Early in the morning of July 11th, I was at the summit of Mt. Fuji, together with hundreds of other hikers. We were all waiting for the sunrise, and as it was a beautiful day, we weren’t disappointed.
Since I started hiking last March 2016, one of my goals was to hike Japan’s tallest mountain. So when the climbing season opened, I of course had to go.
Hiking Mt. Fuji soon? Here are some tips.
Don’t pay if you can organize it yourself.
A Filipina woman I met along the descent route said she and two of her friends paid 35,000 PHP (700 USD) each for their Mt. Fuji hiking tour. I was, of course, shocked when I heard the numbers.
If you don’t want to spend this much money, you can always organize the trip yourself.
For transportation, Japan has a reliable bus and train system. A private commute is also possible. Liam, a guy I met on my way up, said he and his friends drove from Tokyo using a rented car.
For accommodation, it’s easy to book beds online.
Book a bed space at a mountain hut in advance.
One blogger says they were able to “wing it” even without a reservation. I say they were just lucky. To be on the safe side, get in touch with a lodge weeks in advance to secure your spot. You don’t want to end up sleeping outside a hut, unprotected from the cold.
Here’s what to expect.
You can still use the toilet even without coins.
Some blogs say you should have a lot of coins with you for the 200-JPY toilet fee. But from my experience, you can easily ask a staff to change your bills to coins.
A walking stick is not a must-have.
But you’ll probably want one as a souvenir.
If so, make sure it won’t get you into trouble at the airport. For passengers headed to the Philippines, it’s possible to bring the stick home if it’s checked in. If you’re still worried, know that the sticks come in different sizes. Choose the shortest.
As for the price, the longest sticks are tagged at 1,000 JPY. The short ones are 500 or 600 JPY.
A stamp on a walking stick costs between 250-300 JPY.
I think most of the mountain huts ask 300 JPY per stamp. But at GansoMuro, I took advantage of their 500-for-2 promo.
Go to a grocery store in the city before heading to Mt. Fuji.
If you run out of water or food to eat, don’t worry because the mountain huts have got you covered. But don’t act shocked when the prices are twice that in Tokyo.
That said, bringing your own water (at least 2 liters) and protein bars is not a bad idea.
Here’s a mountain hut’s menu and their prices.
Don’t forget your winter wear.
Here’s a list of apparel must-haves: hardshell jacket with hood, gloves, and rain gear.
You can purchase all these at a shop in Mt. Fuji 5th Station, but you may not like their price tags.
I purposely didn’t bring my gloves and rain gear because I wanted to buy new ones in Japan. Unfortunately, I didn’t try hard to find a store in Nagoya that sells cheap outdoor gear, so as a consequence, I ended up paying more at a shop in Mt. Fuji 5th Station.
Enjoy free wifi.
The mountain huts have free wifi for their guests. But perhaps it’s my phone, I found the service to be unreliable. Other guests at GansoMuro were able to use it just fine.
Say no to sneakers.
One person asks: Do I need to bring hiking boots or running shoes? The trail can be tough, so you’ll need footwear that provides good traction, comfort, and protection for your feet. High-cut hiking boots and trail runners are okay, but don’t wear a pair of cheap tennis shoes.
For my hike last July 10th, I wore a pair of Salomon Speedcross 4, which was perfect for the trail. Read my full review of the Speedcross 4.