Climb Mount Fuji

To Climb Mount Fuji was on my 40 things I want to do before I turn 40 list. While this mountain only takes 2 days to hike it was definitely a challenge for me and the 5 friends I climbed it with. For hikers seeking the summit it will take 2 days to climb Mount Fuji. When I did the climb we left Tokyo bright and early on day 1 and traveled for most of the morning. We hiked for half the day and spent the night in a mountain hut. We woke up early again the following day to summit Mount Fuji at sunrise. By mid-day we were back at the station we arrived at made out way back to Tokyo. There are 4 trails that lead to the summit: Yoshida, Fujinomiya, Subashiri and Gotenba trails. When I did my climb I did the Subashiri trail. This trail has less tourists and more locals. I met several Japan people along the way. One man told me that there was a Sumo Tournament in Tokyo coming up and as a result I was able to attend.
As someone who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked to Everest Base Camp, and hiked all over the world I didn't think twice about Mount Fuji. As a result I vastly underestimated the mountain. While the hike is only 2 days it is very steep and the quick ascent and descent made me legs feel like jelly for several days following the climb. It might take longer to hike up the mount, but the descent is the most difficult part. The main trail leading down the mountain is made up of loose rocks and pebbles. As a result, your legs will get one hell of a workout. For your own safety take your time and remember to stretch afterwards. I recommend doing some hiking and building up your leg muscles before attempting to climb Mount Fuji.
The climbing season for Mount Fuji is usually July to mid-September. During this time the weather is mild and the mountain usually doesn't have any snow on it. During this time period the mountain huts are open and the mountain can be easily access by public transportation. As for weather, during the day, at lower elevations, the weather can get hot and humid. However the higher on the mountain you go the cooler it will get. At night temperatures can drop drastically. Even though it's summertime when you'll be climbing make sure to bring warm clothes to wear at night and on your way to the summit. The wind can pick up and being cold isn't fun. Depending on the weather you might not have a view from the summit. While I was very lucky and had a spectacular view on my summit morning, this is not always the case. The guide told me that we were lucky enough to have some of the best summit weather of the season as, even though it was VERY windy, there was no rain and we had a view when the sun came up.
Do I Need A Guide To Climb Mount Fuji? The long answer is yes, you should have a guide when climbing Mount Fuji if you don’t speak Japanese, if you’ve never been 10,000 feet above sea level, and if you’re not an experienced hiker. Even if you’re an expereinced hiker I’d still recommend hiring a guide. There were very few people working in the mountains huts that spoke English, so if you’re not comfortable with a language barrier get a guide. While, in the grand scheme of things, Mount Fuji isn’t a very tell mountain people still get altitude sickness. If you’ve never been above 10,000 feet in elevation or you don’t know how you react to altitude for your own safety hire a guide. Your health and your life is not worth the money you’ll save by not hiring a guide.