Finally Fuji-San

This was not how I intended to meet Mt. Fuji.  Two and a half years ago I had planned to hike to the summit of this iconic and beautiful World Heritage site at some point during our 3 years here.

Last year I planned to hike it with my husband and his daughter, I was simply not fit enough to give it a real go.  After knowing what I know now I am immensely proud of her for climbing as far as she did without any real training for it.  Well done Paige!

This year I planned to hike it with my husband, then I busted my knee.

So in consolation I decided to do the gimpy family tour which buses us to the 5th Station where we are given time to walk around, eat lunch and hike to the 6th Station to give us a taste of it.

The 5th Station is set up as the tourist stop:

2015-08-09 14.55.04 I’ll link here to a site which will give more in depth descriptions and photos of the entire hike rather than try to explain it all. The 5th – 6th hike is about an hour each way and by the map seems to be about 1/3rd of the distance to the summit though it is also the easiest part with less incline and better terrain.

We decided to hit the trail right away rather than eat lunch first like most of the others since we weren’t hungry yet and were rather excited to get to it.  The weather was absolutely perfect for me.  Around 60 degrees and cloudy with a breeze.  Although the clouds didn’t allow for great views it did give it a very ethereal and rather magical tone for me.  Almost as if I was welcomed there because if it were any hotter or if the sun was shining I would have been sweating horribly and rather unhappy.

2015-08-09 11.50.10The hike itself in the beginning was rather nice, a slight incline and on a well worn and wide path.  Not far in we came to the fork in the road (photo below – free plug for Ned) where we had to decide if we wanted to take what appeared to be the easier straight incline trail to the right or the zig-zag to the left which seemed more difficult.  I opted for the zig-zag.  This was my only opportunity, might as well take the harder path, right?  It was hard and had my heart pounding for an hour.
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The hike up was enough to show me that going with a busted knee would not have been wise, I’m very glad I didn’t try to do the entire hike with it.

We reached the 6th Station and the husband showed me just passed it where the hike starts for the 7th Station and it looked nasty.  I can’t even imagine doing harder than what I had just done for 6 more hours.

The decent was quite easy other than the loose earth making getting a steady step in rather difficult and once back at the bottom we went to grab lunch.  I had a soba noodle bowl and the husband had ramen.  It was not the best we’ve had but we ate all of it.  Hunger may have played a part.

All that was left was shopping in the gift stores and a 3 hour ride home.

Oh P.S. to my Mother… check out the season packet I found at the convenience store.

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7 thoughts on “Finally Fuji-San

  1. That is awesome and I am so envious! So, tell me, is the path wooded everywhere? What is the terrain like? Roots, rocks, dirt…a combination? I am curious about it all. Are there parts of the path that are not wooded? The photo of you under the signs is why I am asking all of these questions…that and the trail head signs. It looks like an amazing day! How long is the entire hike up from base to summit? Glad you did this!

    • On the path I was on it was mostly volcanic rock pebbles in the open areas which are large slopes with no trees and wooded areas with larger rocks. A mix of trees, bushes, flowers (like those in the photo above) and large slopes of volcanic rock and flowers. I’m told it changes a bit as you go up, but I can’t testify to that. The entire hike takes a healthy, strong body about 6 hours I believe. I think Cale said the trees are only around the bottom (5th/6th stations), the rest of the hike is open and steep.

    • It’s about 9 hours total (about 6 up and 3 back) for a strong person. If you and Willie seriously consider it you’ll want to train with a lot of steps and hills. Plus don’t forget altitude issues. Cale experienced altitude sickness each time, dizziness and headache. I just climbed one hour with frequent little breaks, my heart was pounding and my legs were feeling weak when we reached the 6th.

      If I go for the full hike it will be to catch the sunrise at the summit. So, we’ll be doing a lot of it at night.

      There is a saying about it, goes something like this: It is a fool that doesn’t climb Mt. Fuji, it is a bigger fool that climbs it more than once.

      • I like that!!!! We are training now for the canyon trip in the spring. The altitude is only 5000 feet and we are descending but I have lung capacity issue that I am currently slaying with the weekend hikes. I’m finding it more and more challenging the higher we go up and the steeper the climb but it’s a worthy challenge! I’m so proud of you! Go!!!

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