AsiaJapanFuji

... and I'm still picking rocks out of my hair.

Fuji Travel Blog

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Sengen Shrine

I've heard a fool doesn't climb Mt Fuji, but only a fool climbs it twice! I understand now!

The adventure started Sunday morning, I had to be at the Rec Center on base at 0430... :( I hate mornings, but I least they drive you there and bakc and you can sleep on the bus. Just as we get on the highway, I take my camera out to take a picture of something out the window and there's NO MEMORY CHIP!!! I had just cleared my memory chip the night before so I could take video, lts of pictures... but I left it in my computer. Luckily, I had the free one that come with the camera tucked away in my bag and I at least have a couple of pictures.

Now, to put this into some persepective, I've lived in Florida nearly my whole life, didn't see real mountains until I was about 22, half of my left lung is dead and I've had asthma for forever (to save all the physiological explanations, lets just say, my lungs are crap).

eigth station
We were starting the hike at the 5th station, which at 2500 meters is the highest altitude I've ever been (outside of a plane of course). The hike itself was nothing to write home about. It's actually rather long and boring, a few rocky places you have to scramble up a little, but nothing crazy. The increasing altitude made it absolutely miserable. It took me a ridiculous 7 hours to make it to the 8th station Fuji-san "hotel" where we were staying that night. The mountain hut experience was kinda cool. I didn't pack PJ's or anything like that, I had a snack and went right to bed at 5pm. The guy next to me turned out to be a snuggler, but I didn't mind considering it was below freezing once the sun went down! I woke up for a little bit once and it was interesting to hear everyone mumble things here and there like:

"Where is your toothbrush"

"GET OUT OF MY F***ING RACK!" (this guy was like 2 down from me and woke everyone up, I think he was another sleeptalker)

"Oh.

From the 8th Station
... I'm in so much pain.... ooooh....."

"What time is it?"

"Be quiet!"

"I think she's sleeptalking"

"Man, it smells like a dirty gym locker in here..."

And wake-up call was super early at 0200. It was a suprisingly clear and you could see Fujiyoshida down below. I got super lucky on this hike and the weather was incredible. Anyways, 2 hours of huffing and puffing later, I managed to finally make it to the summit! I lost the hat on borrowed from my husband in the process... The last 100 meters were the most brutal, I was seriously feeling major crappy, but I had come that far, no 100 meters were going to stop me! And if I didn't make it to the summit, I would have to go down the same rocky path against the movement of people.

at the summit!
No way! I went to climb Mt Fuji and I was going to do it! (Uh, even if it took an exorbitant 9 hours total...) So I manage to catch the sunrise, enjoy a hot cocoa, get my big stick stamped, then start heading back down. I would have stuck around, but it was freezing cold and windy and I was feeling super tired.

Going down was surprisingly easy, only took 3 hours. I took the Subaru line, slipping and sliding and falling on my butt the whole way down. If going up was boring, going down was absolutely MONOTONOUS. It felt a lot longer than 3 hours because it was the same zigging and zagging of gravely trail, with only you only entertainment being your fellow hikers falling on their butts just like you. The wind kept pelting dow stones and sand and occasionally down a row of hikers.

Sunrise from the summit
I've washed my hair three times and I'm still digging up pebbles.

Back at the fifth station, I change into dust and gravel-free clothes, buy some postcards and a hat to replace the one I lost. On the bus, while we're waiting for the last of the hikers to come back, some guy mentions how good a cheeseburger would be (at this point it's only 9am), and there's the collective sigh of *cheeseburger*. Didn't occur to me until he mentioned it and lucky for us, there was a McDonalds at the rest stop on the way back. I don't normally do the McDonalds, but... *cheeseburger*... lol, I think nearly everyone on the bus got burgers and fries (if he hadn't have mentioned it I probably would have eaten ramen or something!).

So in some ways, Mt Fuji wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it was definitely a challenge! Would I do it again??? Maybe with a friend that hasn't gone, but maybe not just because by myself.

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Sengen Shrine
Sengen Shrine
eigth station
eigth station
From the 8th Station
From the 8th Station
at the summit!
at the summit!
Sunrise from the summit
Sunrise from the summit
Sengen Shrine
Sengen Shrine
Large torii at Sengen Shrine
Large torii at Sengen Shrine
Sengen Shrine
Sengen Shrine
Sacred Tree at Sengen Shrine
Sacred Tree at Sengen Shrine
Cool water fountain at Sengen Shri…
Cool water fountain at Sengen Shr…
When I asked a Japanese man who th…
When I asked a Japanese man who t…
view of one of the 5 lakes from ne…
view of one of the 5 lakes from n…
Subaru line descding route
Subaru line descding route
Starting the upward climb...
Starting the upward climb...
Yoshida ascending route
Yoshida ascending route
7th Station, 2700 meters
7th Station, 2700 meters
almost at the... 7th station???
almost at the... 7th station???
almost at Fuji-san Hotel. I was wi…
almost at Fuji-san Hotel. I was w…
One of the trip organizers, Tetsuya
One of the trip organizers, Tetsuya
watching the sunrise
watching the sunrise
Fuji-san summit
Fuji-san summit
super windy and getting cloudy qui…
super windy and getting cloudy qu…
the descding route. the white stuf…
the descding route. the white stu…
snow on the left, snow on the righ…
snow on the left, snow on the rig…
the way down...
the way down...
Mt Fuji from highway
Mt Fuji from highway
Sunrise from the 8th Station taken…
Sunrise from the 8th Station take…
Fuji
photo by: jennjeff1