Climbing Mt Fuji

Kawaguchiko Travel Blog

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Mt Fuji, Sakura Blossoms, and the Shinkansen super speed train. The spliting image of new and old in Japan.

I had an extra 3-4 days i had not planned to have ... thinking my trip was only going to be for 4 weeks...so on a whim i decided to climb Mt Fuji.  I hopped onto a bus from Shinjuku in the morning and a few hours latter, i realized that i had only brought Teva sandals as i hit the forest trail leading from the 5th station of Fuji.  The first station starts at the very base of the mountain, at the Sengen Shrine, although most people, as i did, start from the 5th station, which looks a lot like a small sky village.  5th station is where most tourists come when visiting Fujisan for the day, with no intentions of climbing.

Switch backs leading to doom ... hahahahaha.

No journal entry for today, as i was too busy having a heart attack every 5 minutes.  The entire assent is switch backs from the 5th station onward.  I ended up walking up a "switch," having a heart attack, then walking up the "back," having a heart attack.  Rinse, repeat.

Luckily i ran into a group of 8 people, 5 of whom were also from the Bay Area (the world gets VERY small as you venture outward), and they incorporated me into their ranks.  My position in the group was the anchor hahaha.  Hand in hand, arm in arm, and 12770 feet later ... we hit the top.

The entire face of Mt Fuji is lined by small huts offering tea, rest, and other amenities for climbers as they go up.  Today, on July 3rd, we stayed at a rest hut along the 9.5th station area.

Vicki of Australia @ the official trail head of the Mt Fuji climb from the 5th Station.
  The starting point for most people is the 5th station (i took a bus from Shinjuku in the morning).  The ride took a few hours.  I started at about 2:30pm, and hit the hut for the night at about 10:00pm.  After a modest dinner of curry rice and a few sips from a bottle of wine one of the members had brought with him, we laid down for the night for a short rest...getting back up at 1:00am to continue the climb.  The entire goal of doing the Mt Fuji climb, is to see the sunrise at 4:00am-4:30am over the summit.

It is said that it is the duty of every Japanese person to see the sun rise over the summit of Mt Fuji once before they die.  As is all things in life, most people wait until the last minute.  The entire route is littered with people of all ages, young and old, fulfilling their duty to "emperor and country."  The elderly are not to be underestimated.  On my way down, i ran into a 67 year old woman, who was on her way up.  By the time i hit the halfway mark coming down, she came down and lapped me.  I went 100 feet at a time, resting for a few minutes each time, but the older crowd would trudge up at a slow and steady pace, passing me up every time i rested...their determination and patience are pretty scary.

jennjeff1 says:
Wow! Nothing like getting "lapped" by a 67-yearold woman on Mount Fuji!
Posted on: May 31, 2008
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Mt Fuji, Sakura Blossoms, and the …
Mt Fuji, Sakura Blossoms, and the…
Switch backs leading to doom ... h…
Switch backs leading to doom ... …
Vicki of Australia @ the official …
Vicki of Australia @ the official…
The bottom 3rd section from the 5t…
The bottom 3rd section from the 5…
The 3rd section opens up to loose …
The 3rd section opens up to loose…
The 2nd section of the climb turns…
The 2nd section of the climb turn…
The transition between the 2nd sec…
The transition between the 2nd se…
The top section is well above the …
The top section is well above the…
The top section becomes solid rock…
The top section becomes solid roc…
Sunset above cloud city.  The wo…
Sunset above "cloud city." The w…
Kawaguchiko
photo by: Biglush_23