Are the Mt. Fuji hiking distance and % grade numbers accurate?
(White Plains, NY)
This site is a goldmine of valuable information and I wanted to thank you for your amazing efforts. My fiancee and I along with a dozen other mountain hiking friends are planning a trip this summer and we have already booked tickets, local accommodations, and a mountain hut at the summit. We are planning two ascents, the first one being from the Gotemba Trail.
In the section titled "What are the hiking distances from Mt. Fuji's 5th Stations to its summit and how steep are the various Mt. Fuji climbing trails", you list distances from the assorted 5th stations to the summit. After looking over other sites and blog posts in both English and Japanese, we believe that you may have gotten some incorrect data for the Hiking Distance. For example, the round trip is listed at 20km at this link which you shared for Gotemba: http://www.city.gotemba.shizuoka.jp/appeal/kanri/assets/uploads/2016/03/MtfujigotembaE.pdf.
Since the distance going up is much longer because of switchbacks, my best estimate at the distance to climb is 12-13km for an approximate grade of 20%. It seems impossible that the hike up is only 7.8km, and the 30% grade you indicate seems to go against other sites that claim Gotemba is one of the flatter trails. Is it possible that you have the downhill distance listed for it as opposed to the uphill distance? I hand measured the downhill route as best I could using this map and it seemed to line up with my assumptions made above. Is there any authoritative source for precise trail distances? It seems impossible to find. This includes point-to-point distance between stations for Gotemba Trail like you had for Yoshida. Note that I am making these assumptions based on online evidence and not real-world experience. If you have hiked Gotemba and say it's a measly 7.8 km, then I'll trust that for sure.
Thanks for your amazing site; we have learned so much already and feel far better prepared as a result.