Climbing Mt.Fuji

Last weekend I went to climb Mt.Fuji- the highest mountain in Japan for the first time in my life.

Mt. Fuji / 富士山(ふじさん)
Photo CC-BY TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)

It was an event called "IT Fuji". The event started around 10 years ago with a bunch of researchers with geeky gears climbing Mt.Fuji with lots of sensors and GPS, etc trying to learn how they can utilize IT in the mountains. They played on the mountain with those gadgets so much that recently they've become pretty normal mountain climbers- at least that's what I heard ;) Here are some tips from our trip:

How to get to Mt.Fuji:

Take the "Fujikyu Bus" from Shinjuku station - it takes you directly to Mt.Fuji's 3rd station (3goume) and 5th station (5 goume). Reserve your seat well in advance for early morning buses.

Climbing schedule:

Typically you leave Tokyo in the morning and arrive at 5th station, have lunch and climb up to 8th station where there are lots of lodges and huts. You can eat dinner, take a nap and leave 8th station around 23-1AM to head to the top of the mountain and watch the sunrise. Sunrise from Mt. Fuji is considered very precious and is called Goraikou(御来光) meaning honorable delivery of light. After you reach the top and watch the sunrise, you can either wander at the top - this walk is called Ohachimeguri (お鉢巡り), or you can head back down. Visiting the hot spring -Onsen (温泉) after the climb is highly recommended :D

What to bring:

-backpack, make sure you have waterproof cover (to avoid rain and dust)
-trekking shoes
-warm clothes for the top (it's freezing cold up there even during hot summer)
-light clothes for the bottom (it's hot during summer)
-heat tech T-shirts (clothes that will dry quick is desirable)
-climbing stick
-raincoat (umbrellas won't work)
-headlamp (flashlights won't work)
-money (to buy drinks/snacks and pay for the toilets, coins are better)
-mobile phone (to communicate with your team mates. It fairly works!)
-snacks and drinks (don't bring too much since they will be heavy)
-hat/cap (to avoid sunburn)
-sunscreen (to avoid sunburn)
-medical mask (to avoid the dust)

might be good to have
-Oxygen (I didn't use it at all so I don't know if it's effective but saw lots of people using it)

It was foggy/rainy when we started climbing, but didn't rain that hard.


It was actually raining really hard when we were taking a nap at 8th station, but the sky cleared up when we started climbing at 1AM... we were lucky!

This is a typical lodge. They have sleeping bags that you can take a short nap before heading to the top.


Just before the sunrise, it became so cloudy that we almost thought we'll miss the Goraikou (sunrise)...


Then the sky started to clear up


Sunrise! 御来光!


I think it was rather good that we had some clouds since the reflections were so beautiful :D


You can see the clouds down below. The red object is Torii (鳥居) .


Appendix: One of my colleagues asked me to bring Android figure with me to Mt.Fuji and here is the evidence!


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer.