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Friday, September 22, 2017, 5:26 PM
10. Mount Fuji

They said "save the best for the last".

Mount Fuji (富士山) or Fuji-yama or Fuji-san is the tallest (3,776m) and the most famous mountain in Japan. It is an icon, a proud of Japanese people. Stands on the border between Yamanashi and Shizouka prefecture, Fuji-san is also known as a sacred mountain, a part of Three Holy Mountains of Japan and listed as one of the ultra-prominent peaks (with topographic prominence greater than 1,500 metres).

The official climbing season for Mount Fuji only open on summer which starts from early July to mid September. On other season, the mountain is capped with snow and not many mountain huts are operating/open, so hikers especially beginner are not advised to hike. 

Mount Fuji has 4 different trails to the peak :-
  • Yoshida Trail (Fuji Subaru Line)
  • Subashiri Trail
  • Gotemba Trail
  • Fujinomiya Trail

I was supposed to hike with the Malaysian team (refer to my Minami Alps post), but due to bad weather (thypoon to be exact), I pulled out from the trip last minute and planned my own trip with another friend of mine who did not manage to summit the other day.

We chose to use the easiest and the most popular trail, Yoshida trail. So we decided to take the highway bus straight from Shinjuku to Fuji 5th station, but unfortunately it was sold out a day before (so fast!). But worry not, we found other alternative, by train.

Nah... not this. This is a luxury one.
This one.

Nakano Station – Shinjuku Station -  Otsuki (JR Limited Express train (Azusa or Kaiji)) – Kawaguchiko  Station (Fujikyuko Railway) – Fuji 5th Station (bus in front Kawaguchiko Station)

We reached 5th Station by 5.54pm (Japan time) when the sun just about to set. We took some time to enjoy the scenery, packed our bags and used the toilet (it’s free here at 5th station). We started hiking around 6pm-ish. There is no permit fee for Mount Fuji, but there is conservation donation about 1000yen (optional). I donated and received few pamphlets on Fuji, a batch and wifi password (yes! there is wifi at Mount Fuji, all the way from 5th station to the peak).

The weather was nice but cold. As we hiked further, it got colder and darker. And to be honest, cold weather is my weakness. We stopped at each station, catching breath and trying to collect thoughts (because coldness made us lost our mind).  

I hit my limit at 7th Station. I could not comprehend the coldness (emergency blanket failed to keep me warm) and decided to sleep in the hut to recover. Afraid that if I proceed I might get hypothermia. The weather was no joke, freaking cold. It was 9°C at that night and they said it might drop to zero in the morning. My friend, however, continued the hike as he really wanted to witness the sunrise from the peak. I bid him goodbye and went to sleep right away.

I woke up in the morning feeling all fresh (the mattress was very comfortable. of course la best, I paid 5500yen for it). I went out and saw many hikers outside and on the trail. The scenery and sunrise were amazing. I bet it looks spectacular up there, on the peak. But never mind, there is always next time.

I continued my hike around 6AM-ish. It was less cold, but the trail was packed with hikers and there were long queue until the peak.

I stopped at 8.5th station for toilet and stupidly left my hat there and I proceeded the journey while cursing at my stupidity along the way. Haha.

Where I stupidly left my hat. 

I reached the top around 11AM-ish (Japan time).

When you asked other people to take your picture but you cannot complain. Haha.

There were temple and few shops on top. Also, an excavator.

I walked around the crater rim and saw a long queue of hikers waiting for their turn to take picture at the highest point of Mount Fuji.

After few minutes of walking, I decided to descend as I had bus to catch! I hurriedly went down. The descend trail has many zig-zags (about 23-24) and that took me about 3 hours to reach the trail head. Thank God, I got there on time and took the last bus to Kawaguchiko train station.

While I was on the bus I met a Germany trail runner who is currently staying in Japan for work and has been to Mount Fuji for 49th times the moment we spoke. He said Mount Fuji is a training ground for many trail runners, including him. Our conversation was mostly covered on mountains. He told me about UTMF while I told him about mountains in Malaysia and why he should sign up for Kinabalu Climbathon.

We parted ways once we reached the train station. It was nice to speak to another stranger in another country (actually it was more to feeling grateful that I finally met someone who can speak English.haha). I went to Tokyo with a happy feeling knowing that I completed my #10mountainsinJapan mission successfully. Alhamdulillah. Yeay!

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