Climb Mount Fuji, the Tallest Mountain in Japan

in Japan

mountfujiIn the mountainous nation of Japan one summit stands tall above the rest. At an imposing 3776 meters tall, Mount Fuji isn’t just Japan’s highest peak. The dormant volcano is also a site of great cultural and spiritual significance. It is located in Fuji-Hakona-Izu National Park, 80 kilometers west of Tokyo.

You can see Mount Fuji from Tokyo and Yokohama on a clear day, but you’ll be lucky to strike one.

Japan often experiences low clouds and high levels of air pollution, which can obscure the view. Visibility is best during cold weather, especially early in the morning or late in the evening.

While it can be admired from afar, Mount Fuji’s power is best experienced up close. Unlike many spiritual sites, such as Australia’s Uluru, tourists are encouraged to climb the mountain using one of four trails. However, Japanese tradition suggests the feat should not be repeated. A local proverb reads “He who climbs Mount Fuji once is a wise man. He who climbs it twice is a fool.”

The summit can be scaled all year round, but the official climbing season is in July and August. That’s when the journey is easiest as the mountain is completely free from snow, the weather is mild, and the huts are open. Food and drinks are available from these huts on the side of the mount, but beware. You’ll pay more for refreshments the higher you climb, so it’s advantageous to stock up early.

As the summit is so tall, only the most committed hikers make the journey from the bottom to the top. Amateurs tend to start their journey at the fifth station, which is accessible by car. It should take between four and five hours to reach the apex from the fifth station, compared to six or eight hours if you start from the base.

While travelers can explore Mount Fuji at their own pace, a guided tour is a great way to learn about the summit’s history and cultural significance. JGA Walking Tours and Japanican both run regular tours of Mount Fuji.

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