Took a day off from a scientific meeting to climb Fuji-San. Hard to find my boot size in Tokyo, much giggling from sales women. Arriving at the trail head joined forces with three English-speaking Japanese (two high-school girls and a businessman). Had a most enjoyable climb in beautiful weather, nice sunrise and view of the Pacific. Many people on the route, though.
Not sure about the date, it might have been December 1994. Hiking to the summit was no problem, but on the way down I took a wrong turn and got lost. It was getting dark, and I didn't have warm clothes, bivy bag, or headlamp. Luckily, I found a mountain hut where I could stay for about $50. The next day, I had to hike part-way back up the mountain to get to the main trail.
Took a taxi in 0 visibilty fog up to the 5th station at midnight. From there we climbed up through heavy fog and constant rain. At about 5:30am we got to about 1k ft away from the summit. After 30 minutes and 90+ mph winds we descended back down to the 5th station. On the taxi ride back, our driver said that there had been a typhoon. What a wild time. Kamisama no kaze wa tsuyosugita.
This mountain is not as pretty when you're standing on it as when you are 50 miles away. For me, its grandeur was eroding just like its rubble hewn scree fields. By late December, there still wasn't much snow. And at this time of year there is no public transport up to the usual tourist trailhead. I had to hike all the way from Kawaguchiko train station. I wasn't in the mood for paying $50+ for a taxi to shortcut my FujiZen experience. It was so cold; I should have brought my Feathered Friends. Anyway, I ended up getting stranded on the summit overnight (80mph winds and -20C). Unfortunately my camp gear was several thousand feet below. Needless to say, I got frostbite in my toes and after limping down the mountain (all the way back to Kawaguchiko because don't even think about hitchhiking in Japan, even if you have swollen blistered feet) I couldn't walk for 5 days.
I spent the week in Japan on business and after a nice long day at work on a Friday I caught a bus to Kawaguchi-ko and on to Station five. We picked of a few supplies at the Unjyo-kaku store and headed up the mountain by about 9:30pm. We climbed up out of a near white out fog into a crisp clear night sky for a fantastic evening of climbing. Arrived at the summit just after sunrise. Traffic near the stop slows progress to a crawl. Staying awake was the hardest part of the climb! Should have stopped and taken a break. Instead we pushed through to the top and then home by 3pm the next day.
Needed crampons above 3200 m, 7th station hut was open because they were doing construction, took the route from Kawaguchi-ko
1 day round trip from Tokyo, bus at 7h10 from Shinjuku, arrival at Gogume (fifth stqtion) at 10h30mn. In spite of my efforts, the last bus at 2:30 pm was too early for me (4h30mn round trip ascent, 2h30 mn for the going-up), but hitch-hiking allowed me to avoid to walk down to Kawaguchi-ko bus station.
Sunny but pretty cold because of the strong winds at the top. As a matter of fact, snow was icy beginning at 3200 m and I had to put my crampons.
No more than 2 or 3 climbers met
What a great experience. Made it to the summit in time for sunrise
Did a 6 month tour in Japan, and did the climb on a saturday morning. Great views when finally above the clouds.
Had only one day to spend on hiking Fuji, and reached the summit within 12 hours of landing in Tokyo. I took regular trains and started hiking from Lake Kawaguchiko, which is at ~800m. (The fifth station, from where 97% start is at 2300m - halfway up the 3800m mountain.) The lower part is quite nice through slightly mysty forrest, had noodles in a small joint at the 1st station. Hiking/running from the lake took about 6 hours (the last 1h20 with cramps in both quads), summiting at sunset. Sleeping outside was very cold, but the sun-rise well worth waiting for. Going down, at 5th station, a taxi arrived with two hikers, wanted some silly 10kyen for taking me back to the train station, but then realised he had to drive down anyway, and took me down for 540yen.
Philip Michael DeSemlyen and I detrained in Gotemba on our way from Kyoto to Tokyo, the last leg of our journey across Asia from Istanbul. I recall that we took a bus from the railway station to a point well up on the mountain and proceeded to climb all night to reach the crater at dawn where we observed the sunrise along with a horde of white-clad Japanese. Through the morning we circumvented the crater, pausing only to investigate a number of souvenir stands and tea houses. We then descended in long sandy strides back down to the road and Gotemba and caught a train to Tokyo where I remained for two years, teaching English to make a comfortable living while eating sushi, drinking beer and playing pachinko. All these activities were inexpensive back then for the almighty gaijin in the two decades before the 1970s when the dollar dropped and life for the gaijin in Japan became prohibitively expensive.
Excellent climb. Started out from 5th Station at 11:30am, in mild conditions. However, temperature dropped about 30 degrees F between 8th Station and summit - went from synthetic Tshirt to sweatshirt and jacket in the last hour and was still cold at the top! Unfortunately, summit was very cloudy (2:30pm) - couldn't even see into the crater... but, had good views during the ascent and descent. Path down allows for very rapid descent and easy on the knees - but requires you stop and empty your shoes 3-4 times. Roundtrip took just under 5 hours - in time to wash up and catch the 5pm bus out.
Was expecting hundreds of people, but I'd estimate a max of 50 climbers on the mountain that afternoon - most on the lower half.
Unfortunately had to turn back at around hachi-ten-go-gome ("8.5 station") to make sure to catch the last bus back, as no mountain huts are open this time of year and we didn't have bivy gear.
Fuji-san is definitely possible in winter and spring, but you do need crampons and an ice ax. Not too steep, no need for belays -- I'd rate it F+ on the French grading system.
Interesting experience, unfortunately did not reach the summit. Took the last train from Tokyo to arrive late Friday night. Hiked straight from the train station, through town, and after a long time reached a parking lot at ichi-gome ("first station" - you usually *start* at the go-gome ("fifth station")!!). Kept going, and finally laid down the sleeping back in an old deserted shrine building at I think around san-gome ( "third station").
Early morning but not early enough -- reached up to hachi-ten-go-gome ("8.5 station") and had to turn back because otherwise would have meant missing the last bus back to Tokyo. Unfortunately, as weather was great and I was feeling perfectly fine.
For anyone wanting to do this route, it's 2700 vertical meters (8500ft) gain from town to 8.5 gome, a little more to the summit!
Completely different experience than the summer and thank god for that. No huts open. Only a couple dozen on the route. Really peaceful. Lots of little toris (Shinto wooden gates) and shrines along the way. Quite cold, but really not a problem. Don't listen to anybody that tells you "the mountain is closed" -- you can climb Fuji all year round. Just mind the bus schedules.
Cool experience! Gotta do it! Take a jacket.
The most culturally iconic climb I will ever do. After taking an early evening bus from Shinjuku in Tokyo, we left Kawaguchiko 5th station at about 9:45 p.m. Arrived at the summit around 4:15 a.m. in time for an unforgettable sunrise. Call me a fool, but I'll do Fuji-san again.
My eighth and possibly last ascent of Fuji-san. Three in the summer of 2004, and once each in Nov. '03, April '02, May '01, Sept. '96 and Aug. '96. I've been hiking in the area many times but was never able to climb from Sengen Shrine. Someday I would love to complete the beautiful old approach route through the forest from Fujiyoshida.
Climbed Fuji during the Obon vacation, hence the mountain was unbelievably crowded. Set out at 10 pm from the bus stop, and managed to overtake most of the crowds on the way up. The last hour I was practically on my own until the top, which I reached at 2am in the morning. After 2 hours sleep in the (expensive) refuge on the top I woke up to a spectacular, memorable sunrise.
Went to Japan for a short work trip, so no much time to spare. I took the 08:45 bus from Shinjuku station, arrived at 11:15 at the 5th station and made it to the summit in just under 3 hours. Sliding down took roughly one hour, to make just in time for the last bus to Tokyo. Weather was quite good, with a sea of clouds around 2500 meters. Most of the huts were closing for the season, and some were selling out the drinks for 200 yen, instead of the regular 500.