Mount Fuji is one of the most iconic symbols of Japan, attracting visitors from all over the world. As the highest mountain in Japan, it offers breathtaking views and a unique cultural experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a first-time visitor, climbing Mount Fuji is an adventure that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
However, visiting Mount Fuji requires careful planning and preparation. There are many factors to consider, such as the best time to visit, the different routes available, and the necessary equipment to bring.
You should also decide if you would like to join a Mount fuji climbing tour or do it alone.
This comprehensive Mount Fuji Guide will provide you with everything you need to know about visiting Mount Fuji, from pre-trip essentials to post-trip recommendations.
With this guide, you’ll be able to plan your trip with confidence and make the most out of your visit to Mount Fuji. Whether you want to climb to the summit or simply admire the mountain’s stunning beauty, this guide has got you covered. So, let’s get started and discover everything you need to know about visiting Mount Fuji!
History of Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji, also known as Fujisan, is an iconic and sacred mountain located in Japan. It is the highest mountain in Japan, with an elevation of 3,776.24 meters or 12,389 feet. It is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707-1708, and it is considered one of the three sacred mountains in Japan, along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.
The history of Mount Fuji can be traced back to the Jomon period, which dates back to around 10,000 BCE. During this period, the mountain was worshipped as a sacred place, and it was believed to be the dwelling place of the gods. It was also believed that the mountain had the power to purify the soul.
During the Heian period, which lasted from 794 to 1185, Mount Fuji became a popular destination for pilgrims. It was during this period that the first climbing routes were established, and the first recorded ascent of the mountain was made by a monk named En no Gyōja in 663 CE.
During the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1868, Mount Fuji became a symbol of Japan and was depicted in many works of art, including ukiyo-e prints. It was during this period that the mountain became a popular destination for tourists, and many climbing trails were established.
Today, Mount Fuji is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts millions of visitors every year. It is a symbol of Japan and a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and poets.
Geography and Climate
Mount Fuji, also known as Fuji-san, is the highest mountain in Japan, standing at 3,776.24 meters (12,389 feet) tall. It is located on the Honshu Island, which is the largest island in Japan. The mountain is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and is situated between Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures.
The climate around Mount Fuji is characterized by cold winters and mild summers. The mountain has a subarctic climate, with temperatures ranging from -8°C (17.6°F) in January to 19°C (66.2°F) in August. The average annual precipitation around the mountain is approximately 2,500 mm (98.4 in), with the heaviest rainfall occurring in June and July.
The weather conditions around Mount Fuji can change rapidly and without warning, especially at higher elevations. It is important for visitors to check the weather forecast before attempting to climb the mountain and to be prepared for sudden changes in weather.
The mountain is a composite cone, which means it was formed by repeated volcanic activity. The last eruption of Mount Fuji occurred in 1707, and it is currently considered to be a dormant volcano. Despite this, the Japan Meteorological Agency still closely monitors the mountain for any signs of volcanic activity.
Best Time to Visit Mount Fuji
When planning a trip to Mount Fuji, it’s important to consider the best time to visit. While the mountain is open to visitors year-round, there are certain times of the year that offer better visibility and a more enjoyable experience.
The best times to visit Mount Fuji with a clear view are during spring (March-May), autumn (late October-November), and winter (December-January). During these seasons, the weather is generally clear and dry, making it easier to see the mountain and enjoy the surrounding scenery.
However, it’s important to note that these seasons can also be quite cold, especially at higher elevations. Visitors should dress appropriately and be prepared for chilly temperatures.
Summer (June-September) is also a popular time to visit Mount Fuji, as this is when the mountain is open for climbing. However, the weather can be unpredictable, with frequent rain and cloud cover that can obscure the view of the mountain. Additionally, the trails can be crowded during peak climbing season, which can detract from the experience.
The official climbing season for Mount Fuji runs from early July to mid-September. During this time, the trails are most crowded during the Obon holiday period in mid-August. Visitors who plan to climb during this time should book accommodations and transportation well in advance.
Overall, the best time to visit Mount Fuji depends on what you hope to experience. Visitors who want to see the mountain clearly and enjoy the surrounding scenery may prefer to visit during spring, autumn, or winter. Those who want to climb the mountain should plan their trip for the official climbing season in summer.
How to Get to Mount Fuji
If you’re planning a trip to Mount Fuji, you’re probably wondering how to get there. Fortunately, there are several convenient ways to reach the mountain.
By Train: One of the easiest ways to get to Mount Fuji is by taking the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Shin-Fuji Station or Mishima Station. From there, you can transfer to a local train or bus to reach the mountain. Alternatively, you can take the awesome Fuji Excursion Service from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo directly to the Fuji Five Lakes area at the base of the mountain.
By Bus: Another option is to take a bus from Tokyo or other major cities in Japan directly to Mount Fuji. Several bus companies offer this service, including Willer Express and Fujikyu Bus.
By Tour: Finally, if you prefer a more organized approach, you can book a mount fuji tour that includes transportation to and from Mount Fuji. Many tour companies offer this service, including Japanican and Viator.
Read More: Mount Fuji Tour: Best Options, Prices & How To Book
Regardless of how you choose to get to Mount Fuji, be sure to check the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly. The mountain is often shrouded in clouds, so it’s best to visit on a clear day to fully appreciate its beauty.
Hiking Trails and Routes
Mount Fuji has four main hiking trails that lead to the summit, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges. The trails are named according to their starting points: Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya.
The Yoshida Trail is the most popular and well-developed trail, with a wide range of facilities and services available. It is also the oldest and most traditional route, with many historic shrines and temples along the way. The Subashiri Trail is a bit steeper and more challenging, but it offers some stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The Gotemba Trail is the longest and most gradual route, with a gentle incline that makes it a good choice for beginners. The Fujinomiya Trail is the shortest and steepest route, with some steep and rocky sections that require careful navigation.
It is important to note that hiking Mount Fuji requires a certain level of physical fitness and preparation. The altitude and steep inclines can be challenging, especially for those who are not used to hiking at high altitudes. It is recommended to start training and preparing several weeks in advance, and to bring appropriate gear and supplies.
Here are some key details about each of the four main hiking trails:
|Trail Name||Starting Point||Distance||Elevation Gain||Estimated Time|
|Yoshida Trail||Kawaguchiko 5th Station||14.3 km||1,450 m||5-7 hours (ascent)|
|Subashiri Trail||Subashiri 5th Station||11.4 km||1,375 m||5-7 hours (ascent)|
|Gotemba Trail||Gotemba 5th Station||18.0 km||1,445 m||7-10 hours (ascent)|
|Fujinomiya Trail||Fujinomiya 5th Station||9.6 km||1,300 m||4-6 hours (ascent)|
It is also important to note that the hiking season for Mount Fuji is limited to the months of July and August, when the weather is most favorable and the trails are open to climbers. Outside of this period, the mountain is closed to hikers due to safety concerns.
When planning a hike up Mount Fuji, it is recommended to check the weather forecast and trail conditions in advance, and to make sure to bring appropriate gear and supplies, such as warm clothing, sturdy hiking boots, a headlamp, food and water, and a first aid kit.
Climbing Mount Fuji: Tips and Preparation
Climbing Mount Fuji is a challenging and rewarding experience. Here are some tips and preparations to help make your climb a success:
It’s important to be physically prepared for the climb. Start exercising regularly at least a month before the climb. Cardio exercises such as running, cycling, or swimming can help improve your stamina. Additionally, try to do some hiking or walking on inclines to simulate the climb.
Make sure you have all the necessary gear before starting the climb. Here’s a list of things you should consider bringing:
- Warm clothing, including a jacket, gloves, and a hat
- Hiking boots or sturdy shoes with good traction
- Backpack to carry your supplies and gear
- Headlamp or flashlight for the night climb
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Snacks and water
- First aid kit
Choosing a Trail
There are four main trails to the summit of Mount Fuji: Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya. The Yoshida trail is the most popular and the easiest, while the Subashiri and Gotemba trails are more challenging. The Fujinomiya trail is the shortest but also the steepest. Consider your physical abilities and experience when choosing a trail.
The weather conditions on Mount Fuji can be unpredictable. Check the weather forecast before starting the climb and be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. It’s also important to note that the climbing season is from July to September, and the mountain is closed during the rest of the year due to dangerous weather conditions.
It’s important to acclimate to the altitude before starting the climb, stay hydrated, and take breaks as needed. Additionally, make sure to follow the rules and regulations set by the authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable climb.
Things to Do Around Mount Fuji
But you don’t have to climb the majestic mountain to enjoy it. If fact a wise old man once exclaimed to me, “Fuji is for looking, not climbing”.
So Mount Fuji is not just a mountain to climb, it is also an area with plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do around Mount Fuji:
- Hiking and Climbing: Mount Fuji is a popular hiking and climbing destination, attracting thousands of visitors each year. The climbing season runs from July to September, and there are several trails to choose from. The most popular trail is the Yoshida Trail, which starts at the 5th Station and takes about 5-7 hours to reach the summit. Other trails include the Subashiri Trail, the Gotemba Trail, and the Fujinomiya Trail.
- Visit the Fuji Five Lakes: The Fuji Five Lakes are a group of five lakes located at the northern base of Mount Fuji. They offer stunning views of the mountain and are a popular spot for camping, fishing, and water sports. The lakes are also surrounded by hot springs, museums, and parks.
- Explore the Aokigahara Forest: The Aokigahara Forest, also known as the Sea of Trees, is a dense forest located at the northwest base of Mount Fuji. It is known for its unique natural beauty and is a popular spot for hiking, camping, and exploring. However, it is also known for its dark history and is sometimes referred to as the Suicide Forest.
- Visit the Chureito Pagoda: The Chureito Pagoda is a five-story pagoda located in the town of Fujiyoshida. It offers stunning views of Mount Fuji and is especially beautiful during cherry blossom season in April.
- Take a Cruise on Lake Ashi: Lake Ashi is a crater lake located in Hakone, about an hour and a half from Mount Fuji. It is a popular spot for sightseeing and offers stunning views of the mountain. Visitors can take a cruise on the lake and enjoy the scenery.
These are just a few of the many things to do around Mount Fuji. Visitors can also enjoy skiing, snowboarding, hot springs, museums, and more. Whatever your interests, there is something for everyone in the Mount Fuji area.
Accommodations Near Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji is a popular tourist destination, and there are many accommodation options available for visitors. Whether you are looking for a luxurious stay or a budget-friendly option, you can find something that suits your needs.
Here are some of the best accommodations near Mount Fuji:
- Fuji Marriott Hotel Lake Yamanaka: This hotel is located near Lake Yamanaka, one of the five lakes surrounding Mount Fuji. It offers stunning views of the mountain and has a range of amenities, including a spa, hot springs, and a restaurant.
- Hakone Prince Hotel Lakeside Annex: This hotel is located on the shores of Lake Ashi, which is about an hour’s drive from Mount Fuji. It offers comfortable rooms with lake views and has a range of facilities, including a restaurant, a bar, and a hot spring bath.
- Fuji View Hotel: This hotel is located in the Fuji Five Lakes area and offers stunning views of Mount Fuji. It has a range of facilities, including a spa, hot springs, and a restaurant.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, there are also many hostels and guesthouses in the area. Here are a few options:
- Ryokan Yamanakako: This traditional Japanese inn is located near Lake Yamanaka and offers affordable rooms with futon bedding. It has a shared bath and a restaurant serving Japanese cuisine.
- K’s House Mount Fuji: This hostel is located in the town of Fujikawaguchiko and offers dormitory-style accommodation. It has a shared kitchen and lounge area and offers bicycle rental.
It is important to book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak season from July to August. Many hotels and guesthouses offer package deals that include transportation to and from Mount Fuji, so be sure to check for those options as well.
Overall, there are many accommodation options available near Mount Fuji, ranging from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels. With a little research, you can find something that suits your needs and budget.
Food and Dining Options Near Mount Fuji
If you’re planning a visit to Mount Fuji, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of delicious food options to fuel your adventures. Luckily, there are plenty of dining options available in the area, ranging from local specialties to international cuisine.
One popular option is to try some of the local specialties, such as houtou, a hearty noodle dish made with pumpkin and miso soup. Another local favorite is Fujinomiya yakisoba, a stir-fried noodle dish with a savory sauce.
If you’re looking for something a bit more international, there are also plenty of options available. For example, the town of Gotemba, located near the base of Mount Fuji, has a number of Western-style restaurants, including Italian and French cuisine.
In addition to restaurants, there are also plenty of food stalls and markets in the area where you can sample local specialties and pick up snacks for your adventures. For example, the Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine has a popular food market where you can try a variety of local treats.
It’s also worth noting that many of the hotels and ryokans in the area offer meals as part of their accommodations. This can be a great option if you’re looking for a convenient and delicious way to fuel up for your adventures.
Overall, whether you’re looking for local specialties or international cuisine, there are plenty of food and dining options available near Mount Fuji. Be sure to try some of the local favorites and sample the delicious treats available in the area.
Safety Tips and Guidelines
Mount Fuji is a beautiful and iconic mountain, but it can also be dangerous. It is important to take safety precautions and follow guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable climb. Below are some safety tips and guidelines to consider:
Climbing Mount Fuji requires physical exertion, so it is important to prepare your body beforehand. It is recommended to engage in regular exercise and cardio, such as hiking or running, to build up your endurance. Additionally, it is important to stay hydrated and get enough rest before the climb.
Weather conditions on Mount Fuji can be unpredictable and extreme. It is important to check the weather forecast beforehand and be prepared for any changes in weather. It is recommended to bring warm clothing, rain gear, and extra layers. Additionally, it is important to be aware of signs of altitude sickness, such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness, and to descend immediately if symptoms occur.
The trails on Mount Fuji can be steep and rocky, so it is important to wear appropriate footwear with good grip. Additionally, it is important to stay on designated trails and not stray off the path. It is also recommended to bring a headlamp or flashlight for the descent, as it can be dark and difficult to see.
Mount Fuji is a sacred site in Japan, and it is important to respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles. This includes packing out all trash and waste, staying on designated trails, and not disturbing wildlife or vegetation. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any restrictions or regulations in place, such as camping restrictions or fire bans.
Following these safety tips and guidelines can help ensure a safe and enjoyable climb up Mount Fuji. However, it is important to always use your best judgment and make decisions based on your own physical abilities and comfort level.