Come across literature showcasing what Japan has to offer the visitor and you will no doubt be confronted by an image of this iconic snow capped mountain top. Mount Fuji, or Fujisan as it’s known in Japan, was listed as a ‘Cultural’ World Heritage site in June 2013, due to its religious significance.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Fuji spans around 70,000 hectares, including 5 large lakes around its base. The sacred mountain itself rises to a magnificent 3,776 metres. It is a solitary stratovolcano (built up of alternate layers of lava and ash) having an almost perfect conical form. For centuries pilgrims have made their way to the top of the crater from the shrines at the foot of the mountain.
Fujisan last erupted over 300 years ago. It lies about 100km south of Tokyo and the snow-capped peak can be seen from here on a clear day. This striking view of the peak can only be seen around 200 days of the year due to low cloud.
Climbing Mount Fuji
Climbing season is from early July to early September only. Trails and huts are closed the remainder of the year and it is considered dangerous to attempt a climb at any other time. The trail starts at the 5th station (2,305m) where you can purchase snacks, drinks and walking aids. It takes between 5 and 7 hours to reach to summit, and there are many mountain huts along the way.
The most rewarding hour to reach the summit is sunrise, but you can catch this from the trails if you don’t start early enough! If you are not up for climbing but want to get a feel for the mountain, there is a 5km section where you can walk around if you only have a few hours.
Getting to Japan
- Many airlines fly to Tokyo’s 2 airports.
- Direct flights are available and take around 12 hours.
- Prices start from £750 (depending on the time of year).
- Indirect flights can be as short as 13.5 hours up to over 20 hours, with at least one stopover. Prices can be found for as little as £460.
Trips to Mount Fuji
There are many ways to visit the mountain. Coach trips are popular if you are staying in Tokyo, and take around 2 hours each way. The scenery is stunning once you leave Tokyo, reminiscent of a trip through rural Europe. The cost of this option, taking in various sites, is about £100.
The bullet train is another great way to get to Fuji.
You may consider a tour around Japan and obviously include a trip to Mount Fuji in the schedule. There are many operators offering these packages.
Public transport is also available, as a much cheaper option.
The FHR team has first-hand experience of this amazing spectacle and can confirm that it deserves a place near the top of your bucket list! It really is a must-see destination.