Do you recommend climbing Mt. Fuji in late August or mid-July?
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Do you recommend climbing Mt. Fuji in late August or mid-July?

by Rick
(California, USA)

I've been following your website re: climbing Mt. Fuji for a year or so. Very helpful! Had planned to be in Japan and climb on 25 August as I see you did. It was to be the 50th anniversary year of my first climb, during the Boy Scout World Jamboree 1971. I was bringing my 10 year old grandson as well.

Obviously plans changed due to Covid and no entry from the U.S. Your photos didn't show much traffic on the mountain. Is this due to covid and no international tourists, or schools back own session?

We are now planning to do the trip next August, climb about the same dates. We are planning a little over 2 weeks in Japan. Do you recommend this late August timeframe, or mid July? Obviously have concerns about weather and crowds.

Thank you!

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Sep 05, 2021
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I prefer late August...
by: Gary Wolff

Howdy, Rick. Nice to hear from you and thanks for the kind words.

Well, it seems you and I have some things in common. My former scoutmaster in Houston, Paul Caillet, was one of your fellow U.S. delegates at the '71 Boy Scout World Jamboree in Japan and I myself attended the '67 Boy Scout World Jamboree in Idaho.

As for Fujisan, in case you missed the forecasted Mt. Fuji congestion chart for this year, there’s probably not a big difference between average weekday traffic in mid-July versus late August. This more detailed, color-coded chart from 2019 (the last regular season), pretty much confirms that (black days are weekdays & the yellow bars are the Yoshida Trail): http://www.env.go.jp/park/fujihakone/fujihakone_hibetsu_R1.pdf

And I wouldn't consider the number of school children on the trail a factor because they generally don’t start back until the beginning of September (and they usually break for the summer around the Marine Day holiday, 3rd Monday in July).

I think you can avoid the crowds if you (1) climb on a weekday, (2) during the daytime, and (3) avoid national holidays (like the 3-day Marine Day weekend, which normally includes the 3rd Monday in July, although like other some other national holidays, shifted this year because of the Olympics) and the 3 or 4-day Obon holidays in mid-August.

As for me, I prefer late August because if there are any problems or glitches that need to be ironed out early on, usually by the end of the season those things have been resolved. Nine years ago I climbed the Fujinomiya Trail on August 21-22.

One hazard, though, is that there’s probably a greater risk of typhoons in late August than there would be in mid-July.

Yes, climbing Fujisan last week without crowds was a real pleasure, although I did have to endure a bit of altitude sickness. The exact timing of my climb was a bit tricky, though, because of the uncharacteristic rain fronts that have appeared over the past month. I actually initially planned on climbing up Mon. August 23, but because of the rain I delayed my trip by a day. I would recommend you do the same if you have the flexibility in your 2-week vacation schedule to shift dates at the last minute.

Thanks for visiting my site and best wishes to you and your grandson next year. It’ll be a great homecoming for you, I’m sure…

Cheers,
Gary


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