An unforgettable experience to check off your bucket list.
Mount Fuji is the world-famous symbol of Japan; a beautifully symmetrical, snow-capped cone rising from the earth that has been inspiring poets, pilgrims and painters, as well as camera-toting tourists, for centuries. There are several ways to see and experience Mount Fuji, but the most unforgettable is a summer night climb to the summit to watch the sunrise or ‘goraiko’.
At 3,776 meters high, Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain, located on the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures but visible from Tokyo on a clear day.
If you’re lucky, you might get a glimpse of Fuji’s perfect peak when taking the train around the capital city, from an observatory platform in a tower like the Tokyo Skytree, or if you’re travelling on the bullet train towards Kansai.
To get up close and personal with Fuji, head to the Fuji Five Lakes region at the mountain’s northern base. Stay overnight in a traditional Japanese inn and enjoy onsen (hot springs baths) with postcard-worthy views of the mountain reflected in the rippling waters below.
Alternatively take a day trip to Kawaguchiko, the most accessible of the five lakes, and rent a bike for a picturesque cycle around its circumference. Hiking, camping, snow sports, fishing and museums are on offer, as well as some pretty hardcore rollercoasters at Fuji Q Highland, a theme park at the base of Fuji. Nearby Hakone is a romantic onsen resort town.
Check off an item on your bucket list by climbing Mount Fuji during the official climbing season from early July to mid-September, when the trails and extensive mountain facilities are open. The mountain is divided into ten stations from bottom to top; there are restaurants, shops for supplies and mountain huts to sleep in on your way up, concentrated around four “5th” stations on different sides of the mountains (which is where most people start the climb).
The climbing season can get very busy, especially during school vacations (end of July and August) and it’s not uncommon to have to queue to get up the slopes. But for beginner hikers and tourists in general, this makes the climbing experience easier and more accessible, though the six hour ascent is not something to be taken lightly. Bring supplies and importantly, warm clothes, as it can get very chilly at the summit.