside (slope side) of the trail, as walking along the trail's downhill free edge can cause loose rocks to fall and hit climbers hiking along one of the zigzags below. If you do dislodge rocks causing them to fall, please yell at the top of your lungs to warn others below & around you.

Sources for the info above:
For increased safety when climbing Fuji-san (2015 version)
Stop Bullet Climbing!

[One final note. Although sunrise from the Mt. Fuji summit is a big goal of many climbers, one beauty of the main Yoshida Trail is that you can view the sunrise pretty much anywhere above the treeline near the 6th Station.]



Q: I read somewhere that credit cards are not accepted on Mt. Fuji, so how much cash should I bring, anyways?  (added July 21, 2015) 
A: According to the kind folks at Shizuoka Prefecture's Mt. Fuji World Heritage Division in the Culture and Tourism Department, you might need as much as ¥15,000-20,000, depending on your plans & spending habits. And climbers are recommended to have lots of change on hand (especially numerous ¥100 coins) for meals, drinks, souvenirs, walking stick branding iron stamps, shrine offerings, etc. Mountain hut accommodations will set you back ¥8,000-9,000, bottled drinks will run ¥500-1,000 (¥400-500 per bottle), and pay toilets will cost ¥1,200-1,500 (¥200-300 per use). Toilets on Mt. Fuji are not covered in the general maintenance budget, so are self-supporting and thus require a fee. More info on safety rules for climbing Mt. Fuji, including recommended gear, etiquette, and weather precautions, can be found here: http://www.fujisan223.com/en/rule/



Q: Who's the oldest person to have ever climbed Mt. Fuji?  (added Aug. 23, 2015) 
A: Just inside the front entrance of the Gogoen Rest House (五合園レストハウス) at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, you'll find a bronze statue erected in honor of Teiichi Igarashi (五十嵐貞一) who on Aug. 8, 1988 scaled Fuji-san at the ripe young age of only 105. Igarashi-san was a retired forest ranger from Furudono, Fukushima who started climbing Japan's tallest peak annually in 1976 in memory of his deceased wife. So at the time of his feat in 1988, he already held the record as the oldest person to reach Mt. Fuji's summit & had renewed his record for 13 years in a row. (Source: Mt. Fuji 5th Station International Tourist Conference)

Teiichi Igarashi
Teiichi Igarashi, age 105, the oldest
person to have ever climbed Mt. Fuji



Q: Where are the most congested spots on the Yoshida Trail?  (added July 12, 2016)
A: Congestion occurs frequently before sunrise at the spots on the Yoshida Trail shown below, especially between the Goraiko-kan mountain hut @ the 8.5th Station and the Kusushi-Jinja Shrine at the top of the trail, including around the 9th Station.

Yoshida Trail congestion spots
Yoshida Trail congestion spots
(Source: "Fujitozan Advice Book," published by
the Mt. Fuji Preservation Promotion Section)




Q: Where are the most hazardous places on the Yoshida Trail?  (added July 12, 2016)
A: As shown below, one place worth noting is between the Hanagoya mountain hut @ the 7th Station and the Horaikan mountain hut @ the 8th Station where there are steep rocks and a very narrow, single-file trail. Another place is between the 9th Station and the top of the Yoshida Trail where the trail is particularly narrow and there is a chance of falling rocks.

Yoshida Trail hazardous places - 9th Station to top of trail
Yoshida Trail hazardous places - 9th Station to top of trail


Yoshida Trail hazardous places - Hanagoya to Horaikan
Yoshida Trail hazardous places - Hanagoya to Horaikan
(Source: "Fujitozan Advice Book," published by
the Mt. Fuji Preservation Promotion Section)



Q: Where can I get more helpful info on climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 12, 2016)
A: The Latest Mt. Fuji News (but not necessarily climbing related) (my own page on this site, added Mar. 3, 2013)
Mt. Fuji Yoshida-Guchi Trail Climbing Guide Map, published Nov. 2013 by Fujiyoshida City (added Feb. 26, 2015)
The newly published special July/Aug. 2015 Mt. Fuji Climbing Edition of "Reiho Fuji" (added July 2, 2015)
Mt. Fuji (富士山) topo map (from the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan)
Mt. Fuji (富士山) route map (part of the Yama-to-kogen Chizu series published by Shobunsha, available in bookstores and from Amazon Japan)
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6901.html
http://www.city.fujiyoshida.yamanashi.jp/div/english/html/climb.html
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/indepth/scenic/mtfuji/fuji_05.html
http://www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/kokuritsukoen/en/index.html 
Mt. Fuji Climbing
Mt. Fuji Explorer
http://wikitravel.org/en/Mount_Fuji
The Unconventional Guide to Climbing Mt. Fuji (12 insider tips from a guy who worked 37 straight days from 5:30 am till 9 pm every day cleaning toilets in a Mt. Fuji mountain hut) 
Climbing Mt. Fuji (climbing tours & info) (added Aug. 18, 2015)

Fuji Subaru 5th Station General Management Center: 0555-72-1477
Fujiyoshida Tourist Info Center: 0555-22-7000
Kawaguchiko Tourist Info Center: 0555-72-6700
Mt. Fuji access options from major train stations
Fujikyuko express bus bound for Mt. Fuji
International Affairs Desk, Fujiyoshida City Hall (8:30-5:30, Mon.-Fri.): 0555-24-1236  (+81-555-24-1236 from overseas)


Please stop by again soon



Thank you very much for visiting these pages, and if you by chance have already had the pleasure of climbing Mt. Fuji, I hope you will by all means take a few minutes to share your story below with future climbers. Please stop by again soon, as I intend to continue updating these pages with more details in the future, as they become available.



If you have any questions for me, please give me a shout below or by clicking on the "Contact Me" link. And if you're planning to climb Japan's highest peak, I wish you my most heartfelt good luck !!

Cheers,
Gary


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