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Home: Highest Mountains in Japan: Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions

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

"If you come to Japan and don't climb Mt. Fuji, you're a fool; but if you climb it more than once, you're an even BIGGER fool."  smiley
--old Japanese proverb--

For me, the attraction to climb Mt. Fuji was immediate. Less than 4 months after arriving in this country, I was worshipping the sunrise from its summit on Sun. Aug. 4, 1991.

On this page which I first built in Aug. 2010, I have attempted to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about climbing Japan's highest peak. It has grown considerably since then as visitors have posed questions & shared their climbing experiences. And I've done my best to keep the links current & the content up to date.

Should you have any additional questions of your own or would like to share your climbing story, feel free to use the form at the bottom of this page. Thanks for visiting.

Mt. Fuji (富士山), Japan's highest mountain
Mt. Fuji (富士山), Japan's highest mountain
and the most visited mountain in the world
(Photo credit: Narita International Airport Corporation)


Note: As of Sept. 14, the official 2014 Mt. Fuji climbing season has finished. Trails will begin to re-open again on July 1, 2015.



Got a question or story about climbing Mt. Fuji?


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Is Mt. Fuji (富士山, Fuji-san) the highest mountain in Japan?
Q: How many people climb Mt. Fuji (富士山) every year?
Q: When is Mt. Fuji's official climbing season?  (updated Mar. 19, 2014)
Q: When are the best dates to climb during Mt. Fuji's climbing season?
Q: Is there a choice of hiking routes when climbing Mt. Fuji? 
Q: I'm planning to climb Mt. Fuji in early July. Will there still be snow on the trail?  (updated July 5, 2014)
Q: How long does it take to climb to the top of Mt. Fuji and what is the elevation gain?
Q: What are the hiking distances from Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations to its summit and how steep are the various Mt. Fuji climbing trails? 
Q: Are there some Mt. Fuji mountain huts where I can rest or sleep along the way?  (updated July 4, 2014)
Q: Is it necessary to make reservations at the Fuji-san mountain huts?  (updated July 4, 2014)
Q: What kind of equipment is required for climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated June 3, 2013)
Q: What temperatures can I expect when climbing Mt. Fuji? 
Q: Where can I see current weather conditions and/or weather forecasts for Mt. Fuji?  (updated June 30, 2014)
Q: How do I reach Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations (Go-gome)?  (updated June 30, 2014)
Q: What is the elevation of Mt. Fuji's 5th Station?
Q: What kind of services and facilities will I find at Mt. Fuji's 5th Station?
Q: What kind of services and facilities will I find at Mt. Fuji's summit?
Q: What time of day is the best time to climb Mt. Fuji?
Q: How can I avoid the crowds when climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated Jan. 13, 2014)
Q: Is it possible to climb to the summit of Mt. Fuji from the base of the mountain?  (added June 22, 2013)
Q: What time is sunrise and sunset on Mt. Fuji during climbing season?
Q: Can I leave my large backpack in a locker at the train station and take only a smaller pack with me to climb? 
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 June 17, 2013)
Q: Where can I find a good route map or elevation profile for climbing Mt. Fuji?
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? 
Q: Where can I read some stories, both pro and con, by people who've actually climbed up Mt. Fuji?  (updated Aug. 20, 2014)
Q: Where can I view some good videos that encapsulate the true spirit and essence of climbing Mt. Fuji?
Q: Where can I eat, sleep, and sightsee at the base of Mt. Fuji?
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 Feb. 13, 2014)
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 tours I can join?
Q: Are there any races or trail runs up or around Mt. Fuji? 
Q: Is it possible to mail a letter or postcard from the summit of Mt. Fuji?  (added Aug. 2, 2014)
Q: Are there places around Tokyo to rent/buy gear (i.e. hiking boots, warm jackets, headlamps) when climbing Mt. Fuji?  (added Aug. 9, 2014)
Q: Where can I get more helpful info on climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated July 7, 2014)


Q: Is Mt. Fuji (富士山, Fuji-san) the highest mountain in Japan?
A: Yes, at an elevation of 3776m (12,388 ft.) it is not only Japan's highest mountain, but along with Mt. Tateyama and Mt. Hakusan, it is one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains" (三霊山, Sanreizan). It is also one of the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains (日本百名山, Nihon Hyaku-meizan).


Q: How many people climb Mt. Fuji every year?
A: I'm not aware of any reliable total estimates, but the Daily Yomiuri newspaper reported on Aug. 31, 2010 that as of 5 pm Sun. Aug. 29, a record 253,414 climbers had been counted during the 2-month Mt. Fuji (富士山) climbing season on the main Yoshida trail, according to the safety guidance center at the trail's 6th station. With 2 days remaining in the official climbing season, this number will likely reach 260,000 climbers. This is the 2nd straight record-setting year, surpassing last year's climbing season tally of 247,066. 

The main Yoshida trail, which serves the Tokyo metropolitan area, is the only one of the four Mt. Fuji (富士山) trails originating in Yamanashi Prefecture. Counting the other 3 trails from Shizuoka Prefecture as well as all the off-season climbing which occurs during the other 10 months of the year, one could argue even with a conservative guesstimate that at least a half-million (500,000) climbers trek up the slopes of Mt. Fuji every year. Wow. And this doesn't even include the hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit the 5th stations every year by car or bus and who don't even climb Mt. Fuji. No wonder Mt. Fuji is known as the most visited mountain in the world.
(Note: This answer has been updated. Pls. see more recent statistics below.)



Q: When is Mt. Fuji's official climbing season?  (updated Mar. 19, 2014)
A: The 2014 Mt. Fuji climbing season will be from 7/1 till 9/14 for the Yoshida Trail, and 7/10 till 9/10 for the other 3 trails. During these months, temperatures at the summit can be below freezing at night. Though there is no closing date as such, and it is possible to climb Mt. Fuji outside of the official climbing season, it is not recommended, as most facilities, including most mountain huts, are closed; weather conditions are unstable and unpredictable; rescue personnel are limited, climbing conditions may be extremely hazardous; and public transportation access is minimal. 

The following Mt. Fuji winter climb warning is from the Fujiyoshida City's official website:
Three Deadly Reasons to Stay off Mt. Fuji in the off-season:
● Avalanche. Mt. Fuji is the perfect domain for avalanches due to its steep slope and lack of vegetation. When a slab of ice breaks free, the hiker will be pummeled against snow, ice, and trees before being buried as if encased in wet concrete.
● Winds. Strong winds literally blow climbers off the slippery slopes. There have been several cases of tents flying off of the slopes with their occupants onboard.
● Hypothermia. Though not limited to the off-season, hypothermia is a life-threatening condition that proves fatal if not diagnosed and treated properly. It is the result of a hiker's core body temperature dropping and internal organs succumbing to the cold. (Source: City of Fujiyoshida)

The following excerpt appears on a sign just below Kengamine (剣ヶ峰, elev. 3776m), the highest point on Mt. Fuji's summit:

In the wintertime, Mt. Fuji weather conditions are extremely harsh. The maximum and minimum average temperatures at the summit are -15C (5F), and -22C (-8F), respectively. The average wind speed is 20 to 30 m/s (45 to 67 mph) with a 50% increase at the ridgeline. Mt. Fuji has heavy snowfall when low pressure systems pass in the winter. The forest reduces wind speeds below the 5th station, but they suddenly and drastically increase above timberline. The relative temperature falls by 1.0C with every increase of 1.0 m/s (1.8F per 2.2 mph) in wind speed.

I might add that Japanese climbers die from hypothermia ALL the time, even in July & August, so attempting Mt. Fuji in winter is a death wish, in my humble opinion. If climbing Mt. Fuji during winter, the Yamanashi Police Dept. requires this Mt. Fuji Climbing Plan form be filled out & emailed or faxed prior to your journey.

A very excellent & informative piece was written recently by mountain climbing extraordinaire Mr. Chris White identifying the hazards and risks of a winter ascent of Mt. Fuji titled "I want to climb Fuji in winter."  (added Aug. 11, 2014) 

Also, you may wish to read the Mt. Fuji winter climbing warning issued by the Fujiyoshida Police at http://www.pref.yamanashi.jp/police/fujiyoshida-ps/tiiki/documents/e-tyuui.pdf.

The video below encapsulates in a short minute and a half just one of several reasons I've never climbed mountains in winter. Uh, no thanks.


(If the player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)

new icon Not to belabor the point, but here are 2 more pertinent news stories related to off-season Mt. Fuji climbing, the first (with video) about some Sasebo sailors who rescued a 60-year-old Japanese man who fell off the summit of Mt. Fuji in Dec. 2011:

http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/japan/sasebo-sailors-rescue-climber-who-fell-from-mount-fuji-summit-1.164241

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201307190062


Q: When are the best dates to climb during Mt. Fuji's climbing season?
A: School is usually out from around July 20 thru the end of August, so if you want to beat the crowds, before July 20th on a weekday is best, but in early July you risk climbing Mt. Fuji on late lingering snow fields. At all costs, avoid the Obon holiday period, usually Aug. 13-17, and weekends, especially Saturday nights.

Climbing Mt. Fuji
Climbing Mt. Fuji
(the trek to Mecca?)

During the 2010 climbing season on the main Yoshida trail, a record-high 100,000 climbers climbed Mt. Fuji in July. On average, more than 5,000 people climbed Mt. Fuji on Saturdays & Sundays and everyday during Obon. And on Sat. Aug. 21, a shocking 10,000 people (yes, you read that right) climbed Mt. Fuji on this one hiking trail alone.


Q: Is there a choice of hiking routes when climbing Mt. Fuji?
A: Yes, there are 4 routes:
1) Yoshida course (by far the most popular, as it serves climbers from the Tokyo metropolitan area):
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6922.html
2) Fujinomiya course (the shortest route--4 hrs. 20 min.--and the highest starting elevation: 2400m):
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6930.html
3) Subashiri course (the tree line @ 2700m is the highest on any route):
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6928.html
4) Gotemba course (the longest route--6 hrs. 20 min.--and the lowest starting elevation: 1440m):
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6929.html

Detailed Mt. Fuji trail maps for each of its 4 climbing routes are linked below.



Q: I'm planning to climb Mt. Fuji in early July. Will there still be snow on the trail?  (updated July 5, 2014)
A: In 2012, the answer would've been 'yes.' That year the Fujinomiya route above the New 7th Station and the Subashiri route above the 7th Station weren't opened all the way to the summit until July 13, and the Gotemba route above the 6th Station wasn't opened until July 20.

This year in 2014 the 3 routes originating in Shizuoka Prefecture are scheduled to open on July 10, but due to late lingering snow, the opening dates for the Fujinomiya & Gotemba routes (all the way to the summit) have been delayed.

The main Yoshida route, the only Mt. Fuji trail originating in Yamanashi Prefecture, as a rule always opens on July 1, but as you can see below, in years past the dates for when the 3 Shizuoka Prefecture routes opened all the way to the summit have varied considerably:

Year
Subashiri
Route
Gotemba
Route
Fujinomiya
Route
2008
July 5
July 8
July 11
2009
July 10
July 17
July 14
2010
July 8
July 9
July 9
2011
July 6
July 9
July 13
2012
July 13
July 20
July 13
2013
July 1
July 1
July 8

Opening Dates to the Mt. Fuji Summit for the 3 Shizuoka Trails
(Source: http://www.pref.shizuoka.jp/kensetsu/ke-830/news/news_douro44.html)


Q: How long does it take to climb to the top of Mt. Fuji and what is the elevation gain?
A: Among the 4 climbing trails, on average it'll take about 5 hrs. 10 min. up and 2 hrs. 55 min. down. On the main Yoshida climbing course, if you're in good shape, from the 5th Station you should allow at least 5 hrs. up and about 3.5 hrs. down, as shown in the graphic below. You'll gain 1471 meters (4824 ft.), almost a vertical mile, which is comparable to climbing the 1250-ft-tall Empire State Building in New York City almost 4 times. Wow.

Mt. Fuji Kawaguchiko trail climbing times
Mt. Fuji Yoshida trail climbing times
(source: mountfujiguide.com)


Q: What are the hiking distances from Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations to its summit and how steep are the various Mt. Fuji climbing trails?
A: Here are some Mt. Fuji climbing trail stats I've compiled from various sources:

Mt. Fuji
Climbing
Route
5th Station
Starting
Elev. (m)
Elev.
Gain (m)
Hiking
Distance
(km)
%
Grade
Hiking
Time
Up
(hr:min)
Hiking
Time
Down
(hr:min)
Yoshida 2305 1471 6.8 21.6 5:00 3:20
Fujinomiya 2400 1376 5.0 27.5 4:20 2:30
Subashiri 2000 1776 6.8 26.1 5:10 2:40
Gotemba 1440 2336 7.8 29.9 6:20 3:10

According to my less-than-scientific analysis, smiley the Gotemba Trail is not only the longest Mt. Fuji climbing route, but because of the astounding, knee-knocking elevation gain involved, it is also the steepest. One thing you can look forward to on the downhill Gotemba Trail, though, is the Osunabashiri (sand slope, 大砂走り) which many climbers literally run down, descending 1110m from the 3030-m 7th Station to the 1920-m New 5.5th Station in only 70 minutes. Yee Hah !!


Q: Are there some Mt. Fuji mountain huts where I can rest or sleep along the way?  (updated July 4, 2014)
A: Yes, but they can be very crowded (read: full) during climbing season. Believe it or not, this incredible mountain has over 40 mountain huts which sleep nearly 7000 people:

Route No. of huts Capacity
Yoshida 17 3390
Fujinomiya 9 1380
Subashiri 13 1455
Gotemba 5 580
Total 44 6805

On a separate page I've compiled a list of Mt. Fuji mountain huts for the main Yoshida trail (updated July 4, 2014) with website addresses, phone numbers, elevations, sleeping capacities, and opening/closing dates. A list of Mt. Fuji mountain huts for the other 3 routes is linked from the mountain hut page above. Please note: a little known secret is that many huts are open well into September, so if you really want to escape the crowds, consider hiking up Mt. Fuji in early to mid-September. One hazard though is the frequent typhoons that normally blast thru Japan in September, as well as another problem of less frequent service for the climbing buses in September. 


Q: Is it necessary to make reservations at the Fuji-san mountain huts?  (updated July 4, 2014)
A: Yes, since its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on June 22, 2013, Mt. Fuji has become so popular that advance mountain hut reservations are imperative, because the huts are quite packed during climbing season. The average base weekday rate is ¥5500 per night, plus an optional ¥1000 for dinner, ¥1000 for breakfast, and an extra ¥1000-¥2000 for weekend nights. So staying on a Fri. or Sat. night with dinner & breakfast will run at least ¥8500. Some staff speak English in some of the huts.


Q: What kind of equipment is required for climbing Mt. Fuji?
A: Because climbing any mountain will subject climbers to highly variable, unpredictable, and often extreme weather conditions, one should follow the Boy Scout motto and be prepared for any scenario. Accordingly, sturdy high-cut, waterproof hiking boots, gaiters (to keep your boots from filling up with small volcanic rocks on the way down), warm layered clothing, wick-dry underwear/undershirt, sweater/windbreaker, wool socks, gloves, sunglasses, hat (with hat clip to keep it from blowing away in strong winds), hiking stick (pole), flashlight or headlamp (w/ spare batteries), effective rain wear (both top & bottom....ponchos are no good!), camera (w/ extra battery & memory card), plastic bags to carry out your trash ("Pack it in, Pack it out!"), small first-aid kit (w/ aspirin for altitude sickness), toilet paper, hand towel, high-energy snacks (e.g. CalorieMate, sweets, nuts, chocolate), a change of clothing, and sunscreen are essential.

This cute graphic on what to wear up Mt. Fuji is courtesy of mtfujiguide.com.

What to wear up Mt. Fuji
What to wear up Mt. Fuji


You should also bring lots of cash (including ¥100 coins for the ¥200, pay-per-use eco-toilets) to buy stuff like souvenirs, to pay for the huts, to get your commemorative Mt. Fuji hiking stick stamped, to eat a hot meal (curry rice or ramen may cost ¥1000), to mail a postcard from the summit, to catch a bus from the 5th station, etc. ATMs are generally found in most Japanese convenience stores these days, but they do not have 24-hour service. I also suggest you bring your own water, at least 2 liters per person, as you will have to fork over ¥500/bottle at the huts & vending machines, and there are generally no huts or watering spots along the "down" trails. Because Fuji-san is basically a "hike-up" climb (albeit a fairly steep one), with only some occasional scrambling, no technical equipment is required to climb Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji walking stick
Mt. Fuji hiking sticks are usually bought for around ¥1000 and can be
stamped at each station for an additional ¥200 per stamp per station
(The pic above was taken Aug. 21, 2012 @ the Fujinomiya 5th Station)


Q: What temperatures can I expect when climbing Mt. Fuji?
A: The average temperature during the climbing season at the summit is between 5-8 degrees C (41-46 degrees F), but it sometimes drops below freezing. So if there's a strong wind, it can not only feel quite frigid, but expose climbers to hypothermia. During August at Mt. Fuji's summit, the average high temperature is 9.3 degrees C (~49 degrees F) and the average low temperature is 3.6 degrees C (~38 degrees F). Temperatures at the top are generally about 20 degrees C (36 degrees F) less than at the base, or 10 degrees C (18 degrees F) less than at the 5th Station.

Mt. Fuji average & record temperatures
Mt. Fuji average & record temperatures
(Source: Wikipedia)

Interestingly, the highest temperature ever recorded on Mt. Fuji is only 17.8 degrees C (64 degrees F). And I was amazed to see that already in Oct. the average HIGH temperature is below freezing!


Q: Where can I see current weather conditions and/or weather forecasts for climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated June 30, 2014)
A: Summit: 
http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Fuji-san/forecasts/3776 (6-day forecast)
http://www.jma.go.jp/en/amedas_h/today-50066.html?areaCode=000&groupCode=35 (hourly observations)
Forecast for Yamanashi Prefecture: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/yoho/321.html (added Aug. 19, 2012)
Very near Mt. Fuji: http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/47721.html
Fujiyoshida City (near Mt. Fuji): http://bit.ly/atXoCB (Japanese)


View detailed snow forecast for Mount Fuji at:  snow-forecast.com
(updated every 4 hours)


Q: How do I reach Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations (Go-gome)?  (updated June 30, 2014)
A: For those climbing the main Yoshida route, from Tokyo you can catch a highway bus from the west side of Shinjuku Station directly up to Fuji-san's Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. During the summer 2-month climbing season, buses run 6 times everyday in both directions. The bus trip to the Mt. Fuji 5th Station departs Shinjuku @ 7:40, 8:40, 9:40, 16:50, 17:50, & 19:30, and takes about 2 hrs. 25 min. and costs ¥2600.

Return buses back to Shinjuku also take 2 hr. 25 min. & depart the 5th Station every hour on the hour from 10:00 till 15:00.  More details on Mt. Fuji bus schedules and reservations are here & here, and the most current info on the Fujikyu Bus Group's direct bus from Shinjuku Station to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station is available on their English page here.

For the 3rd year, between July 1 & Nov. 30, 2014, JR East is offering the Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket which provides foreign tourists a discounted round-trip ticket package valid for train and bus travel between Tokyo and Mt. Fuji. The Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket allows you to get on and off the trains and buses freely in the area around Lake Kawaguchi and is available for 2 days for only ¥5,600. It is recommended for day tours as well as those staying overnight & desiring to climb Mt. Fuji's main Yoshida Trail. This special price saves about half off the price of the regular fare. 

More details on the 2014 Mt. Fuji Round Trip Ticket program are here: http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/fuji/   Train & bus timetables for the 2014 program are here.

If you want to go by car via the Fuji Subaru toll road to the 5th Station, the toll will set you back ¥2060 and please be aware that in 2014, the road will be closed to private vehicles for 53 straight days from 5 pm on Thurs. July 10, 2014 till 5 pm on Sun. Aug. 31, 2014. But parking is available for ¥1000 in the Yamanashi Prefecture Fujihokuroku parking area near the Fuji Yoshida I.C. (interchange), where you can catch a 50-min. shuttle bus to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. More details in Japanese here & here.

As for the other Mt. Fuji climbing routes:
How to access the Mt. Fuji Fujinomiya trail 5th Station
How to access the Mt. Fuji Gotemba trail 5th Station
How to access the Mt. Fuji Subashiri trail 5th Station


June 30, 2014 update:

Starting this summer, the Narita Express railway service will run from Narita Airport all the way to Mount Fuji, offering travelers a potential way to skip Tokyo altogether along with its congested railway interchanges.

The train will only operate on weekends and national holidays, when it will make one return trip per day. The ride will take 3½ hours and will cost about ¥7,000 one way. It will operate between July 26 and Sept. 28.

It is scheduled to depart Narita Airport Station at 9:15 a.m. and arrive at Kawaguchiko Station at 12:43 p.m. The return ride to Narita Airport Station departs Kawaguchiko Station at 2:13 p.m.

The service requires reservations. Tickets go on sale a month beforehand and are available from booking offices and from JR East’s Ekinet website.

More details here: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/06/17/business/corporate-business/narita-express-train-headed-mount-fuji/



Q: What is the elevation of Mt. Fuji's 5th Station ?
A: It depends on the trail you choose:

Fujinomiya Trail - 2400m
Gotemba Trail - 1440m
Subashiri Trail - 2000m
Yoshida Trail - 2305m


Q: What kind of services and facilities will I find at Mt. Fuji's 5th Station?
A: The Fuji Subaru 5th Station is a city in and of itself, so before you set out to climb Mt. Fuji, you'll find just about anything and everything you need....convenience stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, toilets, firemen, police, mountain huts, guidance center, post office, shrine, coin lockers, prefectural management office, and a viewing platform.


Q: What kind of services and facilities will I find at Mt. Fuji's summit?
A: You'll find food vendors, coffee, noodle shops, and.....(do I dare say it?).....even vending machines (w/ drinks for ¥500). When I climbed Mt. Fuji, I even mailed a postcard from the summit to my friend in California. Can you imagine how cool it'd be to receive a postcard that is postmarked from the highest post office in Japan? Yeah ! If you have an extra 60-90 min. to kill, you can also hike around the summit crater, known as "Ohachimeguri (お鉢めぐり, お鉢巡り)," meaning in Japanese "to go around the bowl." Click thumbnail below to view detailed trail map for Mt. Fuji's Ohachimeguri:

Mt. Fuji Ohachi Meguri trail map
Ohachimeguri (お鉢めぐり) trail map
(click to view full-size map)
(1.5-hr. hiking course around Mt. Fuji's summit crater)

As you can see in the above Ohachimeguri trail map, the rim of Mt. Fuji's summit crater actually has 8 peaks. In clockwise order they are:
1) Kengamine (剣ヶ峰, elev. 3776m, Japan's highpoint)
2) Hakusandake (白山岳)
3) Kusushidake (久須志岳)
4) Joujugatake (成就岳)
5) Izugatake (伊豆岳)
6) Asahidake (朝日岳)
7) Sengendake (浅間岳)
8) Mishimagatake (三島岳)


Q: What time of day is the best time to climb Mt. Fuji?
A: Because most people want to arrive at the summit for sunrise, climbing Mt. Fuji at night is the busiest and most crowded time on the trails. If you want to avoid the crowds, a Mt. Fuji trek during the daytime is probably better; but I must admit, the unobstructed view of the sunrise is awesome. When I climbed Mt. Fuji on the first Saturday in August, my friends and I left the Fuji Subaru 5th Station around 10:15 pm and arrived at Mt. Fuji's summit just before sunrise around 4:55 am. By that time a layer of clouds had formed near the base of the peak, so the sun actually rose above the clouds, like the view you sometimes see from airplanes flying above the clouds. The Japanese call this phenomenon "unkai (雲海)," meaning sea of clouds.

Mt. Fuji's "unkai" (sea of clouds)
Mt. Fuji's "unkai (雲海)" (sea of clouds)

Another option is to start climbing Mt. Fuji from the 5th Station in the late morning, arrive at the top for the equally beautiful sunset, sleep overnight at the top, catch the sunrise the next morning, and then head back down during the day. This page has some recommended plans for climbing Mt. Fuji, depending on how many days you have and what time of day you want to start hiking: http://www.city.fujiyoshida.yamanashi.jp/div/english/html/climbing_plans.html



Q: How can I avoid the crowds when climbing Mt. Fuji?  (updated Jan. 13, 2014)
A: In short, to avoid the crowds when climbing Mt. Fuji, don't climb on the weekends, late in the afternoon or around midnight, during the absolute peak of the climbing season (Aug. 4-15), or on the main Yoshida route.  smiley  Below are some interesting charts compiled courtesy of the National Parks of Japan, showing statistics for Mt. Fuji climbers by route over the past several years.


Number of 2013 Mt. Fuji climbers by year and route
Number of Mt. Fuji climbers by year and route

 Legend:
平成17年 = 2005
         
全体 = Total
平成18年 = 2006

吉田ルート = Yoshida route
平成19年 = 2007

富士宮ルート = Fujinomiya route
平成20年 = 2008

須走ルート = Subashiri route
平成21年 = 2009

御殿場ルート = Gotemba route
平成22年 = 2010


平成23年 = 2011


平成24年 = 2012

平成25年 = 2013


During the July 1-Aug. 31, 2013 climbing season, there was a total of around 310,721 Mt. Fuji climbers, down from the 318,565 climbers of 2012. The breakdown of 2013 Mt. Fuji climbers by trail was 179,720 (58%) on the Yoshida route, 76,784 (25%) on the Fujinomiya route, 36,508 (12%) on the Subashiri route, and 17,709 (5%) on the Gotemba route.

Of these approximate 311,000 Mt. Fuji climbers in 2013, around 136,000 (43%) climbed during July and around 175,000 (57%) climbed during August. The busiest 10-day climbing period was in mid-August with nearly 64,000 climbers, or 21% of the total.

Interestingly, the busiest day of the 2013 season was Sun. July 14, the 2nd day of the 3-day Marine Day (海の日, Umi no Hi) weekend, when over 10,000 hikers climbed Japan's highest peak. 


Number of 2013 Mt. Fuji climbers by day and route
Number of Mt. Fuji climbers in 2013 by day and route
(Note: Not surprisingly, the busiest climbing days were on
the weekends: 金 (Fri.), 土 (Sat.), & 日 (Sun.))


Number of 2013 Mt. Fuji climbers by time of day and route
Number of Mt. Fuji climbers in 2012-2013 by time of day and route
(solid lines=2013; dashed lines=2012)

All charts & Mt. Fuji climbing statistics above are courtesy of the National Parks of Japan and can be viewed in their entirety (in Japanese) here.



Q: Is it possible to climb to the summit of Mt. Fuji from the base of the mountain? 

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 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



Q: What time is sunrise and sunset on Mt. Fuji during climbing season?

Mt. Fuji sunrise and sunset times
Source: U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.
(Note: 2014 sunrises/sunsets for Mt. Fuji are either exactly the same
or vary by only 1 min. from those shown above.)



Q: Can I leave my large backpack in a locker at the train station and take only a smaller pack with me to climb?
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)

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). 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

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: 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?
A: Yes, try these:
http://live.fujigoko.tv/?e=1&n=22 
http://live-fuji.jp/fuji/livee.htm
http://www.vill.yamanakako.yamanashi.jp/zekkei/
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


Q: Where can I find a good route map or elevation profile for climbing Mt. Fuji?
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


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
    Longitude: 138° 43' 51.6" E



Q: What does it look like from the summit of Mt. Fuji?  (updated April 7, 2014)
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 21, 2014 update:  Parents warned kids could fall sick climbing Mt. Fuji


"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? 
A: These links are in a constant state of flux, but I'll try to keep them current. Pls. send me hate mail if you encounter a 404 error:  smiley
https://www.facebook.com/groups/9872778764/ (this is by far the best, run by an amazing Brit living in Osaka)
http://www.tripadvisor.com/
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?
A: Here are a select few, in (more or less) reverse chronological order:
http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=82813  (added Aug. 20, 2014)
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/travel/in-depth/the-light-fantastic-on-mount-fuji/story-e6frg8ux-1227017132730  (added Aug. 9, 2014)
http://japanwindow.com/climbing-mount-fuji/  (added Aug. 6, 2014)
http://twenty-somethingtravel.com/2014/08/summit-mt-fuji-without-looking-like-idiot/  (added Aug. 6, 2014)
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201407170047  (added Aug. 6, 2014) 
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298102-d321024-Reviews-Mount_Fuji-Chubu.html#REVIEWS  
http://aichaobang.blogspot.jp/2013/07/climbing-mount-fuji.html 
http://www.smh.com.au/travel/a-climb-by-moonlight-with-unbeatable-views-20130613-2o5so.html 
http://www.garethbayer.co.uk/japan/japan-2012/%E5%AF%8C%E5%A3%AB%E5%B1%B1-fuji-san/20120901-fuji-sunrise/  
http://en.japantourist.jp/view/mt-fuji-day-trip-climb 
http://www.travelhikeeatrepeat.com/2013/06/travel-tuesday-climbing-mt-fuji.html 
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/indepth/exotic/JapanesQue/1306/fuji.html 
http://japan.charles-wetzel.com/fujinomiya/fujinomiya.htm
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1237981 
http://simpsondiana.blogspot.com/2010/08/mount-fuji.html
http://waegook.blogspot.com/2010/08/japan-trip-mt-fuji-via-fujinomiya-trail.html
http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/about/travel/climbfujisan.htm
http://climbingmtfuji.webs.com/
http://i-cjw.com/blog/2010/01/11/fuji-tramontane/ (unsuccessful winter attempt)
http://spamfromjapan.com/2009/09/20/mount-fuji/
http://sarahmarchildon.blogspot.com/2009/08/climbing-mt-fuji.html
http://urbanresearch.wordpress.com/2009/07/21/climbing-mt-fuji-film/ (part 1 ascent)
http://urbanresearch.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/climbing-mt-fuji-the-descent-film/ (part 2 descent)
http://babibubebo.com/2008/10/11/guide-to-climbing-mount-fuji-dont-do-it/
http://i-cjw.com/blog/2008/09/07/fuji-love/
http://wbanff.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/mount-fuji/ 
http://www.walkweb.net/climbing-mt-fuji/
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destinations/japan/article1461010.ece
http://www.bootsnall.com/articles/06-11/climbing-mt-fuji-mt-fuji-japan-asia.html
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/79296/how_to_climb_mt_fuji.html?singlepage=true&cat=16
http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/Japan/Mt-Fuji/blog-72797.html
http://www.travelassist.com/mag/a94.html
http://www.japanwindow.com/index.php?showimage=102 (part 1 of 6 parts)
http://www.globalcompassion.com/climbing-fuji.htm
http://www.outdoorsocial.com/fuji.htm
http://ddiekman.tripod.com/id29.html   
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/26/travel/climbing-mount-fuji-by-night.html



Q: Where can I view some good videos that encapsulate the true spirit and essence of climbing Mt. Fuji?
A: There are perhaps an uncountable number at YouTube, but these are 2 of my favorites:


An Aug. 20, 2012 ascent by Dr. David Wallace
Don't miss his own electric viola as the background music.
(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?
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

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



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 Feb. 13, 2014)
A: I suspect there are several, but here are a few examples during the 2013 climbing season:
1)  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.
2)  Mt. Fuji Climbing tour 2 days with climbing guide, run by Across No. 1 Travel 
3)  Mt. Fuji Climbing, by Travel Inn 
4)  FYG Mountain Guides, featured in the July/Aug. 2012 issue of Reiho Fuji, offers a number of 2-day & 3-day Mt. Fuji pilgrim tours (off-season tours no longer available)




Q: If I make it to the top of Mt. Fuji, can I get a certificate for my accomplishment? 
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 tours I can join?
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 & 2-day Mt. Fuji tours starting from ¥11,000 (without lunch) that also take in the nearby Hakone hot spring resort and include a pirate boat cruise on Hakone's Lake Ashi. Two of the more popular Mt. Fuji bus tour services are Sunrise Tours & Japan Gray Line. Also, K's Travel offers a 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? 
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.
2nd Annual Mt. Fuji Marathon
Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji Hill Climb
Fuji Mountain Race
2013 Tour of Japan cycling race (in Japanese) - 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.
10th International Mount Fuji Hill Climb cycling road race (in Japanese)



Q: Is it possible to mail a letter or postcard from the summit of Mt. Fuji?  (added Aug. 2, 2014)
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 from Sat. July 12, 2014 till Sun. Aug. 24, 2014, 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).

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?  (added Aug. 9, 2014)
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/
- http://vipliner.biz.e.ib.hp.transer.com/tour/fuji/rental.php
- https://www.cuterek.com/ (Japanese)
- http://www.yamarent.com/ (Japanese)
- http://www.soranoshita.net/ (Japanese)

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:

- 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): http://www.haglofs.com/ja-JP/
- 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)


Q: Where can I get more helpful info on climbing Mt. Fuji? 
A:  The Latest Mt. Fuji News (but not necessarily climbing related) (my own page on this site, added Mar. 3, 2013)
The newly published special July/Aug. 2014 Mt. Fuji Climbing Edition of "Reiho Fuji" (added July 7, 2014)
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
http://wikitravel.org/en/Mount_Fuji
Mt. Fuji area tourist info/visitor centers
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) 

Fuji Subaru 5th Station General Management Center: 0555-72-1477
Fujiyoshida Tourist Info Center: 0555-22-7000
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 this page, 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 update this page with more details in the future, as they become available.

By the way, if you're in the market for any outdoor gear, including packs, tents, sleeping bags, jackets, etc., you may wish to check out my new Great Outdoor Gear Deals page! There you will find access to some of the web's best real-time deals on outdoor gear from a few of the best outdoor retailers in the industry. All the retailers shown there offer free shipping, and if you decide to purchase, a portion of all proceeds directly benefit Garyjwolff.com, and help fund future site improvements. Thank you!



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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What Other Mt. Fuji Climbers Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other Mt. Fuji climbers...

Can we leave our backpack in the mountain hut when we go up to the Mt. Fuji summit?  
Hi Gary. Can we leave our backpacks in the mountain hut when we go up to the summit? Of course we will collect it on the way down.

Is it OK to climb Mt. Fuji on October 25? 
I'll be in Tokyo the week of Oct. 20. I'm wondering if I can plan to climb Mount Fuji on Sat. Oct. 25? It's out of season, but not winter. Your thoughts …

Up and down Mt. Fuji in a day and nearly getting lost... 
Thank you for an excellent resource about climbing Mt Fuji. Didn't have the time to go through all the details before I did the climb but on hindsight …

Can I get driving directions from Central Tokyo to the Yoshida Trail 5th Station?  
We will be staying at the New Sanno Hotel and driving to the 5th station to get on the Yoshida trail. Any help is appreciated! Thank you!

How hard is it to get down Mt. Fuji if you're already scared of heights? 
Which is worse? Going up or coming down? Any suggestions?

Do the Mt. Fuji 5th Station climbing buses really travel there in winter? 
Hey, I just checked out http://www.japan-guide.com/bus/fuji.html. And I would like to confirm if the buses really do travel there in the winter. …

Can I climb Mt. Fuji if pregnant? 
Would you recommend climbing Mt. Fuji if pregnant? I hiked up Machu Pichu (Peru) 3 years back while I was 8 weeks pregnant (21 miles over 3 days). …

Closing dates for the Subashiri trail mountain huts? 
Hi Gary, Do you have any info about the huts on the Subashiri trail? I'm planning to hike it on 24th August - I'd like to know if the huts will still …

Parking for Mt. Fuji's Fujinomiya Trail 5th Station 
Someone mentioned the Mizugazuka parking area with shuttles that go to the Fujinomiya 5th station. Do you have any more details? For Yamanashi Prefecture, …

Need details on climbing from the Fujinomiya 5th station 
We are planning to start hiking from the Fujinomiya 5th station at around 10 pm (so that we can catch the sunrise) on 28th August 2014. Could you help …

Can you do a traverse of Mt. Fuji (Yoshida to Gotemba)? 
Planning to do the traditional 2-day route up Mt. Fuji on Sept. 8-9 with a friend and am thinking of descending via the Gotemba trail and catching the …

Can I still climb Mt. Fuji between 10 to 15 Sept.? 
Hi, I will be in Japan for work trip from 5 to 10th Sept. after which I am extending till 15 Sept. My question: What are the possibilities of climbing …

Sunset from Munatsuki-sanso 
Hi Gary, just stumbled on your site and is great! Just wondering do you think it's possible to take the Fujinomiya trail and check in at Munatsuki Sanso, …

How easy is it to get from Mt. Fuji to other places in Japan? 
Does one have to go back to Tokyo for continuing to Kyoto, Nagoya, or Osaka or is it possible to take buses or train to other cities in Japan?

Can Fujinomiya trail mountain huts be booked or do you just turn up to them? 
Hey Gary! Thanks so much for sharing your Mt. Fuji climbing experience, it's really inspiring and has just further solidified my desire to climb it! …

Is it safe to climb Mt. Fuji during 50-60 km/h winds? 
Dear Gary, Thank you for the very comprehensive information about mountains and hiking in Japan. I'm planning to climb Mt Fuji and it seems that the …

Can you backpack a 3-yr-old to the summit of Mt. Fuji, if taking off from the 5th station? 
We have a nice hiking backpack, and was wondering if anyone has ever tried to hike their toddler to the top of Mt. Fuji?

Can we go to the Mt. Fuji 5th Station with a 2-year-old? 
Is there any problem taking small children up to the 5th Station?

When will Mt. Fuji's Gotemba Trail open this year? 
I'm getting mixed messages. Will the Gotemba route open July 10th this year? Thanks, Jen

When will the post office on Mt. Fuji's summit be open? 
Hi Gary, Do you know if Mt. Fuji's summit post office will open at the same time as the Shizuoka Prefecture side of Mt. Fuji, i.e. July 10th (for 2014)? …

Will Yoshida trail amenities, buses, etc. still run up until the 9/14 closing date? 
Hi Gary, I'm planning a trip to Japan in September and this site is proving very useful for the Fujiyama part! A quick clarification, when you say the …

Are there places to rent gear (i.e. hiking boots, warm jackets) as I have limited luggage capacity. 
Dear C. Klipp, You might want to consider the rental gear service offered thru Fuji Mountain Guides: https://www.fujimountainguides.com/mount-fuji-rentals-for-all. …

How to get to Fujinomiya trail 5th station from Chubu airport? 
Would like to go to Mt. Fuji Fujinomiya trail 5th station, but i will be coming from Chubu Centrair international airport. Would like to ask how to get …

Safe to climb Mt. Fuji on Sept. 16, 2 days after the official season ends? 
Hello Gary, First, thank you for your site! it's really helpful! :) Second, I wanted to ask a question. Me and my sister will arrive at Mt. Fuji …

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What can I do to kill time in the hut from 6 pm till midnight? 
If I arrive at the Mt. Fuji 8th station at 6 pm and head off for the summit at midnight, there is no point sleeping because it's too early and I wouldn't …

How do you go to the toilet? 
"Please note, however, that even though the main Yoshida Trail will be open to the summit as of July 1, all huts, restrooms, and other facilities above …

Could you recommend some clean onsen hotels near Fujiyoshida or Lake Kawaguchi?  
Gary, I appreciate all the work you've done on your website. I am impressed! I have been working with a travel agent for weeks and she's still not arranged …

2014 main Yoshida trail opening on track? 
Hi Gary, Do you think the 2014 trail opening is still on track for July 1st 2014 for the main Yoshida trail? I know that earlier in the year there …

If we climb up for the sunset, will we have enough time to get back down before dark?  
If my husband and I climb up for the sunset, will we have enough time to get back down before dark? This would be during the last week In August 2014. …

Where to start climbing Mt. Fuji from the base? 
hello. i think a big part of doing this for me is to -do it-. i want to climb the whole thing, not just from the popular station 5 to top. is it possible …

Can we climb Mt. Fuji around 20 June 2014? 
Hello! I saw your post on Mt. Fuji! I'm actually a student touring Japan before my summer school starts. So my friends and I can only climb Mt. Fuji …

Can you climb Mt. Fuji from Sengen Shrine in Fujinomiya? 
Do you know if you are able to start climbing from Sengen Shrine in Fujinomiya? I heard that it is only roads until the 5th station, then you can climb. …

Advice on the direction I should take coming down Mt. Fuji and heading to Hiroshima?  
I found your website somehow and it is full of great and useful information, which I deeply appreciate. Since you seem pretty knowledgeable, can you give …

Hiking time from Kawaguchiko 5th Station to Seikanso mountain hut? 
hi gary and everyone. i am not planning climb to the summit. however, i would like to stay a night at the seikanso mountain hut at the 6th station. i would …

Renting winter climbing gear 
Hi everyone. I am planning on climbing Mt. Fuji this year on the 23rd of April (or around abouts). I have done a significant amount of ice climbing here …

How to obtain a certificate for my Mt. Fuji climb? 
Gary, Excellent web site. When I was stationed in South Korea (1960/61) in U.S. Army, I climbed Mt. Fuji. I brought my walking stick with all the brands …

Do they require 100 yen coins for the branding of your hiking stick? 
Hi Gary, Firstly, like everyone else, thank you so much for such an informative website and especially for keeping it updated as you do. I really appreciate …

Is it possible to climb Mt. Fuji in April on my own? 
Congratulations on your website, by far the most comprehensive resource I've found so far on Mt Fuji facts and information, specially in English. Thank …

Is there an alternative activity at Mt. Fuji in the off-season? 
Since it's dangerous for casual non-pro climbers to go up Mt. Fuji in the off-season, are there alternative activities or sites to go to that's related …

How do you say fifth (5th) station in Japanese? 
I only have a simple question. Extra space not necessary. Thank you.

Would it be a stupid idea to climb Mt. Fuji in the last week of February? 
I am likely to be in Japan from the 20th of February to the 2nd of March. Do you think that it's possible to climb Mount Fuji during this period or is …

Is there a way to make a reservation at a Mt. Fuji mountain hut on line? 
Hi Gary, Is there a way to make a reservation at a mountain hut on line? Do you know how far in advance they take reservations? I tried looking at …

Is it safe to climb Mount Fuji the last week of October? 
We are 4 students and would like to climb to Mount Fuji the third week of October. We have read conflicting stories about not being safe to do that. Three …

How difficult is it to gain access to the trails after September 23rd? 
Hiya, I arrive in Tokyo on September 23rd and would love to climb Fuji. It shouldn't be a problem in terms of fitness and equipment and hopefully the weather, …

Lost and Found on Mt. Fuji 
I’m embarrassed to admit that the first time I climbed Mt. Fuji was with a guided tour. I had been invited to join by my girlfriend, herself having been …

Climbing Fuji last weekend of September 
Hi Gary, First, many thanks for the great resource in your website! My question is sort of similar to some others, but slightly different which is …

Which trail down is easier on the knees? 
When I read that the Subashiri trail had sand, I thought that would be less jarring and thus easier on the knees, but I read someone commenting that it …

Fuji Attempt in September 2013 
Hello all, Thanks for all the good info here. I'd like to ask the experienced climbers about their hikes and some concerns. I am arriving in Osaka …

How can I climb Mt. Fuji in only 1 day in mid-September? 
Hi Gary, Your site is a wonderful resource for those of us looking to make the journey up Fuji-san. I am considering making the trip in mid-september. …

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Arriving NRT @ 16:45. Transport to Fuji? 
Arriving NRT 16:45, figuring 1 hr customs and then what is the fastest way to Shinjuku to catch the bus to Fuji? Should we take the bus directly to …

Are taxis allowed on the road up to Kawaguchiko 5th station?  
Dear Gary, we - 2 austrian honeymooners - are coming to mt. fuji in the middle of august. we are both experienced hikers and reasonably fit. we want …

What is the best way to go see Mt. Fuji at the end of October? 
Hi, my husband and I are visiting Tokyo at the end of October. We really want to see Mt. Fuji if it's possible and want to know the best possible day trip …

Can I rent simple boots/jacket and trousers to climb Mt. Fuji?  
Hi, I'm wondering if you can advise. I'm bicycle touring around southern Japan and very keen to climb Mt. Fuji on the last few days. Problem is due …

My Night Climb on Aug. 1, 2013 
I successfully climbed Mt. Fuji for the second time with two other comrades from different countries. I guided them on the popular Yoshida trail from the …

What is the best time to hike up for sunrise? 
Hi Gary, How are you? I am planing to do a day trip to hike Mt Fuji. Last year, i hiked Mt. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. My speed is 8 hours hike to laban …

Are there shuttles running to the Mt. Fuji 5th station all night? 
I am planning on going to Fuji and was going to leave tokyo after 7:30 pm which is past the time for last bus out of Shinjuku station. If I take the Chuo …

How to get from Highland Fuji-Q Hotel to Subashiri 5th Station? 
My husband and me with our 3 year old daughter are traveling from Tokyo to Kawaguchiko on the 18th and leave on 20th from the area. We have booked the …

Climbing up Mt. Fuji, but not sleeping in a hut. Can I sleep on the ground outside? 
I'm going to climb Mt. Fuji in mid August and plan to climb during night so I can see the sun rise. But I don't want to pay for the huts, so I plan to …

Is it ok to take a 2-day hike and watch the sunrise from the top? 
Hi, We are going to be in Tokyo from September 7th until the 14th. Do you believe it would be ok to take a two day hike and watch the sunrise from the …

How to find the Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail from the Fuji-san train station? 
Hi Gary, I am an ambitious mountaineer from Austria/Tirol. I am coming to Japan from the 22nd to 31st of August. In the first days I will climbing …

Do you have any recommendations of a tour that we can join from Kawaguchiko? 
Hi, my friend and I are planning to climb Mt. Fuji on 8-9 Aug 13. We will leave from Tokyo, but would like to continue our journey to Osaka after the descent …

Is there a place in Tokyo where I can purchase isobutane-propane canisters? 
Aloha Gary, I'm planning to climb Fuji-san in Mid-July (2013). I'm thinking about bringing my Jetboil stove to heat water for a couple of freeze-dried …

Mount Fuji-san off-season 
I would like to climb Mount Fuji on September 26 and I will be alone. I found your site on Google, and I want to hire a guide to climb with me. Do …

Is there parking at the Yoshida Trail Sengen Shrine? 
I own a car here in Japan and would like to do the traditional climb. Is there a place I can park my car for about two days to go up and down the mountain? …

The shuttle bus from Kawaguchiko station is not very frequent and I am concerned about being able to get on it 
Hi Gary. Great site, really useful stuff. In August we're planning to stay at the base overnight and climb during the day. This will mean getting a …

Can you suggest other ways to get mountain hut reservations?  
Your website is full of valuable info. I asked a friend to call all the 8th and 7th station huts for the days I can climb (July 28, 27, 29) and nothing …

Mount Fuji Walking Stick Query 
Hello, I was curious, is there a certain timeframe in which you can get your stick branded during july-august or is it 24 hours a day that you can have …

Can I climb in early September?  
Can I climb Mt. Fuji in early September? Thanks, Sam

Can I use the lockers for more than 24 hours & will there be an extra charge? 
Gary, I read your site information on lockers. I will be coming from a business meeting and I will have a suitcase and laptop. If I put them in a locker …

Start climbing on 1st July or 2nd Sept. - Would it be less crowded on either these two dates? 
Hi Gary, First, I want to thank you for a great website. It is very informative that it is like a one-stop site for info relating to Mt Fuji. I like …

What is the meaning of this Mt. Fuji sign? 
I read through your Climbing Mt. Fuji guide page and was wondering if you had ever seen this? I climbed the mountain a few years ago and had a picture …

My Mt. Fuji Climbing Experience 
I first climbed Mt. Fuji in July of 2000. I had just turned 40 back in May and this was my birthday present to myself. I attended the opening ceremony …

Unable to find climbing partner for Mt. Fuji during Aug. 8-13, 2013  
I was trying to find a climbing partner for Mt. Fuji during Aug. 8-13 and am also unable to find a tour guide. I checked your links, but the tour guide …

Hints from a Successful 2012 Summit via Gotemba Trail and a 2009 Fail via Subashiri Trail 
First, let’s all thank Gary for one of the most helpful comprehensive English language sites on the topic of climbing Mt. Fuji! (Tasukaremashita (助かれました, …

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My 2012 climb on the Kawaguchiko and Gotemba Routes 
Using the information from this site, and following the advice of many kind people, I made it to the summit of Fuji-san in mid-July 2012. I'm not an athlete, …

Is the Yoshida forest trail hikeable? 
I genuinely would like to walk through the forest at the base of Mt.Fuji. In your opinion, is the trail from the very base of Mt.Fuji to the fifth station …

Can we take our baby up Mt. Fuji?  
My family and I were planning on climbing Mount Fuji in a couple of weeks, and my wife had asked about taking our baby up the mountain. I've asked around, …

Can I purchase a Mt. Fuji climbing stick outside of Japan? 
Is there any place other than Japan (online?) to purchase a Fuji stick? With or without stamps. I am trying to find a replacement Fuji Stick for my brother. …

How do I get my walking stick home? 
Hello, I will be hiking Mt. Fuji this summer and plan to get a walking stick like everyone else:) I was wondering how I should go about getting it home. …

What's the slope of the Mt. Fuji Subashiri trail? 
I wanna know the slope of the Mt. Fuji Subashiri trail because I heard it has the least steep slope. **** Reply: You've asked a great question, …

Climbing Fujisan with AFS student Ryoji  
When I was in high school, we took part in a program called the American Field Service (AFS), and twice, we had the privilege of hosting a foreign exchange …

Your Climbing Mt. Fuji FAQ page is excellent 
Hello Gary. This is John. Thank you so much for your kind comments on my Fuji video and thanks for putting on your site! I feel honored! Your Fuji FAQ …

Climbing Mt. Fuji 
Two weeks ago on July 26, 2009, four friends and I finally mounted Mt. Fuji. It may be the highest peak in Japan but reaching the summit is not as impressive …

Report From Mt. Fuji, July 2010 
My climb took place overnight, beginning around 10 pm on July 10 and returning the next day at about 1 pm, a journey up and back of about 15 hours. Joining …

I'm no fool!  
I climbed Mt. Fuji because I didn't want to violate the age-old Japanese proverb & become a fool for not climbing Mt. Fuji. :-) There were 2 things I …

Aug. 13, 14, 2011 Mt. Fuji climb 
Your Climbing Mt. Fuji FAQ site was invaluable in preparing for my climb, Gary, thanks! My first ever climb up Mt. Fuji was August 13, 14, 2011. There …

I climbed Mt. Fuji on 09/28/10 
My friend Yu and I drove to the 5th station and started our ascent around 7:30am. The wind at that time was very strong and the rain was coming down in …

Sunrise from the Top of Mt. Fuji 
Beautiful Mt. Fuji in Japan is one of our favorite places to visit. Enjoy the awesome scenic beauty. The view from the summit of Mt. Fuji looks awesome, …

Over 250,000 climbers scale Mt. Fuji in 2010 Not rated yet
More than 250,000 people--a record high--have climbed Mt. Fuji by the trail on the mountain's Yamanashi Prefecture side this season, according to the Mt. …

What snow conditions should we expect on the Kawaguchiko trail on July 11, 2013? Not rated yet
My wife and I plan to climb Mount Fuji on July 11, 2013. Based on current snow conditions, does it look like we will have any trouble with the snow? …

Can you give me some rough climbing times between the various stations on the Kawaguchiko trail?  Not rated yet
Hi Gary, super informative site!!! Thanks. We are planning to climb Mt Fuji on Tues 16th July. My questions are - 1. Is it a good idea to stay at …

Is it possible to take a bus to the Kawaguchiko 5th Station around Christmas? Not rated yet
Hi Gary, I am actually visiting Japan in December and will be in Kawaguchiko on Dec 25. Unfortunately, I realize that this is off-season and we will most …

Do you know if the downhill trail of the main Kawaguchiko route on Mount Fuji is still closed? Not rated yet
Hi Gary, do you know if the downhill trail of the main Kawaguchiko route on Mount Fuji is still closed? If so, do you think it's wise to try a different …

May Fuji Climb Not rated yet
Hi Gary, I hiked from Fujiyoshida to Stage 5 just to snoop around a bit. Want to go from the park entrance to the summit and take 3 days to enjoy it. …

Are there places to turn around if we can't make it to the summit? Not rated yet
We have a nine year old daughter who probably will not make it to the summit and we don't want to push her. It looks like the route up and down are different. …

Waiting for the sunrise overnight Not rated yet
Hello, one thing I have not been able to figure out, is whether it is viable to make it to the summit for sunset, and wait (not camp - as I understand …

Which trail/side of Mt Fuji is best to see the sunset and sunrise respectively? Not rated yet
Thank you for your very informative site, Gary. Very much appreciated. About my question, I'm planning to do a day-climb next week to the summit in time …

Is there lodging at the top of Mt. Fuji? Not rated yet
Mr. Wolff, I am impressed with your website. I am planning the trip of a lifetime with my two teenage boys. I wanted to climb Mt. Fuji during the day, …

Is it safe to climb Fuji-san alone? Not rated yet
I am planning to climb Fuji-san on the 1st week of July, 2012. Is is safe to climb Fuji-san alone? Also, can I wear my sneakers which are not waterproof? …

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Why was it so hard for you? Not rated yet
I have a couple of questions: 1) I'm curious what made this particular hike so hard for you...was it the lack of oxygen (no vegetation to produce O2)? …

When will Mt. Fuji's trails open this summer? Not rated yet
Hi Gary. I wrote you last summer about my Mt. Fuji experience, and I am thinking about climbing again this year. Do you know where I can find information …

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