As we arrange many Mt. Fuji climbs every year and we receive countless questions about the Mt. Fuji climbing routes: For example: Which Mt. Fuji climbing route is the easiest? Which Mt. Fuji climbing route has the best views? Which route is the most challenging? Safest? etc. and so on and so on.
So, in this blog post I would like to review the specifics climbing routes as well as give my personal opinion of each route from my point of view “a Mt. Fuji Guide with 11 years’ Mt. Fuji climbing experience, over 350 Mt. Fuji climbs and multiple climbs of each Mt. Fuji climbing route.
First of all, as many already know Mt. Fuji has four different climbing routes, each starts from a different 5th station at a different elevation and each has its own pros and cons. (See Route Mt. Fuji Map Below)
Yoshida Route (3,720m)
Subashiri Route (3,720m)
Fujinomiya Route (3,715m)
Gotemba Route (3,715m)
Ok now for "My Two Cents" as a Mt. Fuji Guide:
The Fujinomiya Ascending Route:
For me personally I enjoy the Fujinomiya Ascending route the best, as this trail skips all those zigzagging loose gravel lallygagging trails and gets strait to the bones of the climb, from the 6th station upwards it is almost a direct route to the summit. Some may find this challenging but the fact is all the ascending climbs on Mt. Fuji are hard, however this route just gets to the hard part faster, and has less loose gravel trails and more steady rock portions that can be found on each trail. Also, the people that come to the Fujinomiya trail unlike other trails come entire to climb Mt. Fuji so there is a pleasant mountaineering vibe and the local guides/Mountain hut staff Fujinomiya still have that local friendly camaraderie.
The Gotemba Descending Route:
The Gotemba Descent/Sand Run is by far the easiest descending route on Mt. Fuji – the soft sandy trails make the decent enjoyable after a long hike up, and many that still have energy actually run down this trail, (at your own risk) however as there are few mountain huts on this trail rest-room breaks are few are far between, also due to the wide-open position on that side of the mountain the Gotemba trail gets some strong wind conditions especially near the Hoei Crater.
The Yoshida Route:
I absolutely avoid the Yoshida route like the plague, not because of the route itself, but because of how over-crowded it has become, due to the easy access and large 5th station the Yoshida route gets the bulk of the tourist and climbers. Around 70~80% of the people who climb Mt. Fuji use this route, as well each day in the summer time up to 200 tourist buses stop at the 5th station along their Hakone/Mt. Fuji Day Tour route making the Yoshida 5th Station another Shibuya Crossing. Also, and I do not want to sound too harsh here but due to the large number of tourists SOME of the Yoshida workforce = Staff/Guides seem to lost some of their local Mt. Fuji friendless that made Mt. Fuji famous in the first place.
Trail Views & Sunrise:
Each trail offers a different view and distinctive view of the sunrise: So, this is hard to comment on as I enjoy all and really a lot depends on the weather on the day of your climb: You can see next to the route name I but the put the route summit elevation, in fact many people who climb Mt. Fuji reach the trail summit and think they have reached the summit of Mt. Fuji when in fact they have not. Mt. Fuji summit as you can see on the map is Kengamine Peak at 3776m about another 50m higher than the trail summits. So, to reach the summit you need to walk also the crater and climb to the highest point Kengamine Peak at 3776m. From here the highest point is one of my favorite Sunrise points as this overlooks the summit crater to view the sunrise.
The Craters – The Hoei Crater and the Summit Crater
Both these craters show the scars of Mt. Fuji and display a spectacular sight on a clear day,
The summit crater can be accessed by all the trails however the Hoei Trail can only be accessed
from the Gotemba/Fujinomiya routes and you can hike right into the Hoei crater from here.
#mtfujiclimb #mtfujiclimbtips #mtfuji #mytokyoguide
Getting to Mt. Fuji:
Numerous first timers to Japan often make the same mistake, assuming Mt. Fuji is easily accessible,
when in fact most do not understand the vast area Mt. Fuji actually covers and often fail to plan accordingly.
The Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park is 1,227 square kilometers, larger than both the area of Singapore and Hong Kong.
There are four distinctive climbing routes on Mt. Fuji and several different ways to access these Mt. Fuji climbing routes.
For the purpose of climbing Mt. Fuji, there are three Key Access Points:
1.North Mt. Fuji – Kawaguchi Lake Station Access Point:
- You get can to here by Bus or Local JR Train
- From Kawaguchi Lake Station, there are regular buses to the Yoshida Trail 5th Station
2. East Mt. Fuji - Gotemba Station Access Point:
- You can get here by Romance car or local JR train or Bus.
- From Gotemba Station there are climbing buses to the Gotemba and Fujinomiya 5th stations
3. South Mt. Fuji – Shin-Fuji Station Access Point
- This is the only area on Mt. Fuji you can access by Bullet Train
- You can get there by Bullet Train from Kyoto, Tokyo, Yokohama and Hakone (Odawara)
- From Shin-Fuji Station there are climbing buses to the Fujinomiya 5th station (Summer Only)
Using the South Access Point: There are Bullet Train Climbs available during the summer climb season.
Mt. Fuji Bullet Train Climbs
Climbing Mt. Fuji is hard enough without having to wait in traffic, the journey to or from Mt. Fuji from Tokyo can take up to 3hrs in peak summer traffic. On the other hand, the super-fast bullet train only takes 50 mins and there is never any traffic. Relax in the perfectly spotless, comfortable bullet train after your Mt. Fuji climb. Your special transport will meet you at the Mt. Fuji bullet train station and take you direct to Mt. Fuji 5th station, after your climb adventure your transport will return you to the Mt. Fuji bullet train station so you can continue your journey of exploring Japan.
* Mt. Fuji climbs are available from May to Oct)
* For more information on Mt. Fuji Climbs please Contact Us:
Conquering Mt. Fuji is at the top of many people’s bucket lists and with the climbing season only 5 months away, it is not too early to begin planning for your 2019 Mt. Fuji climb. Planning ahead will help you make the right choices and there are several key points to consider when planning your Mt. Fuji climb:
A good start when planning your climb to tackling Japan’s most iconic mountain is purchasing the latest edition of the Climbing Mt. Fuji Guidebook.
This guidebook is a comprehensive and easy to read recipe for what it takes physically and psychologically to get to the summit of this amazing but unpredictable mountain. The author covers all facets of preparation, equipment, training and most importantly, altitude. Available on Amazon.com