Mt. Fuji, Japan Hike

We made it to the top of Mt. Fuji!  Mount Fuji ((富士山) is the highest mountain in Japan at 12,388 ft.  It’s considered to be one of three sacred mountains in Japan and has been a pilgrimage site for centuries.

   mt fuji japan

Located on Honshū, Mt. Fuji (called “Fuji-san”) is an active volcano but hasn’t erupted since 1707.  Only 60 miles from Tokyo, locals and visitors can easily reach the mountain by train or car, then want to hike to the summit.

mt fuji japan   mt fuji japan

There are several routes to reach the top of Mt. Fuji, and our group ascended and descended on the Subashiri Route.  There are about 250,000 hikers who climb the Yoshida Trail per year, and about 60,000 who opt for the much steeper, less crowded Subashiri Trail.  I was solo and  joined a group of about 20 other hikers from all over the world.  We hiked through the lava soil and rocks, then watched the sunrise from a steep slope.  As we got to know each other along the trail, soon there weren’t any strangers in our group.

mt fuji japan   

It was off season, late September and we met in Tokyo near Shinjuku.  Our guides drove us by mini-buses to the starting point of the Subashiri Trail.  The off season trip takes place over two days and it was as if we had the mountain to ourselves, since we were practically the only hikers on Mt. Fuji.  Day 1 we climbed to our mountain hut at the 7th station, and on Day 2 we continued to the summit, hiked the crater circuit, and descended the mountain.

mt fuji japan   mt fuji japan

On Day 1, we hiked below the treeline, through a forest of trees that served as the perfect canopy to shield us from the light rains, but the trees trapped the humidity, so it felt like we were hiking through a sauna.


After hiking to 9,840 feet, we arrived to our mountain hut before sunset, and settled into our cozy sleeping quarters.  Our traditional Japanese dinner included hot pork soup, hamburger and rice (rice and pork soup – all you can eat).



On Day 2, our hearty breakfast consisted of grilled salmon, miso soup and rice (rice and miso soup – all you can eat).  After getting some rest and fueling up on protein & carbs, we continued up the steep face of Fuji.


There were dozens of switchbacks, and the last 600 ft was the steepest terrain of the hike.  Finally, when we reached the summit, our guides asked if we wanted to join the 1-2 hr. crater circuit hike called ‘Ohachi-meguri’ to see the 8 summit peaks of Fuji-san.


We were lucky to have blue skies and little wind, so even though I was tired, I couldn’t say no to this once in a lifetime opportunity.  We completed the circuit, and the trail even dipped a little into the 656 ft. crater.



The clouds whipped over the summit and the winds started to pick up a little, so we began our descent straight down the trail of volcanic gravels “Sunabashiri” literally a sand run!  After 2 hours of skiing down the lava sand, we were almost to our starting point.



This hike is unlike any other hike I’ve experienced.  Mt. Fuji stands out for me.  I remember seeing Mt. Fuji in numerous works of art during my Humanities classes, notably the prints from the Edo Period by Hokusai and Hiroshige.  Friends have shared their Fuji-san hiking adventures with me, and it’s been on my hiking bucket list for years.  So glad I finally got to experience it.


We spent weeks researching our Mt. Fuji Hike and trying to find a good tour operator.

Our choice? Fuji Mountain GuidesFuji Mountain Guides is an English speaking guiding company, leading tours up Mt. Fuji in Japan. They offer group tours and private tours on Mt. Fuji, all led by expert guides.


At the end of our hike, we each received a “certificate of summit” to remember our Fuji-san experience.

Fuji Mountain Guides has been recommended and featured in Lonely Planet and National Geographic.

Founder and Head Guide, Luke Cummings, provided us with helpful information pre-hike, and also wisely advised against hiking on high wind, stormy rainy days.  He took extra precautions to ensure our Mt. Fuji hike was safe and enjoyable.  We highly recommend him and his company.

Book your Mt. Fuji Hike at:

Email Fuji Mountain Guides

website, click here:  Fuji Mountain Guides

Phone: (+81) 090-9100-6711

Follow Fuji Mountain Guides on Facebook and Instagram 



If you need help with the weather forecast – contact Michael Fagin

Michael can look at forecast models and do some analysis (winds & rain) for targeted dates to help with the weather forecast.  His service is offered at a nominal fee.

Michael Fagin of West Coast Weather, LLC

Call #425-869-1847

Toll free in US and Canada 877-969-4786

Cell 425-765-6972


FAQ’s provided by Fuji Mountain Guides

Mt. Fuji Tour
Where does the tour leave from and how do I get there? 
How do we book a two day Mt. Fuji tour?
What happens if I show up to the meeting time late?
What level of fitness should I be in?
Will I be able to store baggage anywhere before climbing Fuji?
​What sort of equipment will I need?
Do you offer rental equipment?
What is the tour cancellation policy?
​How long does it take to get up and down Mt. Fuji?
What is the maximum and minimum group size we might be with? 
Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag?
Where can I find a weather forecast?
When is a good time to join a Mt. Fuji tour?
​Are there trash cans available?
​How much money should I bring? Are credit cards accepted?
​Will there be restrooms?
Would we be able to get a walking stick branded along the way?
​Do you offer pick up and drop off in the Mt. Fuji area?
​What is the fastest route to Kyoto from Mt. Fuji?
Do you provide guiding services during the off season?

Mountain Huts
Does FMG assist in making mountain hut reservations?
Will I need a reservation to stay at a mountain hut?
Will FMG arrange mountain hut reservations at any mountain hut on Mt. Fuji?
I am trying to book a hut but the reservation page says that my preferred date is fully booked. Is this true and is there any way that we can make it work so we can stay in a hut?
Do I need to bring my own sleeping bag?
Is it possible to request a private room at Fujisan Hotel or Taishikan?
Which trail is Fujisan Hotel located on?
Where is Taishikan mountain hut located?
Are vegetarian meal options available? 
Are there certain rules/etiquette specific to Mt. Fuji mountain huts?
​What time is breakfast served?

Climbing Mt. Fuji
When is a good time to climb Mt. Fuji?
​What is the official climbing season for Mt. Fuji?
How many trails are there on Mt. Fuji?
​How difficult is the climb?
​Will there be restrooms?
Are there trash cans available?
What sort of equipment is needed to climb Mt. Fuji?
Where can I find a weather forecast?
​Is going up or coming down Mt. Fuji more difficult?
Where can we leave our luggage before ascending Mt. Fuji?
What are the prospects for a clear or rain-free day?
On a typical day, what is the temperature at the 5th station and the temperature at the summit? (in season July/August)
Does FMG rent equipment to participants not joining one of our tours?

Climbing Mt. Fuji Off Season
When is considered off season on Mt. Fuji?
​Is off season climbing on Mt. Fuji allowed?
What sort of conditions can I expect to see on Mt. Fuji during the off season?
Do I need a permit to climb Mt. Fuji during the off season? 

Acknowledgements:  Global Adventuress thanks Fuji Mountain Guides for partially hosting us on this trek!

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