Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Is Mt. Fuji (富士山,
Fuji-san) the highest mountain in Japan?
(富士山, Fuji-san) the highest mountain in Japan?
many people climb Mt. Fuji
The main Yoshida trail, which serves
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
is Mt. Fuji's official
climbing season? (updated
July 1, 2015)
The following Mt. Fuji winter climb warning is
from the Fujiyoshida City's official website:
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.
Scary POV footage of ice climbing fall
(If the player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)
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:
Finally, after 2015 kicked off disastrously with a rash of winter mountain climbing accidents in Japan, resulting in several deaths & missing climbers and nearly 30 more folks having to be rescued, Wes Lang, founder of the popular Hiking in Japan website, felt motivated to put together these very useful Winter Hiking Tips.
are the best dates to climb during Mt. Fuji's climbing season?
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 April 18, 2015)
A: If you choose the Shizuoka trails, the answer will almost always be 'yes.' In 2012, 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.
In 2014, the 3 routes originating in Shizuoka Prefecture were 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) were delayed, as shown below.
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:
long does it take to climb to the top of Mt. Fuji and what is the
elevation gain? (updated Aug. 23, 2015)
Mt. Fuji Yoshida Trail climbing times
(Image credit: Dept. of Community & Environmental Affairs, Shizuoka Prefecture)
are the hiking distances
from Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations to its summit and how
steep are the various Mt.
Fuji climbing trails? (updated Aug. 23, 2015)
According to my less-than-scientific analysis, 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
descending 1110m from the 3030-m 7th Station to the 1920-m New 5.5th
Station in only 70 minutes. Yee Hah!! But take care of those knees &
don't forget your gaiters!
there some Mt. Fuji mountain huts where I can rest or sleep
along the way? (updated July 10, 2015)
On a separate page I've compiled a list of Mt. Fuji mountain huts for the main Yoshida trail (updated July 10, 2015) with website addresses, phone numbers, elevations, sleeping capacities, and opening/closing dates. A list of Mt. Fuji mountain huts for the other 3 routes from Shizuoka Prefecture 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.
it necessary to make reservations at the Fuji-san mountain huts? (updated
July 4, 2014)
kind of equipment is required for climbing 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.
temperatures can I expect when
climbing Mt. Fuji?
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!
can I see current weather conditions and/or weather
forecasts for climbing Mt. Fuji? (updated June 30, 2014)
View detailed snow forecast for Mount Fuji at: snow-forecast.com
(updated every 4 hours)
do I reach Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations (Gogōme, 五合目)? (updated
July 4, 2015)
Return buses back to Shinjuku also take 2 hr. 25 min. & depart the 5th Station @ 9:30 and every hour on the hour from 10:00 till 18:00 during most of the summer 2-month climbing season. More details on bus schedules to Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations are here and reservations for the Shinjuku to 5th Station highway bus can be made online up to 30 days in advance here.
For the 4th
consecutive year, between July 1 & Nov. 30, 2015, JR East is
the Mt. Fuji Round Trip
Ticket which provides foreign tourists a discounted round-trip ticket
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.
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
aware that in 2015, the road will be closed to private vehicles for 53
straight days from
5 pm on Fri. July 10, 2015 till 5 pm on Mon. Aug. 31, 2015. But
parking is available for ¥1000 in the Yamanashi Prefecture Fujihokuroku
parking area (北麓駐車場) near the Fuji Yoshida I.C. (interchange), where
catch a 45-min. shuttle bus to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th
Station. The 2015 Fujihokuroku parking area to 5th Station shuttle bus
schedule (in Japanese) is here & more details on the Fujihokuroku
parking area is here. The Google map for the Fujihokuroku parking
area is here.
As for the other Mt. Fuji climbing routes:
kind of services and facilities will I find at Mt. Fuji's 5th
Station? (updated July 12, 2015)
Mt. Fuji 5th Station Guide Map (富士山五合目案内図)
(compass direction "north" faces downward)
(image credit: subaruline.jp)
Quite a stark contrast, in fact, to how it appeared over 50 years ago...
kind of services and facilities will I find at Mt. Fuji's summit?
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)
time of day is the best time to climb Mt. Fuji?
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 Dec. 3, 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 3-day Marine Day (海の日, Umi no Hi, 3rd Mon. in July) weekend or the Obon holidays in mid-August (usually around Aug. 10-15), or on the main Yoshida route. 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.
During the July 1 - Sept. 14, 2014 climbing season, there was a total of 285,494 Mt. Fuji climbers, down for the 2nd consecutive year, and 11% less than the all-time record of 320,975 climbers in 2010. The breakdown of 2014 Mt. Fuji climbers by trail was 170,947 (60%) on the Yoshida route, 64,492 (22%) on the Fujinomiya route, 33,092 (12%) on the Subashiri route, and 16,963 (6%) on the Gotemba route.
Of these approximate 285,000 Mt. Fuji climbers in 2014, the busiest climbing period was July 21-31 with almost 52,000 climbers, and the 2nd busiest was Aug. 11-20 with nearly 50,000 climbers.
The busiest 2014 Mt. Fuji climbing days were as shown below:
(1) 2nd day of the 3-day Marine Day (海の日, Umi no Hi) weekend.
Also, the Fujinomiya & Gotemba routes just opened 2 days prior on Fri. 7/18.
In Mt. Fuji's 2014 climbing season, the average daily number of climbers on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays was 5,170, 64% higher than the weekday average of 3,143 climbers per day.
Number of Mt. Fuji climbers in 2014 by day and route
(Notes: (1) Not surprisingly, the busiest climbing days were on
the weekends: 金 (Fri.), 土 (Sat.), & 日 (Sun.)
(2) The steep dropoffs on 7/10 & 8/10 were due to Typhoons 8 & 11, respectively.)
Number of Mt. Fuji climbers in 2013-2014 by time of day and route
(solid lines=2014; dashed lines=2013)
All charts & Mt. Fuji climbing statistics above are courtesy of the and can be viewed in their entirety (in Japanese) here.
Have a Question or Story about Climbing Mt. Fuji?
Do you have a question or a story about climbing Mt. Fuji? Please pay it forward and share your climbing experience (along with up to 4 pics) with other visitors to this page still planning their Mt. Fuji hike!
What Other Mt. Fuji Climbers Have Said
Click below to see contributions from other Mt. Fuji climbers...
Is there a way to get from 5th station to Kawaguchiko around 7 or 8 pm?
Mt. Fuji: Up the Yoshida trail & down the Subashiri trail with overnight stay
How well marked are the trails from Mt. Fuji's base to the 5th Station?
Are stations and huts accessible from the Yoshida descent trail?
Is it true you can rent horses from Mt. Fuji's 5th Station???
How do you say "Falling Rock" in Japanese when you dislodge a stone?
How late can you sleep in a Mt. Fuji mountain hut?
Which sand run is better....the Gotemba trail or the Subashiri trail?
Do you know if there are any mountain equipment rental shops in Gotemba?
Do you know where we can park our car, please, for our climb via the Fujinomiya Trail?
Can I get stamps at night, and do they start stamping sticks from station 1 or not until station 5?
What route is best as far as scenery, but may be less traveled?
Which one of these 2 options do you recommend in regards to Gotemba Trail?
Is there a reason why the Mt. Fuji indicated climbing times are so long?
How crowded will the Subashiri trail and the summit be on a weekday?
What's the best way to get back to Shinjuku from Mt. Fuji's 5th Station?
How do I get to the Mt. Fuji 5th station with a JR Rail Pass?
How about starting from Fujinomiya 5th station and connecting with the Gotemba trail 6th station... at night?
How long will it take to climb the Yoshida trail during the day?
Can I hike up the Yoshida Trail and down the Gotemba Trail in early July before the Gotemba Trail officially opens?
What should I wear when climbing Mt. Fuji?
Which is your favorite Mt. Fuji route?
How far is it from the Yoshida 10th station to the Fujikan summit mountain hut?
How can I tell the current Mt. Fuji pressure readings?
Are there any stations open on the Fujinomiya trail after the close of climbing season?
Is calling the Mt. Fuji huts the only way to place a reservation?
Will the mountain huts at the various stations be open from June 25?
Will we be charged the 1000 yen admission to just go up to the 6th Station to look around?
Is there an overnight Mt. Fuji tour you recommend?
What is the Mt. Fuji mountain hut price for a private tour?
How far in advance do we need to book the Mt. Fuji mountain huts?
When will the Fujinomiya Trail open?
Up Fujinomiya, Down Yoshida? Loner vs. Climb Buddy?
Is it possible to climb Fuji-san in the last week of June?
Is it possible to ascend the Yoshida trail and descend the Fujinomiya trail?
How can I get from Gotemba Station to Sengen Shrine really early in the morning on my climbing day?
Which Mt. Fuji station is the best to sleep at in order to catch sunrise at the summit?
Where can we store our backpacks while climbing Mt. Fuji?
Can I climb Mount Fuji without a guide?
What kind of food can we expect at Mt. Fuji mountain huts?
How do you make reservations for Mt. Fuji mountain huts?
Can we hike up the Gotemba trail and down the Yoshida trail?
Can we start climbing Mt. Fuji on the evening of June 30?
Mt. Fuji mountain hut availability at night
Does Mt. Fuji and its transport there close on national holidays?
Is it more advisable to stay in the Mt. Fuji area or travel from Tokyo?
Walking route from central Tokyo to Mt. Fuji
We want to start climbing Mt. Fuji from the bottom of the mountain
Options for booking a mountain hut on the Mt. Fuji Gotemba Route?
Can I hike from Sengen Shrine up to the Mt. Fuji 5th station in mid March?
I plan to climb Mt. Fuji sometime between September 20-30, 2015. Is it possible?
Is it possible to climb Mt. Fuji in mid-June?
When does the Mt. Fuji 5th Station open in 2015?
Is it possible to climb Mt. Fuji in February alone without being part of a tour?
When will the Mt. Fuji summit post office be open in 2015?
Can we leave our backpack in the mountain hut when we go up to the Mt. Fuji summit?
Is it OK to climb Mt. Fuji on October 25?
Up and down Mt. Fuji in a day and nearly getting lost...
Can I get driving directions from Central Tokyo to the Yoshida Trail 5th Station?
How hard is it to get down Mt. Fuji if you're already scared of heights?
Do the Mt. Fuji 5th Station climbing buses really travel there in winter?
Can I climb Mt. Fuji if pregnant?
Closing dates for the Subashiri trail mountain huts?
Parking for Mt. Fuji's Fujinomiya Trail 5th Station
Need details on climbing from the Fujinomiya 5th station
Can you do a traverse of Mt. Fuji (Yoshida to Gotemba)?
Can I still climb Mt. Fuji between 10 to 15 Sept.?
Sunset from Munatsuki-sanso
How easy is it to get from Mt. Fuji to other places in Japan?
Can Fujinomiya trail mountain huts be booked or do you just turn up to them?
Is it safe to climb Mt. Fuji during 50-60 km/h winds?
Can you backpack a 3-yr-old to the summit of Mt. Fuji, if taking off from the 5th station?
Can we go to the Mt. Fuji 5th Station with a 2-year-old?
When will Mt. Fuji's Gotemba Trail open this year?
When will the post office on Mt. Fuji's summit be open?
Will Yoshida trail amenities, buses, etc. still run up until the 9/14 closing date?
Are there places to rent gear (i.e. hiking boots, warm jackets) as I have limited luggage capacity.
How to get to Fujinomiya trail 5th station from Chubu airport?
Safe to climb Mt. Fuji on Sept. 16, 2 days after the official season ends?
What can I do to kill time in the hut from 6 pm till midnight?
How do you go to the toilet?
Could you recommend some clean onsen hotels near Fujiyoshida or Lake Kawaguchi?
2014 main Yoshida trail opening on track?
If we climb up for the sunset, will we have enough time to get back down before dark?
Where to start climbing Mt. Fuji from the base?
Can we climb Mt. Fuji around 20 June 2014?
Can you climb Mt. Fuji from Sengen Shrine in Fujinomiya?
Advice on the direction I should take coming down Mt. Fuji and heading to Hiroshima?
Hiking time from Kawaguchiko 5th Station to Seikanso mountain hut?
Renting winter climbing gear
How to obtain a certificate for my Mt. Fuji climb?
Do they require 100 yen coins for the branding of your hiking stick?
Is it possible to climb Mt. Fuji in April on my own?
Is there an alternative activity at Mt. Fuji in the off-season?
How do you say fifth (5th) station in Japanese?
Would it be a stupid idea to climb Mt. Fuji in the last week of February?
Is there a way to make a reservation at a Mt. Fuji mountain hut on line?
Is it safe to climb Mount Fuji the last week of October?
How difficult is it to gain access to the trails after September 23rd?
Lost and Found on Mt. Fuji
Climbing Fuji last weekend of September
Which trail down is easier on the knees?
Fuji Attempt in September 2013
How can I climb Mt. Fuji in only 1 day in mid-September?
Arriving NRT @ 16:45. Transport to Fuji?
Are taxis allowed on the road up to Kawaguchiko 5th station?
What is the best way to go see Mt. Fuji at the end of October?
Can I rent simple boots/jacket and trousers to climb Mt. Fuji?
My Night Climb on Aug. 1, 2013
What is the best time to hike up for sunrise?
Are there shuttles running to the Mt. Fuji 5th station all night?
How to get from Highland Fuji-Q Hotel to Subashiri 5th Station?
Climbing up Mt. Fuji, but not sleeping in a hut. Can I sleep on the ground outside?
Is it ok to take a 2-day hike and watch the sunrise from the top?
How to find the Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail from the Fuji-san train station?
Do you have any recommendations of a tour that we can join from Kawaguchiko?
Is there a place in Tokyo where I can purchase isobutane-propane canisters?
Mount Fuji-san off-season
Is there parking at the Yoshida Trail Sengen Shrine?
The shuttle bus from Kawaguchiko station is not very frequent and I am concerned about being able to get on it
Can you suggest other ways to get mountain hut reservations?
Mount Fuji Walking Stick Query
Can I climb in early September?
Can I use the lockers for more than 24 hours & will there be an extra charge?
Start climbing on 1st July or 2nd Sept. - Would it be less crowded on either these two dates?
What is the meaning of this Mt. Fuji sign?
My Mt. Fuji Climbing Experience
Unable to find climbing partner for Mt. Fuji during Aug. 8-13, 2013
Hints from a Successful 2012 Summit via Gotemba Trail and a 2009 Fail via Subashiri Trail
My 2012 climb on the Kawaguchiko and Gotemba Routes
Is the Yoshida forest trail hikeable?
Can we take our baby up Mt. Fuji?
Can I purchase a Mt. Fuji climbing stick outside of Japan?
How do I get my walking stick home?
What's the slope of the Mt. Fuji Subashiri trail?
Climbing Fujisan with AFS student Ryoji
Your Climbing Mt. Fuji FAQ page is excellent
When will Mt. Fuji's trails open this summer?
Climbing Mt. Fuji
Report From Mt. Fuji, July 2010
I'm no fool!
Climbing Mt. Fuji - the 3rd time was the charm!
Aug. 13, 14, 2011 Mt. Fuji climb
I climbed Mt. Fuji on 09/28/10
Sunrise from the Top of Mt. Fuji
Over 250,000 climbers scale Mt. Fuji in 2010 Not rated yet
What snow conditions should we expect on the Kawaguchiko trail on July 11, 2013? Not rated yet
Can you give me some rough climbing times between the various stations on the Kawaguchiko trail? Not rated yet
Is it possible to take a bus to the Kawaguchiko 5th Station around Christmas? Not rated yet
Do you know if the downhill trail of the main Kawaguchiko route on Mount Fuji is still closed? Not rated yet
May Fuji Climb Not rated yet
Are there places to turn around if we can't make it to the summit? Not rated yet
Waiting for the sunrise overnight Not rated yet
Which trail/side of Mt Fuji is best to see the sunset and sunrise respectively? Not rated yet
Is there lodging at the top of Mt. Fuji? Not rated yet
Is it safe to climb Fuji-san alone? Not rated yet
Why was it so hard for you? Not rated yet
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Climbing Mt. Fuji - FAQ
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Gary J. Wolff