22, 2021 update:
No news yet on the 2021 Mt. Fuji climbing season, as it all depends on
what happens with COVID in the next few months. But case numbers are
now dropping, so let's keep our fingers crossed! As soon as I hear
something, I'll post it here in this space.
Q: Is it
possible to climb to the
summit of Mt. Fuji from the base of the mountain?(updated
July 12, 2018)
A: Yes, indeed. Since most climbers start from the 5th Station, if you
want to escape the crowds and surround yourself with a quiet,
breathtaking forest, you should seriously consider the historic
Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail, which starts from the northern base of
Japan's highest peak.
The original Yoshida Climbing Route starts from the Fuji Sengen Shrine
(formally known as Kitaguchi Hongu Sengen Jinja), where the pilgrims of
over 500 years ago came to pray before they started their climb up the
sacred mountain. Today, traditionalists claim that the only way to
climb Mt. Fuji is from the Fuji Sengen Shrine (elev. 850m), which is
designated as a national cultural asset and part of Mt. Fuji’s
June 22, 2013 registration as a World Heritage Site.
But many climbers hike from Umagaeshi, from where it only takes two and
a half hours to reach the 5th station. Located just below the 1st
Station and easily accessible by bus, Umagaeshi is a great starting
point to climb Mt. Fuji. Recently there has been a surge of people
starting their climb from Umagaeshi because it provides a much more
traditional and historical climbing experience, free from the
of climbers above the 5th Station.
Bus service from Mt. Fuji Station (formerly Fujiyoshida Station) is
available to the Fuji Sengen Shrine, and up the road to Naka-no-Chaya
and Umagaeshi. Click here
for 2018 bus schedule info to the
Shrine, Naka-no-Chaya, and Umagaeshi. (A special thanks to Robin, the
former Coordinator for International Relations at Fujiyoshida City Hall
for kindly sharing this
Yoshidaguchi Climbing Trail hiking times
(Click image above to view more details,
Fujiyoshida City International Affairs Desk
A brochure published in Nov. 2013 by Fujiyoshida City shows even
more details about this pilgrimage route and can be viewed here.
time is sunrise
and sunset during the Mt. Fuji climbing season? (updated
Feb. 22, 2021)
A: Sunrise/sunset times for the 2021 Mt. Fuji climbing season are
exactly the same as
below or vary by only a minute or 2.
2015 Mt. Fuji sunrise and sunset times Source: SunEarthTools.com (based on 35°22'N, 138°44'E)
Q: Can I
leave my large backpack in a
locker at the train station and take only a smaller pack with me to
April 4, 2019)
A: The availability of coin lockers depends on a number of factors,
including the trail you take, day of week, and time of day of
climb, all of which will affect how
crowded it is at the time. You should be aware, though, that the number
of coin lockers large enough for backpacks is usually quite limited,
and may be all filled
during peak times. According to the City of Fujiyoshida, some coin
for large luggage are available at both Mt. Fuji Station and
Station (operated by the Fuji Kyuko Line) and at
the Fuji Subaru 5th Station. Although, they warn
that sometimes people have had problems storing large hard-shelled
luggage. The starting cost is ¥300/day. It may also be possible for
arrangements to be made
either the Mt. Fuji or Kawaguchiko Tourist Information Centers.
The chart below shows the sizes and costs for coin lockers typically
found at train
stations operated by JR East, although all sizes may not necessarily
be available at the smaller train stations in the Mt. Fuji area.
JR East coin locker sizes (in millimeters) and costs
(photo courtesy: JR East)
you're climbing Mt. Fuji during peak climbing times (especially July 21
- Aug. 20), I think the chances of finding a coin locker for
large-sized luggage at the Mt.
Fuji 5th Station trailhead would probably be somewhere between slim and
I think you might have better luck leaving your stuff at Shinjuku or
Stations, where you can use the coin lockers there for up to 3 days
(from ¥300/day). "Days" are counted from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm (not
24-hr. periods from the time you insert ¥100 coins to pay for the 1st
day) and they
check the lockers everyday, and so if your stuff is not out after 3
days, it's taken to an office where you can claim it and pay the
extra charges upon your return.
Japanese train station coin locker
Also, if you stay at a hotel at the base of the
mountain, you could
possibly leave your pack at the hotel during your climb. Another option
might be that, while climbing Fuji-san, some climbers have their
suitcases shipped to their next destination by "takkyubin" (local
ground transport service, like UPS in the states).
kind of coin lockers do they have at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station?
(updated Mar. 31,
A: There are at least 200 coin lockers inside the Unjokaku
located right where you get off the Keio highway bus from Shinjuku. But
only 12 of the 70 coin lockers that are in the 1st floor souvenir shop
are large enough (34 cm wide x 76 cm high x 50 cm deep) for a backpack
and they cost ¥600.
The small-size (34W x 30H x 42D) and mid-size (34W x 39H x 42D)
¥300 and ¥500, respectively.
The other 130 coin lockers are on the 3rd floor, along with the coin
showers, separate capsule bed rooms for men and women, and the
community rooms for rest or overnight stay. Please note that these coin
lockers are only accessible from 7 am till 10 pm.
There are also coin lockers inside the Fujisan Miharashi shop and
restaurant, a photo of which you can view on this
Large-size coin lockers inside the Unjokaku Lodge
can I find a comprehensive checklist of tips on "How to Climb Mt.
A: This is one of the best checklists I've seen so far, courtesy of
Sasaki, although some of the info has now become a tad outdated: How
to Climb Mt. Fuji
I have to worry about altitude sickness when climbing Mt. Fuji?
A: If you are not an experienced hiker nor have trained properly, there
is a real possibility of altitude sickness, including headaches,
dizziness, nausea, and even vomiting. The best way to avoid this is to
pace yourself, take lots of breaks, and to acclimate yourself to the
higher elevations. Perhaps you can even sleep for a while, say, at the
5th, 7th, or 8th Stations, giving your body a chance to adjust to the
thinner air. If your travel schedule permits, staying
overnight at one
of the area
hotels at the base of the mountain before starting your climb
help with the acclimation process. While some mountain huts have oxygen
bottles, if you
suffer a severe case of altitude sickness with vomiting, it is probably
best to get down off the mountain ASAP. An excellent report on the
and prevention of altitude sickness can be found here.
should I do if I have
an accident, get sick, or have any other kind of trouble or
Mar. 19, 2017)
A: Carrying a first-aid kit is a good idea, but if you need emergency
assistance, it's best to try to make it to the nearest mountain hut.
There are emergency aid stations at the 7th and 8th Stations on
the Yoshida Trail (usually open July 16 - Aug. 28, dates subject to
change) and at the 8th Station on the Fujinomiya
Trail (usually open July 25 - Aug. 18, dates subject to change).
For more serious emergencies, you should dial "110" on your cell phone
(assuming it works on Mt. Fuji) to receive immediate assistance. Also,
at the Yoshida Trail 6th
Station (Tel. 0555-24-6223) as well as at the Fujinomiya Trail 5th
Station (Tel. 0544-22-2239 or 090-2182-2239) are Safety
Centers where you can get help with injuries and other
Let's be clear, Mt. Fuji can be quite dangerous,
and between 2011 and 2014 has claimed on average nearly 8
year. Overconfidence results in
deaths and injuries on Mt. Fuji every single year.
can I find a good route map or elevation profile for climbing Mt.
Feb. 10, 2021)
A: Since the
trails are very well marked, and are almost always filled with throngs
of people, it'll be difficult to get lost and you probably won't
need one. Free English brochures are available at the tourist
information centers in Tokyo and Kawaguchiko. Just make sure
before you head down, you choose the right trail, or you'll wind up at
the wrong 5th Station and that'd be a real bummer (and an EXPENSIVE
Click thumbnails below to view detailed Mt. Fuji trail maps
its 4 climbing routes:
One of the best
internet maps, in my humble opinion, is my own customized Google Map of the
25 Highest Mountains in Japan, which I created in Oct. 2009 as I
thought it'd be cool
to see all of Japan's highest peaks at a glance.
Map of the 25 Highest Mountains in Japan
(zoom out to see all of the other highest
mountains in Japan)
The actual 3776m Mt. Fuji highpoint is named
Kengamine (剣ヶ峰), one of 8 peaks around the summit crater rim.
(View 25 Highest
Mountains in Japan in a larger map.)
Another useful route map for
climbing Mt. Fuji is the Yamareco map
shown below, which includes an elevation profile graph from a person
who hiked up the Yoshida trail and then all the
way around Mt. Fuji's cone.
Route Map & Elevation Profile
for Climbing Mt. Fuji (富士山)
Also, I was impressed with the interesting 3D
schematic below of the Yoshida
climbing trail, courtesy of the Fujiyoshida City International Affairs
is the latitude and longitude of Mt. Fuji (富士山)?
A: Latitude: 35° 21' 38.0" N (35.360556° N)
Longitude: 138° 43' 39.0" E
does it look like from the summit of Mt. Fuji? (updated Mar. 19, 2017)
A: In July 2013, Google sent a team up Mt. Fuji to get a "Street View"
the summit. Using the Street View Trekker backpack device, equipped
with a remarkable 15 cameras, the Google team was able to capture a
full range of 360-degree panoramic imagery from atop the mountain. This
shows the making of the Mt. Fuji Street View and here
is the new
360° Street View panorama from the abandoned weather station atop
Kengamine (剣ヶ峰), Japan's actual highpoint. Additional Mt.
Fuji summit 360° street views are linked from the thumbnail slider at
the bottom of the same page above.
can I view videos of Mt. Fuji (富士山) from an airplane?
A: This is probably one of the better ones, but not necessarily because
If the player above is not visible, you can view it at YouTube here.
Q: Is it
ok to climb Mt. Fuji (富士山)
July 23, 2017)
A: The minimum age for climbing Mt. Everest is 16 (from the Nepal side)
and the minimum age for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is 12.
Ok, Mt. Fuji (富士山) is
not THAT difficult, but let's be clear, it's also not a Sunday stroll
in the park. Having been climbing mountains since my Boy
Scout days and
having scaled all of the 25
highest mountains in Japan, 12 of the U.S. State
Highpoints (tallest peak in each state), and 12 of Colorado's 54 famous
"Fourteeners" (peaks higher than 14,000 feet (~4267 m)), I can honestly
climbing Mt. Fuji (富士山) was one of the more difficult hikes I've ever
The trail gets quite steep above the 9th station, involving
some moderate rock scrambling which requires giant steps, even for an
adult. And when it rains, the rocks can get very slippery. The winds
can get so strong, some hikers literally get blown off the trail, and
this risk of injury is obviously much greater with little munchkins.
When I climbed Mt. Fuji, I saw many kids, some appearing as young as 6
or 7, and who seemed to be part of some organized outing, like a school
or scout trip, etc. But many of them had frowny faces and were
obviously in a lot of pain, and some of them were even whining.
of a million other reasons, including the very primitive and
scarce toilets, lightning risk, and the inherent dangers in
Mt. Fuji including rock slides and the occasional dislodged boulder
tumbling down from above... in my humble opinion, I believe taking
kids up the highest mountain in Japan is a mistake... unless of course
experienced mountain hikers and in good physical condition. Therefore,
although some tour groups allow kids as young as 6 to climb Mt. Fuji,
I'd recommend a
minimum age of 8. That said, if taking children, the less crowded
probably best, and because of all the huts, resting points, emergency
aid stations, and other
services, the main Yoshida climbing trail would be the
2014 newspaper excerpt:
should think twice before pushing their children to scale Mount Fuji.
More than half of the children who attempted to reach the summit of the
iconic mountain developed symptoms of acute altitude sickness, a
Japanese medical society survey found... Of the respondents, 55 percent
said they had developed common symptoms of acute mountain sickness such
as headache, nausea and dizziness, and half of the children had given
up trying to reach the summit... At its worst, altitude sickness can
result in death."
—Asahi Shimbun, June 20, 2014—
looking for a Mt. Fuji climbing partner. Are there some online forums
where I can hook up with other climbers? (updated
April 4, 2019)
A: These links are in a constant state of flux, but I'll try to keep
them current. Please send me hate mail if you encounter a 404
(this is by far the best, run by an amazing American guy living in
Osaka) Trip Advisor Fuji Travel Forum Trip Advisor Shizuoka Prefecture Travel Forum http://www.lonelyplanet.com/
are some sample recent "climbing Mt. Fuji" posts in the "Northeast
forum (To narrow results, select "Japan" from the "Select Country"
drop-down menu and specify a date
range, e.g. just for the past month).
can I view some good videos
that encapsulate the true spirit and essence of climbing Mt.
A: Nowadays there are an uncountable number at YouTube, but these are 3
of my favorites:
A grrrreat new video by "Sharla in Japan" posted Aug. 4, 2015.
This amazing young Canadian has a remarkable 600,000+ subscribers to
(If the player above is not visible, you can view it at YouTube here.)
An Aug. 20, 2012 ascent by Dr.
Don't miss his own electric viola as the background music.
You can also read David's amazing story about climbing Mt. Fuji here.
(If the player above is not visible, you can view it at YouTube here.)
10-11, 2010 climb of Mt. Fuji
(If the player above is not visible, you can view it at YouTube here.)
can I eat,
sleep, and sightsee at the base of Mt. Fuji? (updated
A: The area surrounding Mt. Fuji is one of most beautiful
parts of Japan and includes the Fuji Five Lakes (Fujigoko) region. Trip
Advisor is probably one of the best sources for sightseeing info for
this area. (I used to post their affiliate links here, but they didn't
pay hardly anything for the traffic I was sending them, so those links
In May 2016, the friend of a friend opened Hostel Mt. Fuji-Fukuya
a newly renovated wooden house located in Fujiyoshida City, at the base
of Mt. Fuji. As you can see below, it's an absolutely gorgeous place,
complete with rooms that have original old wood floors and Japanese
style sliding doors, as well as a comfy tatami mat TV lounge.
need a good place to stay, conveniently located near Fujisan Station
where you can easily access both Mt. Fuji train and bus transport
you'll definitely want to consider Hostel Mt. Fuji-Fukuya. Reservations
Front desk and TV lounge
Bunk beds with privacy curtains
Double vanity with electric outlets
Mt. Fuji-Fukuya in Fujiyoshida City, at the base of Mt. Fuji
located near Fujisan Station
(click pics above to view original larger-size images)
(photos courtesy: Hostel
recently heard of something called "Diamond Fuji." What is it? (updated
Jan. 28, 2020)
of the most interesting things about Mt. Fuji I've ever
experienced while residing in Japan is what's known as "Diamond Fuji,"
phenomenon which occurs primarily from Oct. to Feb. when the sun sets
rises out of Mt. Fuji's cone, setting off sunbeams that resemble a
The Diamond Fuji pic below was taken by a Tokyo friend of mine
from the shore of Lake Yamanakako, one of the Fuji 5 Lakes.
The Village Yamanakako Tourism Division has put together a helpful page
of the best Diamond Fuji viewing spots, dates, and times around Lake
Yamanakako along with a guide map and which can be viewed here.
Also, on Xmas Day 2014 I decided to put together a webpage listing the
best high-rise spots in Tokyo for viewing Diamond Fuji along with
recommended dates, sunset times, admission fees, and links to their
maps. That Diamond Fuji page was updated Jan. 27, 2020 and can be
viewed here: Diamond
Fuji Viewing Spots, Dates, and Times in Tokyo
not confident in my own mountain climbing abilities. Can you recommend
a good local mountain climbing guide or tour? (updated Feb. 23,
A: I suspect there are several, but here are just a few examples I've
Mountain Guides, featured in the July/Aug. 2012 issue of
offers a number of 2-day and 3-day Mt. Fuji pilgrim and
tours no longer available)
Tour bus tours (Japanese)
Fuji Hiking Tour with Japanese Guide, by Across No. 1 Travel
Q: If I
make it to the top of Mt. Fuji, can I get a certificate for my
you can get a personalized certificate for ¥1,050 or a commemoration
letter for free from the Yamanashi Tourism Organization. More details here.
not a mountain climber. Are
there guided Mt. Fuji bus tours I can
A: From the comfort of an air-conditioned motorcoach, you can
enjoy not only the beautiful panoramic views from Mt. Fuji's 5th
Station, but there are 1-day Mt. Fuji tours starting
from ¥8000 (without lunch box), some that also take in the nearby
spring resort and include a pirate boat cruise on Hakone's
Lake Ashi. Here are some of the more popular Mt. Fuji bus tour
- Veltra Corporation
- Club Tourism Yokoso Japan
Also, Mt. Fuji
One Day Bus
Travel) offers a ¥8,800 1-day bus tour (and ¥4,900 half-day tour)
of the Kitaguchi
Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine, Aokigahara Forest, Shiraito Falls, and Lake
Motosuko (one of the
5 Lakes), departing from and finishing in the Kawaguchiko area
[available April thru November].
there any races or trail runs up or around Mt. Fuji?
(updated Feb. 23, 2021)
A: There are probably more, but I'm currently aware of these: Sea-to-Summit
The Sea-to-Summit is an endurance charity fundraising event. Climbers
trek all the way from the Shizuoka coastline to the summit of Japan's
symbolic Mt. Fuji in under 24 hours.
For climbers interested in a more leisurely sea-to-summit trek, Fuji
City in Shizuoka Prefecture has laid out a 4-day, 3-night, 42 km (26.1
mi) route named the "Mt. Fuji Tourism Climbing Route 3776," in
reference to the elevation gain to Mt. Fuji's summit. Hikers can choose
to start from either Tagonoura Port Park or Fujizuka, both of which are
at sea level on Suruga Bay.
Fuji City's English/Japanese bilingual guide map includes information
on sightseeing and accommodation options along the route and can be
Q: Is it
possible to mail a letter or postcard from the summit of Mt. Fuji?(updated
Feb. 23, 2021)
A: Yes, by all means don't miss the chance to mail a letter or postcardto
your family or friends back home from the highest post office in Japan.
In 2019 the Mt. Fuji summit post office (富士山頂郵便局, Fujisan-cho Yuubin
was open 6 am to 2 pm daily from Wed. July 10 till Sun. Aug.
18, including weekends and holidays except on days with inclement
weather when they might have to
close. It's located at the top of the Fujinomiya Trail, between the
Fujikan summit mountain hut (頂上富士館) and the Sengentaisha-Okumiya
shrine (浅間大社奥宮), about a 30-40 min. hike clockwise around the summit
crater from the top of the main Yoshida trail. In the past few
years, this post office has been open from the 1st day the Fujinomiya
Trail opened until the 3rd Sunday in Aug., but sadly in 2020
Fujisan, and thus the post office as well, was closed. More
info on Japan's highest post office, including map (in Japanese) is here.
Fujisan-cho post office,
the highest post office in Japan
there places around Tokyo to rent/buy gear (i.e. hiking boots, warm
jackets, headlamps) when climbing Mt. Fuji? (updated Feb. 23,
A: I'm sure this short list of online shops just scratches the surface,
but it's a start:
it really cost ¥1000 to climb Mt. Fuji?(updated June 16, 2019)
A: Beginning with a 10-day trial period in the 2013 climbing season and
implemented in 2014 for the entire season, Mt. Fuji climbers are asked
to donate ¥1000to
activities and services for environmental conservation, climber safety,
and information provision. In particular, the voluntary fees are being
used to construct new lavatories and repair existing ones, increase the
number of personnel engaging in conservation efforts, and to expand the
number of first-aid centers. Also, the study of new toilet
technologies, surveys to monitor and analyze climber trends, setting up
additional information centers, installing signage to raise awareness
of climbing etiquette and rules, increasing the safety of the down
trails such as the repair of protective fences, and developing mobile
device apps and videos (for guidance in English, Chinese, Korean,
Spanish, and Portuguese) to help climbers better understand climbing
safety and environmental conservation.
Speaking of environmental conservation, because the 3 trails from
Shizuoka Prefecture don't usually open till July 10, some if not all
toilets around the Mt. Fuji summit area (which lie in Shizuoka
Prefecture) may be unavailable each year during July 1-9. Climbers
planning to summit Mt. Fuji during the 1st 9 days of the season are
to bring personal disposable toilets just in case, and which are not a
throughout the season, given their usefulness in the case of congestion
or emergencies. In 2014, excrement was found at 17 places along the
The funds from the ¥1000 donation are not used to maintain existing
including those installed in mountain huts. Because funds to maintain
these existing toilets are not included in Fuji-san's general operating
budget, climbers are asked to pay a small fee
(¥200‒¥300) when using these toilets.
All of these environmental efforts are imperative in assisting Japan to
submit periodic favorable
state-of-conservation reports to UNESCO’s World Heritage Center in
order for Mt. Fuji to
retain its World Heritage Site status.
who support the conservation of Mt. Fuji by donating will receive a
of appreciation which reads "Certificate of Cooperation in the
Conservation of Fujisan."
Mt. Fuji donation badge
are Mt. Fuji's toilets located and are they environmentally-friendly?(added
July 6, 2017)
There are toilets at all the mountain huts, plus additional public
toilets. The 3 different kinds of toilets all incorporate ecological
systems which do not discharge waste. The oyster shell and sawdust
toilets stimulate microorganisms that break down the waste. And the
incinerator toilets evaporate or burn the waste product. According to
Shizuoka Prefecture (where 3 of Mt. Fuji's 4 trails originate), their
24 toilet facilities are used approximately 330,000 times every year,
collecting approximately 99 tons of human waste. Wow.
heard that a Japanese university professor predicted Mt. Fuji would
erupt by 2015. Should I be concerned? (updated Mar. 28, 2021)
A: Yes, without question, various parts of Japan experienced a
significant increase in volcano activity in the late 2014/early 2015
period, most notably
the eruption of Mt.
Japan's 14th highest peak, in September 2014 which killed 57 climbers.
In early May 2015, area hiking trails were closed after volcanic
activity started at Mt. Hakoneyama in the famous Hakone hot springs
area, just 80km southeast of central Tokyo. The volcanic activity then
intensfied, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency in late
June 2015 to raise the peak's volcanic alert level to Level
3 ("Do not approach the volcano"). Mt. Hakoneyama lies a mere
(~18 mi) from Mt. Fuji.
Meanwhile, both Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures and the City
Fujiyoshida have funded the preparation and distribution of a few
thousand sets of safety helmets, goggles, and dust-proof masks to a
number of mountain huts along the 4 trails.
But because during the peak of the climbing season as many as 9000
people climb Mt. Fuji every day, local authorities are urging climbers
to bring their own helmets, goggles, and masks to protect themselves
against a possible Mt. Fuji eruption.
Yamanashi Prefecture is also distributing evacuation route maps to
climbers, showing four possible eruption patterns based on the vent’s
location and the reach of lava.
One potential Mt. Fuji eruption evacuation pattern (Photo
credit: Japan Times)
[As of Mar. 20, 2020, both Mt. Fuji and Mt. Hakoneyama, only 30km (~18
mi) from Mt. Fuji, remained at Volcanic
Alert Level 1
("Potential for increased activity").]
Mar. 28, 2021 update:
"A volcanic hazard map for Mount Fuji in central Japan has been revised
for the first time in 17 years, doubling the estimated volume of lava
flows in the event of a major eruption.
It shows far more craters than were in the previous map and estimates
that a major eruption would cause a flow of 1.3 billion cubic meters of
lava, or about twice as much as previously estimated.
The revised map also shows that lava flows could reach 12 more towns
and cities in 3 different prefectures -- including those located more
than 40 kilometers away, like Uenohara in Yamanashi Prefecture,
Sagamihara and Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Shimizu in Shizuoka
It also says 96 percent of previous eruptions were minor or medium-sized, but that the next eruption could be a big one."
I be able to access the internet while climbing Mt. Fuji?(updated
Since 2016, Wireless broadband provider Wire & Wireless has offered
wireless Internet access at a total of 49 locations on Mt. Fuji during
the official climbing season, including all of the mountain
huts along all 4 trails.
Users can access the Fujisan Wi-Fi network by registering
their email address or social network account, or by downloading Wire
& Wireless' free Travel Japan Wi-Fi app (for iOS and Android
devices) from their website linked above.
The Fujisan Wi-Fi network offers support in 6 languages: Japanese,
English, Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, and Thai.
plan to climb all night to catch the sunrise from the Mt. Fuji
summit, but I've heard this is unsafe. Is it REALLY that dangerous?(updated
Mar. 19, 2017)
A: Because of serious climber safety issues in recent years related to
the one-day style of Mt. Fuji climbing called "bullet climbing"
("Dangan-Tozan" (弾丸登山) in Japanese), prefectural officials have worked
diligently to educate and warn climbers against doing this,
especially 1st-time climbers of Mt. Fuji from overseas, the segment of
the climbing population where this seems to be the biggest problem.
Climbing incidents most often involve people who view climbing Mt. Fuji
like a sightseeing outing and thus fail to make adequate preparations.
This sort of 1-day climber tourism is taking a toll on the Fuji-san's
delicate environmental balance, and may accelerate future actions to
limit the number of climbers on Japan’s holiest peak and newest
A recent report by Japan's environment ministry showed that 28% of all
1st-time climbers of Mt. Fuji opt to climb up and down in only
day, starting in the late evening (often despite inadequate fitness)
and hiking all night long to reach the summit in time for sunrise. This
number is drastically higher for foreign climbers who make up 30% of
Mt. Fuji climbers. Furthermore, 14% of bullet climbers (compared to
only 5% of standard climbers) give up climbing to the top because they
become ill. Plus, the number of bullet climbers who seek help at
1st-aid stations is 3 times higher than that of standard climbers.
One-day bullet climbing is considered dangerous as it increases climber
susceptibility to injury, below-normal body temperatures, and
altitude sickness, a condition that should never be taken too lightly.
The shortage of oxygen supply at high altitudes can cause fatigue,
lethargy, and headaches, which in turn may lead to accidents, physical
imbalance, dehydration, circulatory system anomalies, and even the
possible lethal condition known as cerebral edema, or swelling of the
brain caused by excessive fluid buildup.
To avoid safety problems from bullet climbing and altitude
prefectural officials are urging Mt. Fuji climbers to follow a few
- Get adequate sleep on the day before the climb. Climbers who have not
properly slept are more prone to injuries and illnesses due to fatigue.
Avoiding alcohol intake on the day before your climb (and during
climb) is also a good measure for warding off high-altitude dehydration.
- At the 5th station before departure, climbers are advised to rest for
1-2 hours before starting the ascent to the Mt. Fuji summit. This will
help your body acclimatize to the higher altitude and reduce the risk
of altitude sickness.
- Climbers are urged to take their time, pace themselves, and in order
to avoid altitude sickness, to stop at mountain huts to take regular,
short rest breaks, even if that involves forking over a few thousand
yen to catch a catnap in a hut. For example, climb for 25 minutes and
rest for 5 minutes, or climb for 50 minutes and rest for 10 minutes.
- In order to avoid getting cold, though (temperatures at the summit
may drop below freezing even in July and August), rest stops ideally
should not last TOO long.
- In order to prevent dehydration, drink water (or isotonic sports
beverages) regularly. Specially formulated sports drinks that replace
water and electrolytes and contain either fructose or glucose polymers
allow a slow release of carbohydrates for replenishing reserves of
energy consumed while climbing. It is not safe nor a good
avoid drinking water in order to save time and money on toilet
- To the greatest extent possible, try to avoid (or at least limit the
number of hours) climbing at night. Due to nightime darkness, climbers
are more likely to cause rocks to fall, a potential danger to other
climbers below. Climbers are urged to stay as close as possible to the
inside (slope side) of the trail, as walking along the trail's downhill
free edge can cause loose rocks to fall and hit climbers hiking along
one of the zigzags below. If you do dislodge rocks causing them to
fall, please yell at the top of your lungs to warn others below and
The best way to warn someone about a falling rock is to just shout out
"RAKU!" (落!), pronounced "rah-koo," which is the shortcut Japanese
expression for "falling rock." This should be easy to remember, as it
sounds almost identical to the English word "rock."
[One final note. Although sunrise from the Mt. Fuji summit is a big
goal of many climbers, one beauty of the main Yoshida Trail is that you
can view the sunrise pretty much anywhere above the treeline, which is
read somewhere that credit cards are not accepted on Mt. Fuji, so how
much cash should I bring, anyways?(added
July 21, 2015)
A: According to the kind folks at Shizuoka Prefecture's Mt. Fuji World
Heritage Division in the Culture and Tourism Department, you might need
as much as ¥15,000-20,000, depending on your plans and spending
habits. And climbers are recommended to have lots of change on hand
(especially numerous ¥100 coins) for meals, drinks, souvenirs, walking
stick branding iron stamps, shrine offerings, etc. Mountain hut
accommodations will set you back ¥8,000-9,000, bottled drinks will run
¥500-1,000 (¥400-500 per bottle), and pay toilets will cost
¥1,200-1,500 (¥200-300 per use). Toilets on Mt. Fuji are not covered in
the general maintenance budget, so are self-supporting and thus require
the oldest person to have ever climbed Mt. Fuji?(updated
July 25, 2019)
A: Just inside the front entrance of the Gogoen Rest House (五合園レストハウス)
the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, you'll find a bronze statue erected
in honor of Teiichi Igarashi (五十嵐貞一) who on Aug. 8, 1988 scaled
Fuji-san at the ripe young age of only 105. Igarashi-san was a retired
forest ranger from Furudono, Fukushima who started climbing Japan's
tallest peak annually in 1976 in memory of his deceased wife. So at the
time of his feat in 1988, he already held the record as the oldest
person to reach Mt. Fuji's summit and had renewed his record for
years in a row. (Source: Mt. Fuji 5th Station International Tourist
Teiichi Igarashi, age 105, the oldest
person to have ever climbed Mt. Fuji
On July 24, 1987, 91-year-old mountaineer Hulda
from Loma Linda, California became the oldest woman to climb Mt. Fuji.
She also successfully scaled California's 14,505-foot (4,421 m) Mount
Whitney 23 times between the ages of 65 and 91, earning her the
nickname "Grandma Whitney."
are the most congested
spots on Mt. Fuji's Yoshida Trail?(updated Mar. 19, 2017) A: Congestion occurs frequently before sunrise
the spots on the Yoshida Trail shown below, especially between the
Goraiko-kan mountain hut at the 8.5th Station and the Kusushi-Jinja
Shrine at the top of the trail, including around the 9th Station.
Yoshida Trail congestion spots (Source:
"Fujitozan Advice Book," published by the Mt. Fuji
Preservation Promotion Section)
are the most hazardous
places on Mt. Fuji's Yoshida Trail?(updated Mar. 19, 2017)
A: As shown below, one place worth noting is between the 9th Station
and the top of the
Yoshida Trail where the trail is particularly narrow and there is a
chance of falling rocks. Another place is between the Hanagoya
mountain hut at the 7th Station and the Horaikan mountain hut at the
Station where there are steep rocks and a very narrow, single-file
Yoshida Trail hazardous places - 9th Station to top of trail
Yoshida Trail hazardous places - Hanagoya to Horaikan (Source:
"Fujitozan Advice Book," published by the Mt. Fuji
Preservation Promotion Section)
camping allowed on Mt. Fuji?(added May 30, 2020)
There are no designated campsites along any of the climbing routes nor
at the summit of Mt. Fuji, which lies within Fuji-Hakone-Izu National
Park. And so pitching tents, making fires, or camping of any sort is
expressly forbidden. As Japan's holiest peak, also designated as a
Special Place of Scenic Beauty, Historic Site, and since 2013 a World
Heritage Cultural Site, according to Fujisan's official website, the
following acts are also legally prohibited on Mt. Fuji:
Disturbing animals and plants
Removing lava from the area
Releasing pets, etc.
Sowing seeds or planting seedlings
Defacing natural features, including spray painting
graffiti on rocks (sadly, it really DOES happen!
Fuji Subaru 5th Station General
Fujiyoshida Tourist Info Center: 0555-22-7000
Kawaguchiko Tourist Info Center: 0555-72-6700 Fujikyuko express bus bound for Mt. Fuji
International Affairs Desk, Fujiyoshida City Hall (8:30-5:30,
Mon.-Fri.): 0555-24-1236 (+81-555-24-1236 from overseas)
Please stop by again soon
Thank you very much for visiting these pages, and if you by chance have
already had the pleasure of climbing Mt. Fuji, I hope you
will by all means take a few minutes to share your story on Page 1
Please stop by again soon, as I intend to continue updating these pages
details in the future, as they become available.
If you have any questions for me, please give me a shout below or by
clicking on the "Contact Me" link. And if you're planning to
Japan's highest peak, I wish you my most heartfelt good luck!!
It's that magical time of year in Japan again... GOLDEN WEEK!! According to an ancient Chinese legend, a carp once swam upstream against the rapid current in the Yellow River to become a dragon. Becau…
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