The Best Guide To Climbing Mount Fuji 2020| Everything You Need To Know Before You Ascend Mt. Fuji!

Climbing Mt. Fuji is no joke! But the experience and view when you reach the Mt Fuji summit is totally worth the pain! So here’s a guide to climbing Mount Fuji. 

First things first, the best time to climb mt. Fuji? July to early September. The weather in the months of July and August is stable and the mountain is pretty much free of snow.

During the climbing season, you can easily access the mountain by public transportation, Mt Fuji mountain huts are operating, and emergency services are on standby.

However, climbing during the off-season should be avoided because of the risk involved. The trails will still have snow and there’s a serious risk of avalanches as well.

So to avoid Mt Fuji climbing accidents, it’s recommended that you climb Mt Fuji only during the climbing season that is between July and early September.

If you want to avoid the crowds during the climbing season, schedule your Mt Fuji climb during the weekday, instead of the weekend. But the experience of sharing your journey with other like-minded hikers can be extremely satisfying and enjoyable if you give it a chance.

This guide to climbing Mount Fuji is a detailed breakdown of everything you need to know about climbing Mount Fuji. But if you’re a beginner, do make sure you either take someone experienced along with you or book one of the many Fuji mountain guides available. 

This complete guide to climbing Mount Fuji is divided into two sections.

Before Climbing Mt Fuji

In this section, we’ll find out some basic Mount Fuji facts. We’ll also delve into the best route to climb Mt Fuji and the four different trails you can take to access Mt Fuji – Yoshida trail, Subashiri trail, Gotemba trail, and Fujinomiya trail.

The ‘before climbing Mt Fuji’ section will also give you a breakdown of how do you prepare for climbing Mt Fuji. You’ll also find a printable checklist so you can keep a check of everything you need before you begin your climb to Mt Fuji.

The Mt Fuji Climb

In this section, we’ll discuss what to expect as you climb Mt Fuji and the different stops you can make at the stations and huts, and where you can find toilets on Mt Fuji as you ascend to the Mt Fuji summit.

So let’s get this guide to climbing mount Fuji cracking now, shall we? 

Before Climbing Mt Fuji

Mount Fuji Facts: Things To Know Before You Begin Mt Fuji Climb

Mount Fuji is world-famous and regarded as one of the World’s Heritage sites in Japan. If you do decide to climb Mt Fuji, it’s one of those experiences you’ll remember for the rest of your life. The climb, the hot noodle soup offered when you stop at the mount Fuji mountain huts after an exhausting climb, and finally the view when you reach the summit – all of this, collectively, is simply exhilarating and climbing Mt Fuji must definitely be on your bucket list. 

Mount Fuji Stations 

There are 10 stations on Mt Fuji, with the 1st station being at the foot of the mountain and the 10th  station being at the summit of Mt Fuji. 

And you access the mountain through any of four 5th stations that are located on different sides of Mt Fuji. You can start your ascent to Mt Fuji from any of the 5th stations. 

  • Fuji Subaru line 5th station leads to the Yoshida trail
  • Subashiri 5th station leads to the Subashiri trail
  • Gotemba 5th station leads to the Gotemba trail
  • Fujinomiya 5th station leads to the Fujinomiya trail 

Mount Fuji Height

Mt Fuji is 3,776 meters (12,338 ft) tall and is Japan’s highest mountain. Like I said, climbing Mt Fuji is no small feat. 

Beginner climbers should be wary about altitude sickness as you ascend Mt Fuji. The best way to tackle altitude sickness is to climb Mt Fuji at a slow and steady pace. Stay hydrated throughout your climb and take frequent breaks as you ascend the mountain Fuji.

Tips To Avoid Altitude Sickness When Climbing Mt Fuji

  • Stay hydrated
  • Take frequent short breaks
  • Stay overnight at one of the Mt Fuji huts at the 7th or 8th station before climbing the summit
  • Get small bottles of oxygen which is available at the 5th stations and Mt Fuji mountain huts
  • If nothing else works, go back down a few meters, rest until you feel better and resume your climb to the top

Mt Fuji Weather Forecast 2020

Make sure you check the Mt Fuji weather forecast as you decide when you want to climb Mt Fuji. Even though the official climbing season is during the summer, the temperatures higher up the altitude, more often than not, fall below 00 C. 

Decide When To Climb Mt Fuji 

The best time to climb Mt Fuji is during the in-season that’s between early July and early September.

Climbing Mt Fuji In September

The official climbing season that starts from July 1st does last till around September 14th or until the big snowfall. 

The crowd is generally lesser towards the end of the official climbing season, i.e., the end of August till mid-September. 

I wouldn’t recommend beginners to climb Mt Fuji during the off-season that’s after 14th September or from late September onwards as the weather gets seriously unpredictable from then onwards. 

If you can only visit Japan during late September and wish to climb Mt Fuji, you can do so at your own risk. The trails are, however, officially closed. But you can hike a little. Most huts close by mid-September so you’ll have to plan a day hike (only if the weather is okay). Beginners are strictly not recommended to hike during the off-season.

Climbing Mount Fuji In October

Climbing Mt Fuji in October is not the safest option. From late June till October, even though there’s no snow on the trails of Mt Fuji, the temperatures can drop far below 00 C. 

And I cannot stress on how risky it is to climb Mt Fuji from October to mid June. The weather conditions during this time is at its extreme and there’s snow and ice on the trails which can prove to be extremely dangerous. 

Climbing Mt Fuji In November

Climbing Mount Fuji in the month of November is highly dangerous. The winters in Mt Fuji is unforgiving and starts from around late November and goes on till at least mid-April.

The trails turn into ice and you won’t be able to dig your ice axe or crampon for support. And emergency services aren’t readily available since it’s off-season climbing time. 

Mt Fuji Climbing In April

Winter conditions in Mt Fuji will last till April. Even though it’s towards the end of the winter conditions in Mt Fuji, there will still be snow on the trails leading up till the summit. And there’s still a risk of avalanches. So climbing Mt Fuji in April is not recommended, especially for beginners. 

Climbing Mt Fuji In May

Climbing Mount Fuji in the month of May is not recommended either. There will still be snow higher up the mountain and most Mt Fuji Mountain huts will be closed. 

While climbing Mt Fuji is definitely worth the experience and I believe that if you can, you must do it at least once in your life. But please do not risk your life by climbing during off-season.

The best time to climb Mt Fuji is between July to end of August or early September. So plan your trip to Japan accordingly!

Best Route to Climb Mt Fuji

Now that you’ve decided when to climb, let’s see how to climb Mt Fuji. 

So as I mentioned before, you have to pick a route to start your climb. There are 4 trails to choose from to begin your ascend. 

Here’s a quick rundown of each trail: 

Trail Altitude Ascent TimeDescent TimeInfo Opening Dates
Yoshidaabout 2300 m5-7 hours3-5 hours– Most popular/crowded trail

– Directly accessible from Tokyo 

– Sunrise view from anywhere on the route

– Many huts available on 7th and 8th station

– Separate trails for ascent and descent 
Jul 1 – Sep 10
Subashiriabout 2000 m5-8 hours3-5 hours– Most scenic route, lots of greenery

-2nd longest route

– Meets Yoshida trail at 8th station

– Separate trails for ascent and descent 
Jul 10 – Sep 10
Gotemba about 1400 m7-10 hours3-6 hours– Least popular/crowded route

– Lowest 5th station

– Longest route to Mt Fuji

– ~4 huts around 7th and 8th station
Jul 10 – Sep 10
Fujinomiyaabout 2400 m4-7 hours2-4 hours– Easiest access from Kyoto 

– Shortest route to the summit

– 6-7 mountain huts available en route
Jul 10 – Sep 10

The Yoshida trail is accessed from the Fuji Subaru line 5th station and is the most popular route taken by climbers. You can view the sunrise anywhere along this route as the sun rises from this side of the mountain. 

The Subashiri trail is accessed from the Subashiri 5th station and starts from a forest-like section. So en route, you get to see plenty of greenery and you can enjoy fantastic views as you ascend. It’s the second-longest route to the summit with the Gotemba trail being the longest route. 

The Gotemba Trail is accessed from the Gotemba 5th station and is the longest route to the summit. Which is why it’s also the least popular route taken. So if you want to avoid big crowds and want your climb to be more challenging, this route is your best bet! 

The Fujinomiya Trail is accessed from the Fujinomiya 5th station and is the shortest route to the summit. This trail doesn’t have separate routes for ascent and descent, you go up and down via the same route. This trail is also the second-most popular route to the summit!

For more details on each trail check out the official Mt Fuji Climbing website.

Here’s a quick breakdown on each trail and the amenities available at different stations of each trail:

Mount Fuji Yoshida Trail

The Yoshida trail is open from July 1st to September 11th, round the clock. 

Amenities/Facilities Available at Stations
Toilet5th Station

6th Station

7th Station (Descent Trail) 
First Aid Stations5th Station 

7th Station

8th Station
Info Centre5th Station

6th Station
Fujisan Conservation Donation Campaign5th Station

6th Station

The Subashiri Trail

The Subashiri trail is open from July 10 – September 10, round the clock

Amenities/Facilities Available at Stations
Toilet 5th Station
First Aid StationNone
Info Centre5th Station
Fujisan Conservation Donation Campaign5th Station

The Gotemba Trail

The Gotemba trail is open from July 10 – September 10, round the clock

Amenities/Facilities Available at Stations
Toilet 5th Station
First Aid StationNone
Info Centre5th Station
Fujisan Conservation Donation Campaign5th Station

The Fujinomiya Trail

The Fujinomiya trail is open from July 10 – September 10 above the 6th station and from June 13 onwards between 5th station and 6th station. 

Amenities/Facilities Available at Stations
Toilet 5th Station resthouse

5th Station
First Aid Station8th Station
Info Centre5th Station
Fujisan Conservation Donation CampaignMizugatsuka Parking

5th Station

For more details on each trail check out the official website for Mt Fuji climbing.

Now that you’ve chosen the trail, let’s take this guide to climbing mount Fuji forward by taking a look at how trekkers should prepare themselves for the climb.

How Do You Prepare For Climbing Mt Fuji?

Buy food and water before you begin your climb. It’s best to stock up on food and water before you begin your climb. 

You can either buy some food, snacks, and water from local grocery stores on your way to the 5th station or stock up on food and water at the 5th station. 

Getting food and/or water as you ascend will get more difficult and more expensive. It’s also recommended that you keep chocolates or any sweet snack handy with you whenever you need a quick boost during your climb, every hour or so.

It’s extremely important you stay hydrated because you will lose a lot of water as you climb. About 2 litres of water per climber should be good enough. 

Book Mt Fuji Huts

I cannot stress how important it is to book one of the Mount Fuji mountain huts in advance. Especially, during the peak climbing season. The huts get full really quickly. 

All bookings are done over the phone. While you will mostly find English speaking personnel when you book a hut over the phone.

But, more often than not, they will be Japanese speaking staff who will help you with your booking. So it’s best you have a Japanese speaking friend with you when you book the hut. 

Check out these websites below to check availability and book your preferred Mt Fuji mountain hut for 2020.

Yoshida Trail Mt Fuji Mountain Huts

Subashiri Trail Mt Fuji Mountain Huts

What To Wear Climbing Mt Fuji?

As you ascend the mountain, the temperature will differ drastically at different points. So make sure that you’re dressed in layers so you keep yourself warm.

The winds can be really strong sporting a windbreaker jacket is a must! There’s a possibility that it might rain so pack a waterproof jacket and trousers as well. 

It’s also recommended that you wear gloves. This will protect you from the cold and will also help you get a holding easily on rocky surfaces as you climb. 

Appropriate trekking shoes, preferably with ankle support is a must. The climb can be steep and rocky so make sure you have shoes that fit well and give you good support. 

Other than this wearing a hard hat or helmet, dust goggles, and mask are also recommended.

Gear And Equipment To Climb Mt Fuji

Buy Mt Fuji Walking Stick: You can buy this at the 5th stations. While not completely necessary, it’ll help with your climb. And the best part? You can get your wooden hiking stick branded when you reach the summit. It’ll cost you about 1,200 – 1,500 yen and plus for a few hundred yen extra you can get it branded when you reach the summit and keep the stick as a souvenir. 

Flashlight/Headlamp: This is crucial especially if you plan to hike when it’s dark. 

Here’s the complete checklist for you to download and print. 

Now that you’re prepared for the climb, keep reading on this guide to climbing mount Fuji to know what to expect during your climb to Mt. Fuji.

Guide To Climbing Mount Fuji – The Climb

For a lot of climbers, the most exciting part of the climb is to get to the summit in time to watch the sunrise. If this is your goal, it’s best you start the day before.

Get to the 7th or 8th station on the first day. And get a few hours of sleep at one of the mountain huts there. Then around 1:00 am resume your climb to reach the Mt Fuji summit by 4:30 to watch the glorious sunrise! 

Climbing Mt Fuji should be done at a slow and steady pace. It’s not recommended that you power through it continuously. There’s high risk of fatigue and altitude sickness. This might ruin your experience altogether.

Once you reach the summit, take into consideration the time you’ll have to walk around the crater. That should take you about an hour and a half.  

If you have your wooden hiking stick with you, don’t forget to get it branded so you can show it off back home! 

The Descent

After watching the sunrise, it’s time to go back down. The sun can really get to you and it’ll get hotter as you descend. So you may have to peel off layers of your clothing as you descend down the mountain. 

Well, there you have it! Everything you need to know about climbing Mount Fuji. Let me know how your experience was and all the best!

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