I'm no fool!
by Joe F.
Mt. Fuji at sunset
(photo courtesy Hiro Klipsch)
I climbed Mt. Fuji because I didn't want to violate the age-old Japanese proverb & become a fool for not climbing Mt. Fuji. :-) There were 2 things I think that impressed me the most about climbing Mt. Fuji.
The first was how crowded it was. There were sections of trail where it necked down or where it suddenly got a little steeper, requiring a little scrambling, and there were actual traffic jams. You couldn't do anything but just wait 5-10 minutes for your turn to pass. I was beginning to think..."Am I shopping in Ginza?" :-)
The other thing was how well dressed all the Japanese climbers were, outfitted with the latest outdoor wear. VERY colorful parkas, packs, gators, rain wear, etc. I was thinking..."Are all these people models for L.L. Bean or something?" :-)
Sunrise at the summit was almost surreal. It was kind of like worshipping in church. Everyone stared intently at the sun, snapping away with their cameras, but in almost complete silence. Very moving experience. Thru the years, having since climbed many other Japanese peaks, I've learned that this is apparently a Japanese thing, a very reverent worship of the sunrise.
Overall, it was an awesome trip, but once is enough. I won't be back....there are too many other Japanese peaks to climb. Plus, as the old Japanese proverb says, this way I won't need to worry about becoming an even BIGGER fool! :-)