Mt Fuji is not only the highest mountain (3.776 meters), Japan’s most climbed and depicted one, but it is also the pure representation of good luck and good fortune for all Japanese citizens. This is a curious fact, considering the mountain is actually a giant volcano (with low risk of eruption).
Nevertheless, what is even more fascinating is that it is not a single volcano. It is part of three volcanoes, one on top of the other. The bottom one is Komitake volcano, the second layer is Kofuji, while Fuji is the youngest of all three. Although officially classified as active, it has very low eruption risk, since it was last active in 1708.
Interesting fact: Did you know that Mount Fuji is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, located less than 100 kilometers away from Japan’s capital?
Climbing Mount Fuji
All travelers eager to climb the top of Mount Fuji must bear in mind that the climbing season lasts from July until September. During summer all hiking trails are open.
In any other period, trails and mountain huts will be closed, so it can be very dangerous for anyone to attempt climbing on their own.
To climb Mount Fuji, there are four Fuji trails, which will take you to the mountaintop:
Yoshida trail – 2,300m (altitude of head trail)
Subashiri trail – 2,000m
Gotemba trail – 1,450m
Fujinomiya trail – 2,400m
All trails can be accessed via a mountain bus, taking passengers from one of the five 5th stations (although all are named 5th station, these are different stations), with the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, at Yoshida trail, being the most popular one.
Summer is also the time when Mount Fuji can be clearly seen from a Shinkansen train leaving Tokyo towards Nagoya – Osaka – Kyoto. The window view is impressive – make sure to reserve your D or E seat (C or D in Green Cars), which is the right side from Tokyo, left side from Kyoto.
Apart from the Yoshida trail, the Gotemba trail is one of the most popular routes among visitors, here is how to get to it (travel time by train should be a little over 2 hours from Tokyo):
Take JR Tokaido line for Kozu from Tokyo Station, using your JR Pass
Once at Kozu (Kanagawa), take the JR Gotemba Line for Numazu
Get off at Gotemba Station | final destination
Once at Gotemba station, take a bus to Subashiri 5th station, the gateway to climbing Mount Fuji. The bus operated by Fujikyu to reach the Gotemba climbing route. One-way bus journey is about an hour long, at the cost of 1.540 yen (round trips are 2.060 yen).
Please note that Fujikyu is not part of the Japan Rail Group, which means the Japan Rail Pass does not cover buses ran by this company, and no seat reservations are available. (Reisetouren Mount Fuji for germans )
Note: During the climbing season, buses operate differently in comparison to the off-season. For more detailed information and timetables, please check with the local operator.