Our Mt. Fuji climb in support of It’s Not Just Mud is just over three weeks away! Conquer Japan’s highest peak while supporting disaster relief in Tohoku, the region affected by last year’s devastating tsunami. Read more about what INJM do here.
We’ve been in the Mt. Fuji area for the past couple of days making arrangements for our climb! Here are the details!
The climb will take place over the weekend of 25-26 August 2012.
Saturday, 25 August 2012
16:50 Depart Shinjuku (Tokyo) by bus
19:15 Arrive Mt. Fuji 5th Station
Free time to spend acclimatizing to the altitude (we will already be over 2300 meters above sea level), eat dinner (there are some restaurants/cafes) and buy any last minute items for the hike.
Wooden walking sticks are available for ¥1000. However, as an extra bonus for those taking transport with us (requires confirmation by 12 August 2012): YOU’LL RECEIVE A WOODEN WALKING STICK FOR FREE! You can have it branded at each station along the way, making it a great souvenir of your climb!
While you can get better deals if you shop around before the trip, you can purchase oxygen bottles for ¥1100 and head lamps for ¥2000.
There are several souvenir shops but we recommend only purchasing what you need for the hike at this time and buying your souvenirs on the return journey.
21:00 Begin climb
Sunday, 26 August 2012
04:00 Arrive at summit
Watch sunrise, enjoy the view, walk around the crater should you wish (about 1.5 hours), eat (there is a ramen shop on the summit but of course not cheap) and souvenir shopping.
07:00 Begin descent
10:00-11:00 Arrive 5th Station
Lunch and final souvenir shopping.
13:00 Return bus to Shinjuku (Tokyo)
*Please note that all times are estimates and that bus times may need to change depending on the number of seats available. Please allow the two full days for travel and the climb.*
Cost: ¥12,000 (including transportation to/from Shinjuku and a small climbing pack – bottle of water and snacks). All proceeds will go directly to It’s Not Just Mud.
RSVP date: Strictly Sunday, 12 August 2012 (Attendance confirmation form at the end of this post).
Please note that if you confirm your attendance but don’t end up joining, this will incur a ¥5000 fee per person to cover the cost of cancelled transportation.
For those who wish to join after the RSVP date, we ask you to contribute a ¥5000 participation fee (the entirety of which will be a donation to INJM). You will need to arrange and pay for your own transportation to/from 5th station. The climbing pack will not be included.
Practicalities (thanks to Fujiyoshida City Hall for the following information)
What to Bring
1. Hiking boots
Durable shoes/boots that cover the ankles and have thick soles are necessary. Wear thick socks and tie laces securely to avoid ankle rubbing.
Warm, layered and easy to wear clothing is best. Prepare a fleece or sweater outer layer and warm under layers to wick away sweat and moisture. A wind breaker as well as a hat to keep your head warm at night and to protect you from the sun during the day are also necessary.
There are sections of the climb around the 7th and 8th Stations that require scrambling over rock surfaces. Gloves will protect your hands from injury and help keep them warm.
4. Flashlight/head lamp
Necessary for climbing at night. Head lamps are recommended as they keep your hands free when you need your hands for climbing. Or you can tie a small flashlight to your backpack allowing you to drop it whenever necessary. Make sure they have fresh batteries and bring an extra set with you as the lights will be on constantly all night.
Water is not readily available on Mt. Fuji. Mountain huts have a supply of water, but one bottle may cost ¥500. Be sure to bring plenty of water. There is no water available on the descending trail so please leave enough for the three plus hour hike down.
Easy to eat and food that quickly regains lost energy is best.
A backpack that is light, fits the body and can be carried for a long time is an indispensable climbing companion.
8. Rain gear
Rain can occur without warning on Mt. Fuji. It is good to prepare full upper and lower water-proof rain gear. Snow, sleet and hail occasionally occur.
For huts, food, water, and services on the mountain, including toilets (coins and small notes are best as change for large denominations may not be available).
10. Sun protection
The weather will be very hot during daylight. Sunglasses, hat and sunscreen are extremely important.
Medical/insurance card, band-aids, mobile phone, pocket warmers (chemical heat packs), camera, small towel.
Frequently Asked Questions about Climbing Mt. Fuji
What is the weather like on Mt. Fuji?
Weather changes suddenly from clear skies to heavy rain, strong winds, and occasional snow. Be prepared with rain gear and warm layered clothing. The average summer temperature is 15°C (59°F) at 5th Station and 5°C at the summit (41°F). Temperatures at the 5th Station are generally 10°C (18°F) colder than the base. The temperature at the summit is another 10°C colder than the 5th Station – 20°C cooler than the base.
What is altitude sickness?
Symptoms are dizziness, headaches and nausea, and can happen to anyone, even those in good shape. Symptoms typically start at the 8th Station. We will hence take a longer break at the 8th Station to acclimatize as best as possible.
How long does it take to climb?
From the 5th Station, the climb takes about 5-7 hours and 3-4 hours to descend. Crowds make it hard to gain time.
What time does the sun rise?
Early July 4:20am, Late July 4:30am, Early August 4:40am, Late August 4:50am.
Is Mt. Fuji an active volcano?
Yes. But it is constantly being monitored from various locations and is classified to have a low risk of eruption. There are currently no live lava flows. Experts agree that it will erupt again but we should have 2-3 weeks of advanced notice.
Are there lockers available for my luggage?
Yes, there are various sized lockers available at the 5th Station (for bags, backpacks, purses, carry-on luggage etc.). We will be traveling directly to 5th Station, but for those who may be reading this in preparation for their own trips, there are also lockers available at Mt. Fuji and Kawaguchiko train stations.
While you in no way have to be an athlete to complete the climb, a certain level of general fitness is required. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. So if exercise is not currently part of your routine, start seriously training now.
Please consult your doctor if you have any existing medical conditions that may prevent you from climbing. Bring or wear preventative gear such as a knee brace if necessary.
Please be aware that we will not be sleeping during the hike, so please be prepared for a continuous overnight climb. We encourage you to rest well before departure and take advantage of the travel time to sleep.
If you are not physically active and haven’t started preparing for the climb, we strongly urge you to consider whether to join the hike. Should you not be prepared, this is not only a health risk to yourself but may mean you need to terminate your climb and meet other climbers back at 5th Station without having completed your goal. Serious situations may require you to be rescued from the mountain at a great financial cost should your insurance not cover such events.
If at any stage you start to feel that something is not right, please speak up. We will be there to support you and will be carrying extra oxygen as a safety precaution. We want everybody to have the most enjoyable experience possible, so please help each other by developing a good line of communication.
This will be hard work no doubt, but what an incredible way to end your summer! An amazing journey, new friends, breath-taking views, an unforgettable sunrise and the satisfaction that you conquered Japan’s highest peak!
To confirm your attendance, please submit the form below. Please remember that confirmation is required by Sunday, 12 August 2012 for transportation to be arranged. If you say you will be attending but don’t, this will incur a ¥5000 fee per person to cover the cost of cancelling booked transportation. If you don’t RSVP in time, you can join the climb for a ¥5000 donation to INJM and by arranging and paying for your own transportation to/from 5th Station.
Should you have any questions, you can send us an email directly by clicking here.
Thank you and looking to seeing/meeting you on the climb!