The best advice you can take from this entire article you are about to read is to do your research before attempting to hike to the top of Mount Fuji. Don’t just read this one blog. Read multiple. 10, 20, 50, 100… The more you read, the more you will understand what you are about to participate in. You need to be prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally.

The weather conditions on top of Mount Fuji are extreme and can change in a quick second. It is by no means easy, but it is super freaking rewarding to make it to the top. As they say in Japan, “You are wise to climb Mt. Fuji, but a fool to do it twice.” This couldn’t be more true!

Go read other people’s blogs of their personal experiences. 90% will tell you it is a must to hike Mount Fuji at least once in your life. The other 10% will tell you it was the hardest thing they have done in their life and gave up. The only way you will know if you can do it is if you prepare, fly to Japan, hop on a train or bus to Mt. Fuji, and start your 8-26 hour hike to the summit.

The climbing season is July 1st– September 14th.

It is not advised that you “bullet climb” which means climb up and down the mountain in one day. The proper way is to hike up midmorning, stay in a mountain hut overnight, and hike to the summit around 4 am to watch the sunrise. It is the most spectacular and rewarding sunrises that one can lay eyes on.

 

There are several mountain huts you can stay in located at different elevations along the trail. They are cramped, loud, and usually have a lot of people staying in them, but it is nice to have a place to rest for a couple of hours. They also provide hot meals and a small cot to rest on. You need to make sure to reserve a mountain hut ahead of your hike up as they can fill up fast in the busy season and don’t take walk ins. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the freezing cold with no place to escape the weather on top of a mountain. So, my best advice is to book a hut overnight. They cost roughly $80 USD per person.

We found it very difficult to book the huts online as all the sites are Japanese. There are companies online that charge $10 to book the hut reservations for you to take that stress away. Or you can try calling the huts directly and see if someone can understand to take your reservation. This was how we scored our night in the highest hut on Mount Fuji called Goraikokan. After we Paypaled them they sent us a confirmation by email.

The most important part before even think about hiking this 12,388 ft (3,776 M) mountain is the climbing gear you will need. Now, most travelers don’t carry around mountain climbing equipment and gear. That is okay as there are several hiking gear rental stores in the Tokyo and Mount Fuji area. You do need to book your gear in advance. For roughly $110 USD per person, you can get the basic hikers kit that will come with everything you need for the hike. This includes rain gear, backpack, hiking shoes, socks, trekking poles, head lamp, short gaiters, and a fleece jacket (https://www.yamarent.com/en/). We also recommend having a good pair of rainproof gloves as you never know what the weather can be like.

If you have an address in Japan they can ship you your hiking gear before you start your trek. Unfortunetly they won’t ship to hotels or Airbnb’s so you will have to go into one of the shops. You can try on and pick up your gear in person at one of the several shop locations the day before or the day of your hike. If you pick up your gear the day of the hike it is advised to go in the early morning, and to try to be at the 5th station (start of the hike) by no later than lunch time. You want to make it to your hut before it gets to dark.

 Now that you have done your research, booked your hut, and ordered your hiking gear, I’d say you are almost ready to hike Mount Fuji!

Some other tips that we can suggest are:

  • Bring coins for the toilets along the way. They aren’t glamorous and sometimes not the cleanest but when you are hiking a mountain you need to be thankful for them.
  • Bring hand sanitizer. It is dusty 95% of the way so this helps get the dirt off.
  • Bring a face mask. This comes in handy coming down the mountain as you are almost surfing the black volcanic rocks on the way down. There is a lot of dust in the air so this helps to keep the dust out of your mouth and nose.
  • Make sure to bring enough water!!! It is very expensive to buy snacks and water at the huts on the way up. 
  • Send a post card from the top of Mount Fuji.
  • Buy a walking stick and get it stamped at the different huts along the way. Each hut has a unique stamp. It does cost roughly $2-$5 per stamp so it can get pricey! However, it is a great souvenir and reminder of how you conquered Mount Fuji!
  • You start the hike at the “5th Station”. There are several restaurants and souvenir shops to have a look around at. We found the restaurants to be reasonable and had good food. Fill up here on everything you have forgotten, but be aware the prices are inflated! 
  • Put your clothes in zip-lock bags! Even though your backpack is suppose to be waterproof, if it downpours, everything inside will get wet. Trust me. Having your clothes in a zip lock bag will make sure your clothes stay dry. You will want to have one change of clothes with you just incase you get wet and dirty on the way up.
  • The last bit of advise is enjoy the view and the adventure!

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