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Climbing Mt Fuji

by BJ Varghese on 1/5/2005 | Comments | Viewed 4653 time(s) | Full Page View

General information

The official climbing season on Mt. Fuji is July 1 to Aug 27. Climbers on the north side of the mountain use the Yoshidaguchi trail, which runs all the way from Fujiyoshida City to the summit. Points along the climbing trail are called "stations," where lodgings and emergency services are located. The Fuji Subaru Line toll road joins the trail at the fifth station, halfway up the mountain. Including a few breaks, it usually takes five hours to climb from the base to the fifth station, six hours from the fifth station to the summit, and another four hours to descend to the fifth station on the Yoshidaguchi trail. Be sure you are in proper shape for the fairly strenuous climbing required for Mt Fuji: There were two deaths on the Yoshidaguchi trail last summer.

Safety tips

The Climbing Safety Guidance Center is located at the sixth Station. The first aid station is located at the seventh station. Beware of lightning on the mountain, which may strike without warning. One tip is to attach a small radio to your backpack and leave it on. Sudden static is a warning to run for cover. Beware of falling rocks, and never wander from the trail. It is not recommended that you climb the mountain in the off-season, due to bad weather, lack of emergency support, and limited bus service. Weather on Mt Fuji is very unstable. The summit is 20 C colder than the base; the average temperature on the summit in Aug is 4.5 C, or around 40 F. If planning to climb during the off-season, you are required to contact the Fujiyoshida police station and arrange for them to inspect your climbing equipment. They can be reached at 0555-22-0110.

Important supplies

Bring toilet paper (instead of tissue paper, which will not dissolve in water), layered clothing (tee shirt, sweater, heavy jacket), a light pocket raincoat, sturdy shoes, warm cotton gloves, a flashlight and extra batteries. Also, carry at least one liter of water, a light meal and some cash for souvenirs and food (which are expensive on the mountain).

Road Access

From Tokyo, the Chuo Highway Express bus, which leaves from Shinjuku station' west exit, is the most convenient. Transfer at Kawaguchiko station to a Fujikyu bus bound for Mt Fuji's fifth station. If you plan to climb from the base to the summit, take the Chuo bus to Fujiyoshida station. The Fujiyoshida Tourist Information Service is located there. By car, take the Chuo Expressway to the Kawaguchiko I.C. The Fuji Subaru line toll road runs from Kawaguchiko to the fifth station and costs JY2260 round trip