Jan. 2, 2014 NEW!
Michiko, an exchange student from UC Berkeley, wrote a report on her lovely blog!
Jul. 31, 2010
Mr. Richard Crume wrote a detailed report. Please read it before climbing Mt. Fuji!
Feb. 27, 2008
A regular visitor introduced this video with this message. "It shows typical true feelings as one climbs Fujisancc happy at the beginningc..sad and tiredc.. and finally sense of accomplishment at the top."
Aug. 29, 2007
I spent last weekend (Aug25-26th 2007) climbing Mt.Fuji. I have to admit, it's no joke. Razor sharp volcanic rocks and it's dead freezing starting from 6th station up.
You must have all of these items for this hike to summit.
- Proper Hiking Boots + Thick socks.
- Winter clothes (Thermal wear) (2-3 layers). No cotton wear.
- Rain Jacket + Pants
- Head Light + spare batteries
- Winter cap or a hiking hat.
- Sun Glasses
- Oxygen can (some of you will experience altitude sickness. You will need fresh O2 supply, trust me!)
- Power bar, candy, something with rich glucose.
- 2 litres of water (you will sweat but it dries up fast and makes you sick. Chill air dries your throat, so get hydrated always)
- Waterproof backpack or a backpack rain cover.
- Wet tissue for wipe your hands while having onigiri/ wipe face aft climb.
Summary of my climb.
The fifth station is called Kawaguchiko- Gogome. It's 2305m high and you will feel the chill as you as you get off your vehicle. It was only 7.00pm then.
Please change to light winter wear. Summer wear is a no go from here onwards. You got to rest for hour and stretch your muscles here. If you plan to have dinner, bad news, there aren't anything other than hotdog, French fries. So, please get your Onigiri or some bento here in Tokyo and have it at 5th station.
I got a wooden walking stick called 'Kongo Zue'. two bells attached to the stick. You can spot them in almost every shop at fifth station. 1000 yen. It's a great souvenir as you could get your stick stamped in every station you climb. I collected all till summit.
I started the ascend at 9.00pm. Lucky me, it was a clear sky. It was quite crowded with many foreigners. Some with jeans but please don't wear this. Most stopped half way. It looks easy as you will first walk straight for 10-15 mins. Then comes the huge stairs. It's quite slippery and the rocks are unstable. From this point, it's all up. There wouldn't be guided stairs from 61/2 sta up so, it's more like rock climbing. Your gloves will help you in this situation.
In every station you can get your Kongo Zue stamped. They also sell some drinks but the price will go sky rocket as you climb higher. I had a cup noodle at 7th station for 600 yen. Bottled water costs you 400 yen. Take a few mins break in every station. Drop your backpack and sit on the floor( I mean the volcanic rocks). I changed to thick winter wear in the 7th station. It was like 10.30ish and the cold breeze came from no where. It was like 2-3 degrees. Freaking cold, guys !!!! So, try not rest too long outdoor. If you are very exhausted and wanting a long rest, you can stay in the mountain huts along the way. It costs like 4000-5000 yen. I am not sure if it's open this Fri-Sat. About toilets, they are located in very station. It stinks from outside. You put in 100 yen as donation in the box outside.
As air grew thin and I constantly had to use my O2 can form 8th station. You may get dizzy, so pls rest few mins in between the climb. You can easily spot the 'Torii', shrine gate which is the entrance to the summit. Two lion statues stand guard in between. I kept climbing and got my sunrise at 4.35am. It's beautiful, the cloud, the horizon, the Fuji 5 lakes, etc... Help yourself with hot curry rice or noodles for 1200yen in the summit.
The descend route is to the left of the crater. It's all dusty volcanic red sand and it's 100% guaranteed to mess up your beautiful shoes, pants. It's also an endless zig zag route(I was praying when it's gonna end) and the pressure is added to your knee and thigh. Cover your face with a towel or face mask and don't forget your sunglass. Please descend slowly. You may bump into some wild horses down below. I saw 4 of them.
Follow the Kawaguchi-ko trail and you will arrive in safely 5th station in 3-4 hours time.
Have fun !!!
Tips and Info
1. Take you own pace to climb. Don't rush, you most likely will fall sick. 2. Sunrises at 4.30am. Time yourself if you plan to see that in the summit. 3. No garbage bin there. You will need to bring all trash back home. 4. Don't mix up the descend route. Wrong route will lead you to Shizuoka instead of Yamanashi pref. Follow the Kawaguchi-ko trail.
*Pictures are HERE*
Thank you very much for your report and helpful tips! Most shops on the 5th station close at night. So people who would like to start climbing after 7 or 8pm, yeah, bring your own bento/onigiri or something. Oh, some wild horses? Maybe they are not wild and for riding people between 5th and 7th stations. You must have had a great time for climbing Mt.Fuji. I hope you won't forget it.
Aug. 29, 2007
I got on the first train at 4:58am on August 4th so I could be at Fujinomiya station by 8:30. Since I will be away from Japan gon businessh for the rest of climbing season, I knew it was my last chance to climb Fujisan this year. I took a short cab ride to see the Fujisan Hongu Sengentaisha shrine and it was much nicer than I expected. I spent over an hour there, relaxing, taking pictures, and killing time before my hike. The mirror pond is a very nice place to relax, and you can drink from the spring that feeds it. Since I started work again on Monday, I didnft have the time or energy to start my hike there, so at 10:20am I left the shrine and took a bus to the Fujinomiya 5th station.
I got to the 5th station at noon. I could see the top of Fujisan from there. It was hot, sunny, and windy. It was a beautiful day for enjoying the surroundings, but a little warm for a hike. The 5th station was smaller than the Kawaguchiko trail 5th station, but there were too many people for me there. I walked 40 minutes to the 6th station and took my hour break there to get my body used to the thin air. I wanted to do it at the 5th, but it was way too crowded. As usual, I started with some curry rice. As I ate, I had a nice conversation with a Japanese woman working there as a summer job, taking a break from college in New York It is always nice to meet new people, even if it is just a brief conversation. It must be hard working in a hut, she said she had no days off during the season.
Right after the 6th station, I saw the strangest thingctwo Japanese guys walking downc one was wearing a suit and tie, the other in a full Winnie the Pooh suit. I doubt they climbed to the top in this. If they did, they stayed very clean and looked comfortable. The trail from the 6th to 6.5 stations was very gravelly and not fun to climb.
At 2:00pm, I made it to the 6.5 station. I took a short trail to the right to get a better view of Mt. Hoei, where Fujisan last erupted. She blew her side, not the top, and it was very interesting to see. I came back to the main trail and made it to the 7th station at 4:00pm. It was very windy and getting cooler, so I put on my rain coat.
I saw many people vomiting between the 7th station and the top. Maybe the combination of taking a bus to the highest altitude 5th station on the mountain, not taking breaks, the hot weather, and the steeper trail made more people sick. From the 7th station to the top, the trail was very steep and rocky. It was a more difficult climb than the Kawaguchiko and Subashiri trails. The big rocks made it easy to get a good foot hold, but the steep trail made it harder to climb.
It took an hour to get to the 8th station. At 6:15pm I made it to the 9th station and saw the sun set behind the mountain above the clouds and took a break. The 9th station hut had a very big kitchen and western seating (coolcnormal chairs!). I was excited. The other huts along the way did not look very inviting for a gaijin with long legs that needed to be stretched?the 5th, 6th, and 9th were the only huts with chairs. When I saw my instant ramen in a Styrofoam bowl, I wasnft as excited. It didnft look or taste as good as I hoped, even after a long day, but at least I could take a break.
I got to the 9.5 station around 7:30pm and thought it would be a good time to call my dad in the States. I was wrongcsorry for waking you up, Dad! I enjoyed the cool air and saw a lightning storm just below me in the distance. I paid 6000 yen to stay there for the night, and 400 for a hot coffee. Two guys from Shizuoka prefecture offered me some rice crackers and we talked a little. They had been drinking beer and ume-shu, which made our conversation loud and interesting to say the least. The owner of the hut kept telling them to be quiet, because people were already sleeping. Finally, at 9pm, he showed us our gbedsh which had a lot more room than the hut I stayed at on the Subashiri trail. They werenft stacked two high, and there were hooks to hang your shoe bag and backpack so that you can use all of your 6ft x 2ft area without worrying about where to put our things. They also kept a very dim light on, which made it easy to see your way out in the dark. I used all 6 feet plus some, so when someone had to use the toilet, I moved my legs so they could get by. I heard more people gasping for air in their sleep this time, and more drunken laughter following it, which made me laugh too. The pillow I had was actually soft, but once again, the blanket was damp. With no access to water on the mountain, I assume they are gair driedh when the weather is good, and washed once a season. I was only a short distance to the top, but had slept all I could and woke up at 2:00am. I didnft want to move, but the toilet outside and a cigarette were both calling my name. After that, I was wide awake. I made the mistake of leaving and climbing up early.
I was on top at 3:15amca full hour and a half early. It was a beautiful nightcI could see the moon, and stars (they donft have stars in Yokosuka) but it was very cold, and very windy. I saw my first glimpse of light blue and orange on the horizon at 4am and people around me got really excited. By then, I was shivering from the cold, and I found a place just below the top to watch the sunrise with some shelter from the wind. I could see half of a beautiful red sun rise through the clouds at 4:56am. I was finally convinced that the sun was going to continue to rise at 5:15 even if I stopped watching it, so I walked around the crater. I walked counter-clockwise to the weather station at Kengamine (the highest point on the mountain), took a few pictures of Fujisanfs shadow from the observation point, and went around to the top of the Kawaguchikoguchi trail where my first hike ended. The entire top of the mountain was crowded, especially the trail from the top of the Fujinomiya trail near the shrine and post office. The sunrise, the crater, everything was much more than I had imagined. During my first two trips I got turned around once I got to the top because of weather, so I was really excited to be able to ENJOY the top!
I came back to the Fujinomiya side to go to the shrine and mail my postcard from the post office and around 7:45, I began my descent down the Gotemba-guchi trail. The 8th station hut was abandoned. I didnft stop much on the way down. The sand slide decending trail was a lot of funcfor the first 30 minutes. The trail is very deep gravel and sand, and it is almost a straight path. They say running down is dangerous, I think it might be more dangerous walking slowly. If you take the trail at a faster speed, lean back slightly and land with your heels first. Once you gain momentum, it is very hard to stop, the last thing you want to do is dig your toe into the sand lose your balance or and eat dirt. I got sand and small rocks in my shoes and socks, and since they would fill up again when I continued down the trail, I didnft even bother dumping them out until the 5th station. It is illegal to take volcanic rock from Fujisan, but I broke the law without trying. I am just now getting the rest of the sand out of my shoes.
Like at Gotemba station the Fujinomiya station does not accept PASMO or SUICA IC cards for the train.
The Gotemba trail is almost all made of this smaller rock and sand, and I wouldnft wish climbing UP this trail on my worst enemies. There are a lot fewer huts, the hike would be much harder, and it is also the longest of the 4 trails. Even going fast down the sand slide, it took a long time getting down. If you want to get a close-up view of where Fujisan blew her side in 1707, either take the trail from Fujinomiya, or take the Gotembaguchi decending trail if you want to try the sand slide.
I strongly recommend wearing some sort of hiking boot with gaiters for that trail down. If you wear size 13 or 14 (US size) shoes, I recommend buying boots before you come to Japan. 31 cm is very big for feet here, and I found it impossible to find anything in that size.
Well done, Brad! How are your feet now? You should buy your own BIG hiking boots by next climbing!
Thank you for the report, again! People will love to read it!
Aug 2, 2007
I started my climb on Tuesday, July 17th. I got on a train at 5:45am so I could be in Gotemba in time for a 9:10am bus to the Subashiriguchi 5th station. I got off the bus at Miyaue which is the stop for the Higashi-guchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine. The shrine was very nice. I walked around, took some pictures, got my walking stick there, and left the shrine at 10am.
I started hiking along the Fuji Azami line, the road to the 5th station. It was 12km from the shrine to the 5th station, and it took me a little over 4 hours to get there. There were places where the trail was passable and allowed a straight walk instead of following the curvy road. The forest was very nice along the roadside, and there were also a lot of wild strawberries growing along most of the road. The road from the 10- 10.6km mark was a nice breakcvery flat compared to the steeper winding switchbacks before that point. The view would have probably been better if I had been able to see Fujisan, but I was inside a cloud the entire time. The exhaust from the cars and buses were very annoying as I was walking. Many times taxis slowed down next to me, hoping I would get in and ride the rest of the way. It was tempting.
The 5th station is smaller and less commercial then the Kawaguchikoguchi trail 5th station. There were 2 smaller shops that had food, souvenirs, climbing sticks, cotton gloves, oxygen, and other things that would help for a climb. It was really nice. I stopped at the 1st shop and ate curry rice. It wasnft as good as at the Sato Goya hut on the Yoshidaguchi trail, but it allowed me to rest my legs and catch my breath. I left the 5th station at 2:30pm.
I made it to the 6th station at 3:45pm, and went inside for some hot tea. The staff there was very friendly, and they had free snacks and let me rest as long as I needed. As I was leaving, a couple from Hungary that I saw at the bottom came in. I left the hut at 4:45pm. At 5:15, I reached the 6.5 station, but didnft stop because I was well rested. I saw my first view of the top from there, I had reached the top of the clouds. It was still overcast, but from there to the top, I was above the cloud that blocked any view I might have had earlier.
From the 5th to the 6.5 stations, I stopped many times to enjoy the plants and trees as I climbed. Many of the trees grew almost sideways, and some of the needle trees only had branches on one side, trying to make use of the limited sun on this side of the mountain. This portion of the trail would make a great day hike even if you turn around and go home at the 6.5 station. It was by far the most enjoyable and beautiful section of trail.
Between the 6th and 6.5 stations, there was more gravel and small rocks, making it harder to climb up. I saw the first snow along the trail before the 7th station, and it was getting very windy. I was not impressed at all by the 7th station hutcmiso soup was on the menu, but not available, but for an extra 200 yen, they said they would make me pork soup, and allow me to eat OUTSIDE ONLY unless I was staying there for the night. For me, getting warm, resting, and talking to people is the goal of the huts, not the food itself. I made it there at 6:35, and after being offered to wait and eat on a wet bench outside, I left at 6:36 with no loss in yen.
Although I was on the wrong side of the mountain for sunset, I was still able to see a pretty good sunset above the clouds. I climbed to the 7.5 station (Miharashikan hut) and arrived at 7:22pm. I had very good ramen there, and after telling the staff that I had climbed from the shrine at the base of the mountain, I was offered some free rice and pickles to keep my strength up. Very friendly staff, and a nice looking hut. I would have stayed there just because of their great hospitality, but I wanted to shorten my climb in the early morning and stop higher up. I left at 8pm.
I decided to stop at the lower 8th station Edoya hut at 9pm, before the Subashiriguchi trail merged with the busier and more crowded Kawaguchikoguchi trail. The hut was decent, probably not at all comfortable (only a 6ft x 2 ft space with a heavy but damp blanket and a very hard pillow) but EXTREMELY comfortable for someone that has been climbing for the past 11 hours. I woke up a few times and heard people waking themselves up gasping for air or sucking air from their oxygen bottles. Surprisingly, I did quite well sleeping at 10,998ft. I didnft get my 2am wake-up call, nobody did. When I looked out the window, I saw why. It was raining, windy, and it was hard to find the trail with my headlamp as I was leaving the hut. The white lights were too bright and I couldnft find my way in the fog (all I saw was fog), and the red light wasnft bright enough to see anything. It continued to rain all the way up, but the fog wasnft thick for very long.
There were almost no people until the Subashiriguchi and Kawaguchikoguchi trails merged. After that happened, it was a human traffic jam, a steady line of people to the top. I was able to pass a few people on the wider sections of trail, but for the most part I had to stop when the person ahead of me stopped.
I made it to the top at 4:30am for gsunriseh which was not only cloudier than my first trip, but raining hard with strong winds. Luckily, the huts on top were open this time, and so was the shrine. The shrine opened at 5am, and I got the ink stamp on my walking stick, then after asking around, I found one of the huts (in the back kitchen area) that sold the two brands (TOP MOUNT.FUJI ALT 12395FT) and (SUNRISE TOP MOUNT.FUJI 2007). I gave one of my hand warmers to a woman that was obviously not prepared for the cold, had a cup of hot lemon tea, and tried to hike around the crater to the shrine and post office on the Fujinomiya and Gotemba side of the mountain. I got turned around early when I saw the wind was blowing extremely hard from the crater out. I didnft want to risk taking the fastest way down (getting blown down). Mom and Dad, your postcard will get mailed on my next trip up.
The walk down was uneventful, always the hardest part. I was tired, and just wanted to get to the Kawaguchikoguchi 5th station. I started walking down around 6am and got to the 5th station by 10am. I ran part of the way down, because when I walked, I walked VERY SLOW. The weather was cooler and easier to hike in, but the views would have been much better with blue skies.
If weather permits on the weekends before climbing season ends, my next trip will be from the base of the Fujinomiyaguchi trail, and down the Gotembaguchi trail. After that, I will take more trips from the 5th stations to the top and also day hikes around the beautiful Fuji area.
TIPS: You will not be able to use PASMO or SUICA IC cards if you get off at Gotemba station, you will have to buy a ticket at the station you start at or pay cash at the station. You can plan your trip using both JR and other train lines using the JR search website http://grace.hyperdia.com/cgi-english/hyperWeb.cgi
The hike from the shrine to the Subashiriguchi 5th station can probably be skipped, because unlike the Yoshidaguchi trail, there is a paved road, not a trail to the 5th station. If you want to start at the shrine, do that, and get back on the bus to the 5th station. If you want to hike the Fuji Azami road, cross the main road across from the shrine, it is the road that goes under the overpass (bridge). If you want a good climb on a more natural trail from the base to the 5th station, take the Yoshidaguchi trail from the Sengen shrine in Fujiyoshida instead.
The trail is very nice from the 5th to 6.5 stations. It was a more natural trail than Kawaguchikoguchi from the 5th station, and very beautiful. There are not as many mountain huts, but there were enough for me even though the weather was cold and wet. As there are not many people on this trail, you will not be able to make many friends on the way up, and will probably have to climb alone until the 8th station.
The huts at the top of the mountain are very busy (packed full) before sunrise until about an hour after. After that, most people climb down. If you can wait until then, or walk around the crater (in good weather), you will have much room to stretch your legs in a hut a little later.
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR COLD AND WET WEATHER! The weather can change very fast, and I saw many people on top suffering from the cold. Bring very warm clothes, and wrap them in a plastic bag inside your backpack (warm clothes arenft warm if they are wet), and buy a GOOD rain suit (the cheap ones will probably leak or rip). You will be happy if you stay warm and dry, and miserable if you are cold and wet.
If you have time, get off the bus from the Kawaguchiko 5th station at the Fuji Visitor Center. They have very good maps and brochures about Fuji and climbing information, and a nice 10 minute video about the history of the mountain. The staff there are very friendly!
*Pictures are HERE*
Thank you for the long detailed report and beautiful pictures of Subashiri-guchi
trail! I am looking forward to receiving your reports of Fujinomiya-guchi
& Gotemba-guchi trails someday soon!
July 24, 2007
Last weekend was one of the best of my tokyo time as i accomplished my long time dream of climbing mount fuji.....
i must say its a tough task and checks your endurance of ur every step you take towards the summit.
Had to face the worst climatic changes with ard 2 degree celcius and i think it went below minus by the time i reached the summit
with wind speed up to 80-90 kmph hitting u hard to make lose ur balance and above all these it was raining too....
first i thought it wouldd be a difficult task.... but not for from achieveing it.... so i made my mind and decided even
if the worst weather strikes i wont give up..... started climbing at ard 8 PM. Its a 8 hour night trek i did to see the sun rise
next morning at around 4:30 am. started trek at Fuji's 5th station, ( the summit is on 10th station)
Each station takes about 2 hours with its own difficulties.
The entire trek is filled with Volcanic rocks and stones, had to get over them really hard to make it on time to the summit.
As i started to ascend on 8th station around 1 am it started rainig very heavily and remember there are no shelters to hide.
If you got to be on the summit you need to face the Fuji's volatile climate.
Fortunately around 3:30 am the sky started clearing up and I made to the summit around 4 am, just half an hour before the sunrise.
Sharp at 4:40 am could see the orange streaks on the sky with ocean of clouds around you.
Believe me this moment was awesome as you could see all the clouds below you and the sun is rising below you..... that looks amazing.
Though clouds played their game, nothing could stop the brightness of the sun to emerge from them and sun rose elegantly
to give its first glimpse to us. That made me realize every step of pain I took up the mountain was worth it for that one moment.
Spent few minutes around the crater and started descending as the temperature was getting below minus and it was freezing on top.
One experience of Life .
* Pictures are HERE*
Tokyo / Bangalore, India
Thank you Manju! I am happy that the weather on the top was clear! And thank you for the beautiful pictures.
Please don't forget this climb forever!
July 13, 2007
The weather forecast for July 5th and 6th was rain the last time I checked it, but I woke up on July 5th seeing sun in Yokosuka, so I hurried to pack my things and headed to Fujiyoshida station. I got to the Sengen shrine about 2:45pm, took a few pictures, and started hiking. I made it to the 1st station around 4:15pm. (The 1st-5th stations are abandoned... you will not find many hikers, and the forest is very peaceful! I recommend you start from this point if you can add an extra 4 hours to your hike. Seeing the shrine the first time was enough for me to take the 3 hour one-way trip again today just to see it). I passed the 5th station just before sunset, I remember that the sunset was about 7pm, and I made it to the Satogoya hut as the sun was setting. Sunset was very beautiful, with clouds above and below me. The two people I met at the beginning of the trail, and took turns hiking past, were inside the hut near the fire and called me in. The curry rice was very good, instead of ginger pickles, they had a sort of small red onion pickles ...VERY tasty! I also had a very good salad and miso soup. Ahhh...it was exactly what I needed to continue on.
My new friends stayed the night there, but I expected bad weather the next day so I continued on by myself through the night. At the 6th station is the Mt. Fuji Safety Guidance Center, which will give you a nice little map of the Yoshida-guchi trail and any information you need. I got there around 9:15pm. The map will give you approximate times for the top, but I recommend stopping a few times, and walking slowly (ENJOY THE TRIP UP!) My original plan was to go up at a faster pace and stay in a mountain hut, but I went very slow, talking to people from all over the world and giving some of my oxygen and water to people that weren't feeling to good. I stopped at every hut that was open to get the hut's stamp branded onto my walking stick, and sometimes had a cup of hot lemon tea. I made it to Fujisan Hotel at 1:30am, and stayed for about 45 minutes. I got to the top around 4am. The climb up was fun, but once I got there, I wasn't very excited.
The entire climb up, the weather was clear. I could see city lights from around the base of the mountain, a lot of stars, it was beautiful! Then...around 4am, I was inside a cloud. I couldn't see a sunrise. I had a stocking hat and a heavy rain coat on, but the wind made it VERY cold on top. I stayed on top until about 5am hoping that the fog would clear, but it didn't. My two options were to climb back to a lower hut and wait to go back to the top, or just go back down. I went back down to Fujisan Hotel where the cloud ended, and I watched it continue to go down the mountain (instead of clearing, it got worse) so I went down the rest of the way.
I was tired, so instead of hiking down to the Sengen shrine again, I walked across to the Kawaguchiko 5th station and got on a bus the rest of the way down. I got most of my daylight pictures coming down, since I couldn't see much of the mountain at night. There was still a lot of snow on top, and as I went down, there was less snow and more green. I walked down very slowly and got to the 5th station right before noon. I could have walked faster, but I didn't really want to rush anything. I got home late that day, and I had been awake for too long. As soon as the weather looks promising, I am going to take another route up! My goal is to cover all the trails up if not this year, then next. It is a beautiful mountain, and meeting friendly people from around the world and climbing it together is a great experience.
Some tips: Since there are no huts open between the shrine and the Satagoya hut, bring enough water! I drank 2 liters and was ready for more when I got to the hut. Cans of oxygen are very helpful. Even if you don't (or you don't think you will) get altitude sickness, when I felt like I didn't want to hike any more, I took a few deep breaths of oxygen and I felt great! They are sold at some convenience stores, also sporting goods stores. On the mountain, everything is more expensive. Do not climb in jeans! Just don't do it. It's not comfortable at all, they are too heavy. Don't get to the top too early before sunrise, it is very cold, and the winds can be very strong. There is not much for shelter on top.
*Pictures are HERE*
Thank you Brad! Let's try another climbing and I hope you will see the Sunrise at the top then!
And thank you for your advice for climbing. They must be very helpful for those who want to climb
I climbed Mt Fuji when I was six years old, in 1957. I still have my father's "fuji pole" (that is what we called them)
and my smaller one as well. It is very dear to me.
I recall that we took horses up a short distance and then walked the rest of the way.
We went from station to station, which were very tiny and warm buildings to rest and have a bite to eat.
br> My father and brother made it to the top, but I began to be afraid when I was told it was possible to fall into a volcano. I thought that perhaps it would be like a cartoon I had seen and that I would simply fall right in. So, my father and brother left me at the station just below the top one and I was watched over by such loving people and tucked into a traditional Japanese bed on a tatami mat with a traditional wooden pillow.
My mother had an allergic reaction and stayed in the station below the one I had stopped at. There was really no way to speak to one another in those days (no cell phones), but also there was no fear and we knew all would be well.
That night a foot runner came to the top of the mountain and gave word to my father that he had to be back because of an emergency. He woke me up in the middle of a peaceful sleep and we then reached mom and with the help of guides, we schlepped down the lava slide in the middle of the night, which was quite scarey I must say. It was certainly a lot more fun walking up it that it had been sliding down in the near pitch darkness.
A very kind Papa San carried me down on his back part way, but the trails were very treacherous at places and especially in the dark with just some lanterns to light our way... at one point Papa San and I both almost fell off the mountain. He was so sorry for the fright that I had, but I was so sorry that he saw I was momentarily frightened. I know it upset him. Such a kind man, I will never forget him.
I feel blessed to have been upon that beautiful mountain, even for such a short time. Especially long before anything was built upon it much and when there were so few people upon it.
Do you know if they still have the light wooden Fuji poles to have branded at stations? Or has that changed?
Thank you for sharing your great experience. The light wooden Fuji pole is called "Kongo-zue" in Japanese. They are sold at gift shops, mountain huts, and Sengen Shrines around Mt. Fuji.
If you have a chance to come to climb Mt.Fuji again, please buy one and make your new memories with it!
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