Travel Destinations: Mount Fuji, Japan
Ask anyone to describe Japan and they will answer one of the following; cherry blossom, sushi and Mount Fuji. Mount Fuji dominates the southwest region of Japan, standing at a height of 3776m. In late autumn, winter and spring, the tops are covered in snow, making this one of the most beautiful places in Japan to visit.
Mount Fuji is known as Fuji-san in Japanese; the last time it erupted was in 1707 when the streets of Tokyo were covered in ash. Even as far away as 100km, you can still see Mount Fuji from Tokyo on a clear day.
The best way to get the classic view of Mount Fuji is from the shinkansen as it passes the city of Fuji. In addition, you can experience wonderful views of it from the Nagao-toget Pass and on the northwest coast of Izu-hanto. However, the best views are from the Fuji Go-ko region.
From the 1stJuly to the 31stAugust is the official open season for climbing Mount Fuji but you can actually climb it throughout the year. Remember to bring plenty of water and be prepared for altitude sickness.
Mount Fuji is divided into ten ‘stations’ but most tourists will start their ascent from one of the four 5thstations where you can reach by car. From these stations, it will take roughly around four and half hours to five to reach the top and around three hours to descend. Once you reach the top, it takes about an hour to make the circuit around the crater.
The best time to reach the summit is dawn when the skies burst into colour, the mountain is less likely to be covered in mist and cloud and the views are simply spectacular. To do this, you can start your ascent in the afternoon and stay overnight in one of the mountain huts or climb Mount Fuji at night.
Although most will start their ascents from one of the 5thStations, you can also start from one of the low levels. These trails are mainly used by other tourists as short hiking trails; if you consider this you should be prepared for a challenging but rewarding hike up this beautiful mountain.
Mount Fuji is much more than a climb up a beautiful mountain; you will also find the gorgeous Fuji Go-ko (Fuji Five Lakes) where the waters glitter from the overhead sun. You can walk around the lake, taking in the natural beauty, or you can take a cable car ride to the Fuji Viewing Platform for the most spectacular views of Mount Fuji.