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How do I get my walking stick home?

by Capt. Rice
(Irvine, California)

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. It seems like it will be too big for my luggage and I don't know if I can just carry that on the plane. Do you have any idea what it might cost to ship to California? Thanks so much for your time.

May 21, 2012


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Reply: Wow, Capt. Rice, that's a tough but good question.

Because some airlines allow you to check walking canes and sports equipment such as pool cues, javelins, and even pole vaults, you should be able to transport it as checked baggage. But I'm sure every airline's policy is different.

United Airlines, for example, would allow it, provided it's less than 157cm long, and it would count as one of your 2 checked bags limit. But if you were already checking 2 suitcases, the Mt. Fuji walking stick would qualify as excess baggage, costing you $200. Ouch, that's a pretty expensive souvenir! On the other hand, I guess it's possible that a check-in agent @ United or another airline might give you a break & not even count it against your checked baggage allowance. United's checked baggage policy is here: http://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/travel/Pages/BaggageChecked.aspx

Another option might be to ship it thru the Japan Post Office. Airmail, surface mail, and economy air (SAL) restrict parcel sizes to 1.05m, but express mail service (EMS) allows parcels up to 1.5m in length. Since to my knowledge, most Mt. Fuji walking sticks are in the 130-150cm range, maybe this shipping method will work. If the stick is less than 500 gm, the shipping cost from Tokyo to California will be around 1500 yen. Before you depart California, though, you might also want to check w/ US Customs to make sure the Mt. Fuji walking stick is not considered a restricted item. More details on EMS here: http://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/ems/index_en.html

In a worst case scenario, you could always saw it in half, and then use wood glue to put it back together once you get home. :-)

Hope this helps. Best wishes with the climb !!

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Sep 07, 2016
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Mailed from Japan
by: Stephen

I asked my hotel concierge to send back our two sticks via Japan's postal system. It cost around 2700 Yen + 270 Yen for the concierge handling fee.

Dec 28, 2015
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One more thing to add
by: Johnny Nightrider

I flew Korean Airlines from Tokyo to Honolulu, then to Los Angeles. As I remember, I just checked my Fuji Stick with my baggage and they put a tag on it. I picked it up with no damage from the luggage carousel.

Now this was September of 1984 when I brought it back and everyone on the plane was Asian. A few Americans. Things were safer and more cool back then and people were quiet and happy. It's my best souvenir because you have to climb the mountain to get all the stamps. I would never give it away or sell it. It's not easy climbing Mt. Fuji as it's rather steep. Then you go down the mountain over all these slippery hard lava rocks. Very easy to fall on your behind if you're not careful.

At the top, all my buddies I climbed with were drinking sake and getting buzzed in that thin air. Then they slept for a while, so when I got up there, they were ready to leave. I said "wait, hold on, I just got here. I need rest."

So I walked down the lava rocks alone and finally got to the van where they were drinking more sake and sleeping. It was weird 'cause they were not drunk, then we all went back to Yokohama and to work the next day. Nobody spoke. It was like a really good experience. You just don't talk about it with others.

Apr 09, 2015
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have anyone ship it by Japan Post?
by: cc

have anyone ship it by Japan Post? with any luck?
i dont think my airline will allow this to be ship home and they do i dont want to lose it or having it DAMAGED.

Jan 18, 2015
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I got mine in the summer of 1984
by: Johnny Nightrider

I climbed Mt. Fuji in the summer of 1984 with a international team I was working with on Sagami Air Station in Yokohama.There we're people from the U.S.A.,Thailand,Australia,and Burma.We started out very early before the sun came up so when the sun rose.Everyone said BONZAI!! That was above the clouds.I bought my Fuji stick with the rising sun flag and I got it branded with a stamp that you paid a man anywhere from 100 yen and up to put on your stick as you climbed.It would show how many meters up you had gone.Some brands we're in black,red or brown.I had it branded all the way to the top the summit.Back in 1984 it was easy to bring a walking fuji stick onto the plane.It is my best souvenir as the only way to get it is to climb Mt. Fuji and get all the stamps up.Now the way everyone is so paranoid and safety about everything I don't know how to bring it on unless you just say its a walking stick and a souvenir and hopefully it's cool.

Aug 03, 2014
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Provide your own packaging
by: Gary Wolff

Dear Aug. 3, 2014 anonymous,

I just called the Japan Post Office and the lady said you need to provide your own packaging and the stick needs to be in a box, but didn't know where you could get a narrow box that long. She also said bubble wrap or other kinds of packaging would be unacceptable.

You might have better luck calling your airline company and seeing how expensive it'd be to check it as baggage.

Best wishes....


Aug 03, 2014
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Packaging the walking stick
by: Anonymous

If I were to ship the walking stick, do you know if the post office would have packaging long enough to accommodate it or if I would have to find my own packaging? If so, do you know what I could possibly use?

Aug 03, 2013
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Mt. Fuji walking stick was checked luggage on my JAL flight back to the states
by: Gary Wolff

California Fries, thx so much for sharing your Mt. Fuji walking stick transport experience. Hopefully this will assist future climbers... :-)

Aug 03, 2013
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JAL Check In
by: CaliforniaFries

I just flew back from NRT to LAX on July 31, 2013 and JAL (Japan Airlines) allowed me to check in my walking stick as a checked-in luggage

May 22, 2012
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Thank you
by: Rice

Thanks so much for your response. You seem to be fairly knowledgeable and I was hoping to ask you one more question. As I do want the full experience with the stations and being able to get my walking stick branded, I was hoping you could clarify something for me. I have seen conflicting reports as to the actual end of the hiking season. Most have it as the end of August 8/31. I read somewhere else it is always 8/27. If that is the case, will the huts, etc. be open the 28th-31st? We were planning our trip and would have to definitely change our itinerary if we need to hike it by the 27th.

Thanks again!
Rice


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Hi Rice,
To my knowledge, the hiking season this year supposedly closes at the end of August, but experienced climbers scale the peak even in winter. If you're hiking up the main Kawaguchiko Yoshida Trail, as you can see from this page, most huts are open well into Sept.: http://www.garyjwolff.com/mt-fuji-mountain-huts.html

I'm not sure, though, that they would still be branding walking sticks after August...

Cheers,
Gary




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