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Which one of these 2 options do you recommend in regards to Gotemba Trail?

by Jacob

Wonderful information you have provided here. Thanks a million. I have 1 question please: ​​Which one of these 2 options do you recommend in regards to the Gotemba Trail:

1- Starting early and going all the way up to the summit and coming down. I will not have to sleep in a hut.

2- Going up as usual and sleep outside (not in a hut) in a sleeping bag. Wake up early, reach the summit and come back down as soon as possible.

Thanks very much,

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Jul 09, 2015
Thanks again
by: Jacob

Thanks again Gary.

I really appreciate your advice.

I hope the day comes soon that I personally thank you in Tokyo.


Jul 09, 2015
Early Sept. is a good time
by: Gary Wolff

Jacob, I'm not a big fan of off-season climbing for a number of reasons, but one thing you might consider is closing dates of the huts, even if you don't want to stay in one.

If huts are closed, there will be no toilets, drinks, food, ​supplies, ​or ​anyone to consult in the event of an emergency.

Last year the Gotemba huts closed by mid-Sept.:
​(2015 data has not been posted yet)​

Another thing to think about is the sharp reduction in bus service​ (only 3 times a day on weekends & holidays only)​, beginning​ after Sept. 10:
(refer to the "Gotemba Station to Gotemba 5th Station" schedule)

One final thought. As you can see from the green lines in these graphs (, the Gotemba route is the least traveled, so I seriously doubt you will encounter crowds anywhere even remotely as crazy as over on the main Yoshida trail. :-)

Hope this helps. Have a nice hike...


Jul 09, 2015
by: Jacob

Thanks very much Gary,

I actually am not planning to save money by sleeping outside or doing the hike in one day.

I just think that would be next to impossible to sleep in those huts where people are laid down side by side like sardine in a can!

I think my best bet would be to select a not very crowded season, maybe mid. or late Sep. unless you have another recommendation.

I have to add that I like your website a lot and I have planned to part of it every night.

Thanks very much again and enjoy life in Japan.


Jul 09, 2015
by: Gary

Neither option, Jacob.

Because of serious climber safety issues in recent years related to the one-day, style of climbing called Dangan-Tozan (弾丸登山) or "bullet climbing," prefectural officials have worked diligently to educate & warn climbers against doing this, especially first-time climbers of Mount Fuji from overseas, the segment of the climbing population where this seems to be the biggest problem.

Furthermore, camping on Mt. Fuji is illegal, so sleeping in a sleeping bag, even outside a hut, would be frowned upon, even if you could find the ground space.....which is highly unlikely. Due to safety & environmental concerns, climbers are restricted to the trails, and trails are not wide enough or flat enough to sleep on.

Climbers are urged to take their time, pace themselves, and in order to avoid altitude sickness, to rest often, even if that involves forking over a few thousand yen to catch a catnap in a hut.

Best wishes...

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