Five Things About Mt. Fuji

Planning a climb to the top of Mount Fuji?

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You’ll get great photos, but suffer through hell for every one.  Enjoy the torture.

Beyond the basics like food, drink, winter clothes, and hiking shoes, you’ll need to be aware of a few other essentials, things that often get forgotten about or not mentioned.

1.) Bring Spats

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These are often forgotten on many lists, yet going down Mt. Fuji without them can be pure horror.

The down trail from the top is sand and rock. Without spats, you’ll end up stopping every ten minutes to empty your shoes. One of my climbing companions thought he could get by without them and boy, did he regret that.

Another friend of mind didn’t bring them, didn’t know she needed to, and wore shoes with low ankle support. She said “it was hell”.

This was my second climb to the top.  I kept wondering why I didn’t remember spats being that important, but then I realized that it had rained on the way up. The soil was wet and stuck together that time. The spats weren’t needed then.

Otherwise, they’re an essential for going down.

2.)  Female Hygienic Item Disposal

This concerns women. Thankfully, it was never an issue either time I climbed Mt. Fuji.  However, others should be aware.

If you are on your period, then be prepared to carry ALL your material up the mountain and back down.  None of the huts will accept female hygiene products.  Luckily, I’ve never attempted Mt. Fuji during that time, but it was a close call this last time.  I was very close, but fortunately it waited a few days.

However, the sign posts in the women’s restrooms all read:  take your female products with you.

So if you plan to climb and the Red Lady pays a visit, you’ll be lugging her goods up with you.  If you get heavy ones… you’ll be carry a LOT of that stuff with you.  So perhaps consider skipping because that could get unpleasant.

3.)  Money For The Toilets

Brings lots of 100 yen coins for the restrooms.  They’ll charge either 200, 300, or 500 to use their facilities which is often nothing more than a hole in the ground with toilet paper nearby.  It’s not unfair since tens of thousands climb the mountain and all that waste has to be carried down by someone.

I spend probably about 3,000 to go up and down since I had to go to the bathroom at almost every station.  9 stations and the top plus going twice on the way down.

The cabin restroom was free since we paid for a night.  But still going 10 times will rack up lost of money.

4.)  All Booked Up

Thinking you might stay at a cabin near the top?  Forget it.  They’re all booked up by early April.  We had to stay at one on the lower levels.

The price wasn’t so bad (only 8,000 yen).

5.) It’s Not So Bad

Maybe for some who are in good shape.  There are those who like to brag that Mt. Fuji is easy.  For the average person, it is not easy.

The first time my friends were told about climbing Mt. Fuji, both the Japanese and foreigners told them “it’s not that bad of a hike”.

They were unprepared for the next 24 hours of hell they went through getting to the top.  If you are in good shape and have some hiking experience, Mount Fuji will not be that difficult.

But for the average person who is not in shape, it is HELL.  These beautiful photos were earned through pain and suffering.  Enjoy the wonderful sunrise.  Isn’t it pretty?   I suffered for this.

All the people I know come back from Mt. Fuji with gorgeous photos, bragging rights, and a promise of “NEVER AGAIN”.

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