Mount Fuji


 At 3776 meters (12290 feet) Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and the

symbol of the country.



The Trailhead

There are roads up to the fifth station, which is over half way to the peak. The feeling at

the fifth station is something like Disneyland. From here it is a grueling four hour climb

to the top.



Tree Line

The trail starts out just below the tree line.



Sparse Vegetation

After one hour the vegetation is starting to disappear.



Moon Walk

After two hours of climbing, the terrain comes to look like the surface of the moon.

The path gets rocky and is occasionally lined with chains to aid the climbers. There

are several mountain huts along the way where people can rest or even spend the night.



Into the Clouds

Half way up, the trail is often engulfed in clouds. On the four hour hike up the mountain,

you burn about 600 calories per hour, the equivalent of one Big Mac every hour. It seems

strange, but the hike down is not much easier. Climbing Mount Fuji  is a great way to

lose weight.




Bulldozers are used to ferry supplies up to the mountain huts. The wind drafts are

too unpredictable to allow helicopters on the mountain.



Above the Clouds

After three hours of climbing, the path is often above the clouds.



Stairway to Heaven

 A stairway and the gate to a Shinto shrine mark the completion of the climb up the

sacred mountain.




The huts on the top of Mount Fuji feel more like Tibet than Japan. Although the

temperature in Tokyo during the summer is often in the 80's (30 degrees centigrade),

it is rarely much above freezing at the peak. Potato chip bags explode in the thin

air, and altitude sickness is a big problem for many of the climbers.



On the Top

 A weather station stands on the peak, overlooking a caldera that takes one hour to