Japan Diaries: Climbing Mt. Fuji – A Guide

Climbing Mt. Fuji

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you must be aware that recently I and my husband climbed Mt. Fuji. So, I thought to share our experience and some tips for climbing Mt. Fuji with you guys.

It was a real challenge as it was our first time climbing a mountain. We started our mountain climbing/trekking chapter with the highest mountain in Japan standing at 3,776 m height. Woah, I still cannot believe we did this.

Climbing Mt. Fuji

There are four major trails for climbing Mt. Fuji:

  • Yoshida trail - most popular and well maintained. We took this trail for our hike.
  • Subashiri trail
  • Gotemba trail
  • Fujinomiya trail

There are plenty of mountain huts on all the trails. You can always make a quick or long stop at one of these as per your capacity. You can also get refreshments like tea, soup, coffee, water, etc. at these huts. First-aid services are available at 7th and 8th stations just in case you need them. Apparently, if you do not feel very strong or confident to continue your hike, you can rent a horse. They have this facility between 5th and 7th station at around 30,000¥ (I'd rather climb :p).

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Although I carried my DSLR with me, it was too difficult to take it out every time to click pictures. Hence, it is a mixture of pictures from my iPhone (when it was difficult) and from my camera (when we made a stop somewhere).

Climbing Mt. Fuji

10 beginner tips for climbing Mt. Fuji:

  1. If you are not much into exercising and other physical activities I suggest do some brisk walking or jogging for a few days before the climb. It will really help in reducing the soreness afterward (but you will still have some).
  2. Avoid bullet climbing where you ascend the trail non-stop to reach the summit. Start around noon so that you reach halfway or more by evening. Take some rest and then start again at dawn to witness the sunrise at the summit.
  3. It's a good thing to keep a stock of water and food supplies but don't go overboard. Keep about 1.5 l of water (or mixed liquids) and about 4-5 snack/energy bars per person and save on weight on your shoulders. You can always get more water and snacks at the mountain huts as you go up.
  4. Always go for climbing shoes instead of running shoes or sneakers. The trail at Mt. Fuji is covered in gravel and basalt rocks from the volcano, especially in the descending trail. If you're not in proper shoes, it might be a task.
  5. Carry a large loose change (we carried almost 50 100¥ coins) as you'll need it every time you use the restroom starting from the 5th station. It's 100¥ at the 5th station and it rises to 200¥/300¥ as you go up higher. At places, there will be a guard to collect the tip and at places, there will be a tip box at the entrance to the restroom. It will be difficult to get a change there.
  6. Keep a power bank if you can. Apparently, try keeping your phone at flight mode or use it cautiously or else you will run out of power when you need it. You will definitely need your phone to be active on social media because it's Japan and you have wi-fi on Mt. Fuji! WHAT?
  7. At the 5th station, the climate is normal but it keeps on changing while on the mountain. Keep easy-to-layer clothes (e.g. a long sleeve tee, a pullover, a warm coat, warm inners while nearing the summit, etc.) to put on and off as and when the climates changes to the colder side and vice versa while climbing. Be sure to keep rain wear instead of umbrellas and ponchos; umbrellas and ponchos can't normally withstand the strong winds. It almost always rains once or often on Mt. Fuji.
  8. Don't forget these: warm coat/fleece, hat/cap, gloves, clothes in layers, sunscreen (a MUST), rain wear, rain proof bag or rain cover for bag, sunglasses, face mask (at times it becomes dusty so it's better to have something to protect your face and mouth), band-aids/first-aid, head lamp (for climbing at night), small/face towel, personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.), and a garbage bag to bring back your trash as there are no trash bins on Mt. Fuji.
  9. Keep a camera to capture the beauty. I know phones come with pretty good quality cameras these days but let's be honest, to climb up that high for the first time and not take gorgeous pictures is too difficult for me.
  10. Lastly, it's always helpful to carry poles while climbing Mt. Fuji, I especially found it really helpful while descending as it was more difficult than ascending. I imagined myself falling off Mt. Fuji if I didn't have those poles 😀
Climbing Mt. Fuji
Hiking up the clouds

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji
The famous cream-filled bun at a mountain hut on the Yoshida trail

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji
But first, let me take a selfie! :p

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji

Climbing Mt. Fuji
Can you see that lake down there? That's Lake Kawaguchi
Climbing Mt. Fuji
The mountain hut where we stayed.

You can climb Mt. Fuji on your own or take a tour. I suggest taking a tour with a guide if it is your first time. If you take a guided tour, you can also opt for a rental tour plan in which the tour operator provides you with basics like climbing boots, bag, rain wear, poles, etc; we went with a guided tour by Willer Express and took a rental package tour. They also have English-speaking staff which is an added benefit. Check the official website for climbing Mt. Fuji to keep a track of necessary details.

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Climbing Mt. Fuji

Overall, climbing Mt. Fuji is a difficult affair for a first timer but it is so much worth doing. You will find people of all ages including kids and old people climbing the mountain. It really gave so much satisfaction and peace to me that I felt much content. After this, we headed to an onsen to relax at Lake Kawaguchi. 😀

Looking for something else to do in Japan? Check out my Nikko Photodiary for another gorgeous view of Japan. You can also check for Japan under the Travel link from the top most menu on the blog.

Have you climbed Mt. Fuji or any other mountain? Share your experiences with me if you have, in the comment section. If not, I really hope you found this post helpful and plan on climbing Mt. Fuji soon. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading!Signature

  • Swati Sharma

    wow….this must be difficult…..but the scene you get to see up there are priceless……thanks for sharing the pics….


    • Thanks for stopping by Swati! 🙂 It was definitely worth going up there… xx 🙂

  • Sounds like an amazing trek. Wish I can do it someday.

    • It is really breathtaking! I hope you do it soon 🙂

  • I’m soo going to Fuji for a trek, been a long time since I did. Those are some lovely pics you captured.

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    • Thank you Chaicy! 🙂 It’s a lovely experience, I hope you do it soon 🙂

  • Jeenu Pillai

    The pictures are mesmerizing. I am definitely going for a trek on Mt. Fuji when i visit Japan. Awesome!

  • BuildYourOwnEmpire

    Wow! The pictures are just..WOW!
    I’d go climb some mountains just for the view, it would probably take my breath away (if not the view, then my lack of stamina, haha!)
    My mother also climbs mountains and it’s so therapeutic for her, I hope it is for you too!

  • Tania Potter

    Oh wow, what a wonderful experience to share with your husband. It looks like quite a tough climb so well done for doing it! Your tips are actually great for any climbing adventure.

  • BeateLookbook

    Wow! What an adventure. Thanks for sharing all these tips and advice, this is officially on my bucket list. It must have been extra special to be able to share this with someone you love. Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures!

  • Such beautiful photos of the sunset as you climbed MT Fuji. I have to say I have hiked before but I have never climbed a mountain on this scale what an incredible experience x

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    Wow, this was amazing ..what a beautiful sunset yo’ve captured at Mt. Fuji. I really wanna plan to hike it out soon now. I have climbed small ranges but not a mountain of this altitude. Great staying in that hut.

  • Prateek Goel

    Oh my god!! fabulous photographs of sunset at Mt. Fuji!! And the clicks of the clouds is feeling adventure in me.
    True advice and true tips is what we actually want!! Thanks.

  • Claire Lee

    OMG those photos at the top is literally so bomb. It’s so beautiful and I bet you had an amazing experience. I love hiking and I wish I were there.

  • Ania Ewelina

    That’s amazing that you climbed Mt. Fuji. I’m not sure I would be able to do it lol. You much feel so accomplished! I love your photos they’re incredible too!

  • yukti

    Those sunset photos and photos from top are stunning. All the hardwork involved in trekking is worth for such a splendid view. Cream filled bun must be sweet treat that too on a hectic trek.

  • Jen S

    Those photos of the sunset are amazing! I had planned to climb Mt. Fuji last time I was in Japan but unfortunately it was raining the day we’d planned to and we decided it wasn’t worth getting soaked haha

  • I have never hiked this before but have hiked many other places. I am always amazed at how many people attempt hikes like this in sneakers. Definitely invest in good hiking shoes!

  • Alexandra

    Amazing photo, not big in to hiking, but would love clim. Mt. Fuji one day.

  • Anjali Chawla

    I love hiking and trekking. I’ll love to climb Mt. Fuji someday. And your clicks are awesome especially the sunset over the clouds pics. Great post!

  • Mayuri Saxena

    Wow! Amazing photos…Japan is such a beautiful place and it is in my bucket list. Now, I am going to add Mt.Fuji too. 🙂

  • Made Adayasa

    The pictures are stunning . I love hiking . I did many times hiking for sunrise here in Bali island in an active volcano . I will love to climb mount Fuji one day if I can afford to come to Japan .

    Thank you my dear for your great tips

    • I’m glad you found the tips helpful Made! I hope you get to visit Japan soon. 🙂

  • Angela Milnes

    Looks like you had a wonderful day and an awesome experience there and I love the lovely photos

  • Omg, I can’t lie that I am a little jelly of that! It’s BEAUTIFUL. I would love to climb Mount Fiji one day!

  • This is certainly one for the bucket list. Pictures are awesome and well done to you lovely.

  • Oh my goodness, you climbed a mountain! How cool is this?! I couldn’t stop looking at the photos you took of the setting sun, billowy clouds, and views from above. Way to go Mother Nature, you’ve outdone yourself, yet again. Thank-you for inspiring me today. xx

    • Awe, thank you so much for your kind words Ali. Mother nature is always so fascinating.

  • I am very impressed. I think if I were ever able to do this I would take the tour. This is beyond amazing!

  • Sonika Balyan

    It seems you had an interesting trip in japan. Thanks for the tips.

  • MayArcenal

    Wow! your photos look so beautiful! I’m all the more excited because my family and I are heading to Japan this November. But I’m not sure if we’ll be able to see Mt. Fuji because we’ll be visiting Fukuoka and Nagasaki. Hoping we get to, next time 🙂

    • That’s awesome! I hope you have a great time on your trip to Japan. xx

  • Kim Gammage

    My other half has been talking about climbing Mt. Fuji for the last few months. I wasn’t too keen but reading through this I might have changed my mind!

  • Christine Ann Dela Cruz

    Wow!! Your photos looks so nice and breathtaking. I think you had a great day climbing a mountain in Mt. Fuji..

  • Omg this is such an amazing trek you did! I’d love to see Mt Fuji and those amazing views on top.

  • Ma CharmaineNess H. Nioda

    That was so amazing! I had a mountain climbing experience before but I think it was just 1000+ ft, just 1/3 of what you accomplish. Cheers to your success!

  • Veethee Dixit

    Sounds like a really interesting experience! I have always wanted to visit Japan. Your tips are really useful. Thanks a lot!

  • Familyearthtrek

    Wow inspiring as this was your first time hiking on a mountain (or volcano). I have heard that sometime the trail is so crowded that it build a long line of people so people have to stop all the time and never get to feel tired!😂 As a hike lover we have put this on our to do list! And hopefully we will get that magnifique sunset and if possible even better!

    • Thank you so much Dawan, it means a lot coming from you who hikes to such beautiful places. We had to do it before we left Japan for good, so we decided and it was a do or die situation for us, I’m glad we didn’t die. 😂 Yes, sometimes it gets crowded as it is open for climbing for only 2-2.5 months in the year and people from all over the world come to Japan during that season to climb it. I hope you get to do it super soon! xx