I currently staying in Tokyo. As I am in Tokyo, I was thinking about going to Fuji-san. My goal initially was to capture a good picture from afar, so I can get the beautiful Fuji-san shape. So yesterday, there was holiday, Maritime day so I went book a hostel and bus to go to Fuji. I booked it all from Kawaguchiko, a lake near Fuji-san. Its perfect to take picture but very far from the 5th station, which is the base of Fuji climber.
Anyway, I wasn’t sure whether I should climb or not. Two of my friends who had climbed Fuji before told me that they climb it at night so they can see the sunrise. Therefore I would need winter clothing, and headlamp.
The Fujimt website give a proper suggestion of what should be brought when climbing Fuji-san.
1. Water 2 litre
2. Winter clothing : jacket, gloves, something to cover your head.
3. Climbing shoes (I used my running shoes)
4. Sunglass/hat for day climb
5. Lots of 100 yen coins for toilet
6. Snacks (get protein bar, chocolate, bread or onigiri).
I wrote the techincal details of my climb at my travel blog, here I will only tell you about my experience and fun.
I was wrong (or right) to book the bus to Kawaguchiko, and stayed there however it wasnt the best plan I should have done.
What I did: book bus n inn at Kawaguchiko – stay one night at Kawaguchiko – at 6.40 am next day decided to go climb Fuji n take bus from Kawaguchi station to Fuji 5th station – arrived at Fuji 5th station at 7.30am – climbed up till 1.50 pm – go down at 2 pm – reach Fuji 5th station at 4.30 pm.
This plan also exclude the bus I should have book before to go back to Tokyo. At that time my ticket back to Tokyo was from Kawaguchiko at 5.10 pm. Very wrong, I should have taken later bus (highway express bus is recommended btw). So I booked another ticket from Fuji 5th station to Shinjuku by bus, with a bit of doki doki nervous because I am note sure whether I can return to the base Fuji 5th station before 5 pm.
What I should have done:
If my goal is to climb: get a bus from Shinjuku to Fuji 5th station roundtrip. Take the bus from shinjuku in the afternoon, at around 3pm you will arrive roughly 2 hours after. At 5th station take 1 hour to adjust to the height (I did not do this lol). Then start climbing the mountain at night at 8pm for 6-7 hours depends on the condition (rain or not, your speed etc). Arrived around 3am and wait for sunrise around 4am. Then descend at 5am and arrived at the base 3 hours later.
If my goal is to take picture: then Kawaguchiko is perfect. In front of the lake, probably best to come in the spring where Moss season/festival is on and sakura is blooming, then maybe you can have the trademark Japan Fujiyama view as you may often see in the posters of Japan. A bit of tips about Kawaguchiko: there aren’t many things you can do in Kawaguchiko. See Fuji san from far, enjoy sunset and sunrise from the lake, maybe stroll around to the city, (and fyi if you are interested, Aokigahara, the suicide forest located nearby). If you are going to spend a lot of time in Kawaguchiko, then buy 2days unlimited gretrobus at the Kawaguchi station. It will cover your bus to the interest spots in Kawaguchiko. But mind you, the bus schedule is short, it start at 9am and stop at 6 pm. While the sunrise is at 4am and sunset it at 7pm. Its better to use bicycle to go around and ask your inn if they provide free bike.
Total climb time 6 hours 20 minutes and descend time 2 hours 40 minutes. Standard time climbing up is 6 hours while descending is 3 hours. I took a lot of rest, but short. In every hut/lodge I stopped to catch my breath and drink a bit. I am not a hiker, I rarely do sport so if I can do it, you can do it 🙂