Japan · Sights · Trekking

Japan: Climbing Mt. Fuji – Fujinomiya Trail

Somebody convinced his three nice (gullible) friends to climb Mt. Fuji with him saying that it was not a very difficult climb. He said that the volcano has an established trail with clean restrooms and vendo machines at every station. After months of planning multiple practice climbs that did not push through, the four friends packed their bags and headed to Japan to climb Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji - Fujinomiya Trail
Mt. Fuji from Fujinomiya 5th Station

Mt. Fuji climbing season is from July to early September. Since July might be too cold, we decided to go in mid-August. When we finally met up with two friends working in Tokyo, their two friends and the guide, we found out that we were not climbing the popular Yoshida trail. Apparently, it was Obon when we visited so that trail was too congested. Instead, we will be climbing second most popular route, the Fujinomiya trail. They said that it’s shorter too — trail is just steeper.

Before climbing, we stopped by the Yamamiya Sengen-jinja Shrine to pray for our safety and good weather.

Yamamiya Sengen-jinja Shrine
Yamamiya Sengen-jinja Shrine

After eating lunch and stretching, it’s finally time to start climbing.

Mt. Fuji - Fujinomiya Trail - Start!
Mt. Fuji – Fujinomiya Trail – Start!
with Masaki Iwami-san of Fujiyama Experience IRORI

Long story short, it was more challenging than what we expected. It’s a good thing we agreed to rent sleeping quarters at the 9th station mountain hut. A bowl of hot curry rice, hot green tea and a nap did wonders. Also, we can stop and rest multiple times during the ascent because we did not need to rush to the peak to catch the sunrise at 5AM.

Was the climb worth it? Yes, I enjoyed it a lot. The guide was good (with unlimited supply of candy and chocolates), the company was great, and the view was fantastic. Will I do it again? There’s a saying that:

You would be a fool for not climbing Fujisan once in your life, but only the dumbest of all idiots climbs Mount Fuji a second time.

I guess I’m planning on being the dumbest of all idiots.

Mt. Fuji - Fujinomiya Trail - Sunrise
Mt. Fuji – Fujinomiya Trail – Sunrise

Things to bring

At an elevation of 3750m, it is obviously going to be cold. Also, since you’re above the clouds more than half of the way, you’re at risk of getting sunburnt. Below is a list of must haves when climbing Mt. Fuji.

General For early stages of the climb
  • Enough water and/or energy drink – Water is 500 – 1000 yen depending on which station you’re at. It might be better to spend some extra yen than to lug around kilos of water up the mountain.
  • Trail food
  • 100 yen coins – Using the restroom costs 200 yen per session.
  • Headlamp
  • Loose long sleeve shirt
  • Wide-rimmed hat
For higher altitude Optional but handy
  • Fleece / down jacket
  • Water-resistant outer shell jacket
  • Theremal Underwear
  • Hiking pants
  • Beanie
  • Gloves
  • Scarf
  • Kairo (Hand warmers) – Can be bought in some pharmacies during summer.
  • Walking Stick – Can be bought at the 5th station. Collect the stamps at each station for 200 yen each.


If you’re planning on climbing Mt. Fuji, contact our guide Masaki Iwami-san. He’s a really great guy who’s very knowledgeable about climbing Mt. Fuji. He’s a chatterbox who likes to share stories and takes very good care of the group he guides.

Masaki Iwami
Fujiyama Experience IRORI
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Fujiyama-Experience-IRORI-319870964837983/timeline/
Website: http://fujiyama-irori.com/en/

He even gave us personalized souvenirs!

Personalized Fujiyama Experience IRORI souvenir and Mt. Fuji walking stick
Personalized Fujiyama Experience IRORI souvenir w/ climber’s name (hidden) and Mt. Fuji walking stick

Images from Mt. Fuji – Fujinomiya Trail


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