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Is it more advisable to stay in the Mt. Fuji area or travel from Tokyo?


(Kansas, USA)

For a once in a lifetime trip (early September), I hope to spend a week in Tokyo and almost a week hiking and bicycling in the Mt. Fuji area, including going to the Mt. Fuji summit.

Given the need for making travel reservations far in advance of weather forecasts, I wonder whether it is more advisable, to maximize chances of good climbing weather, to arrange a stay in Tokyo and 'commute' to the Mt. Fuji area in spells of dry weather or make reservations for a week in the Mt. Fuji area and hope for the best?

So many variables, so few crystal balls ;) but would appreciate the voice of experience. Many thanks for your terrific site and the opportunity to ask a question.

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Mar 28, 2015
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That's great!
by: Gary Wolff

Thanks, Ann. Hope you have a great trip...

Mar 28, 2015
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thank you
by: ann

thank you very much for your rapid and helpful reply.
i have just ordered your mt fujibook:) domo arigato gomaizas

Mar 27, 2015
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You can't beat the gorgeous Fuji 5 Lakes region.
by: Gary Wolff

Thanks for your kind words.

You raise a challenging, yet interesting question. So challenging in fact, it might be above the pay grade of the "voice of experience." :-)

But I'll give it a shot. If I were you, since you're already spending a week in Tokyo's concrete jungle, I'd definitely stay a week in the stunningly beautiful Fuji 5 Lakes region. As a Trip Advisor affiliate, I've already compiled a list of links where you can get lots of good info on places where you can eat, sleep, and sightsee in the Fuji 5 Lakes region.

But even if you stay in Tokyo for a 2nd week, it's not like you're gonna be on the other side of the world. The direct bus service from Shinjuku to the Mt. Fuji 5th Station is only a 2.5 hour ride, and every year there seems to be more options for getting to Fuji-san.

Just last year, the Narita Express railway started a new service running from Narita Airport all the way to Mount Fuji, offering travelers a potential way to skip Tokyo altogether along with its congested railway interchanges. You might also want to investigate whether any of JR East's numerous area pass options would work for you.

One hazard in Sept., though, you won't be able to escape, whether you're in Tokyo or at the base of Fuji-san, is all the typhoons which pound Japan in Sept. (well, actually during the entire Mt. Fuji climbing season, for that matter). Check out the graph near the top of this page showing the average number of typhoons hitting Japan by month of the year.

One good thing about the typhoons, though, is you can usually see them coming at least a week in advance, so you'll have some flexibility in changing your hiking, cycling, & climbing plans, provided you haven't already forked over a ton of cash for advance reservations. :-)

I hope I've been of some help. Best wishes & have a great once in a lifetime trip!

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