Translated by Verity Lane
Let's Take a Virtual Journey Up Mount Fuji!
Mount Fuji was registered as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2013. Let's climb this iconic mountain via Street view!
Written by LIFE STYLE, Inc.
Mount Fuji was registered as a UNESCO world heritage site on 26th June, 2013. It is a symbol of Japan, with many Japanese and overseas visitors making the journey every year to visit this prestigious place.
This time we would like to take you on a 3 day journey of this iconic mountain - all from the comfort of your sofa! We will be presenting you with a series of images taken over the interval of three days via Google's Streetview, giving you a taste of mountain climbing in Japan.
Mount Fuji - Japan's Iconic Mountain
Mount Fuji 富士山 is Japan's largest mountain. Boasting an impressive 3,776 meters, it stands across the two prefectures of Yamanashi and Shizuoka.
Unfortunately, we are not able to climb this mountain all year round. The trail route from Yamanashi opens annually on July 1st, and the ascent from the Shizuoka area opens around mid-July, both completely closing by September.
It is particularly crowded from the end of July to the end of August, overflowing with mountain climbers on weekends. If you would like to take the time to savour this unique climbing experience, it's probably best to avoid going on weekends. On a side note, the total number of mountain climbers for 2015 was 23,500 people!
There are four different types of trails in total. The Yamanashi trailhead is referred to as the Yoshida-guchi route 吉田口ルート. Shizuoka prefecture boasts these 3 trailheads: Fujiguchi 富士宮口, Subashiguchi 須走口 and Gotembaguchi 御殿場口.
The trails from the base to the the top of Mount Fuji are best explained as being divided into 10 stations. Each stage is numbered from 1 onward (ichi gō "first station", ni gō "second station" in Japanese).
The most common method of beginning the long ascent is by taking a car or bus to the fifth station. Each course has its own various merits, but this time we would like you to focus your attentions on the Yoshida route. This route has the shortest distance to the mountain's highest peak. So let us take you through this virtual journey!
Mount Fuji's Most Popular - the Yoshida Route
The Yoshida pathway is the most popular course, drawing in huge crowds on a yearly basis. The main reason for this is the array of facilities, such as mountain lodgings and first aid stops.
It's not only popular, but the access route to the fifth station is very convenient. You can get the Fuji Express Train to Fuji-san Station from the Tokyo Metropolitan area, or catch a bus from Kawaguchi-ko station (the bus only runs throughout the climbing season). Those travelling from afar can get a direct bus from Haneda airport.
There is one thing to bear in mind when using the Yoshidaguchi route, and this is the sheer over crowding. At the peak of the season, a long queue often forms at the parking lot of the fifth station. Those who would like to avoid the crowds should perhaps consider an alternative route.
Let's begin our Mount Fuji climbing tour from the fifth station!
Going from the Fifth to the Sixth Station
After departing from the fifth station, the road is flat for a while. You will arrive at the Sixth station in about an hour. When you approach this station, the road will have sudden twists and turns, and a forest zone will cut across both sides of the path ahead. The view of the many climbers forming one single line while navigating their way along this unique pathway creates quite the impression!
Run the cursor over the center of the screen, and click the course ahead. By navigating towards the back, you will feel as if you were actually climbing the mountain yourself!
When arriving at the sixth station, a whole host of people taking a well earned break under the blue sky will enter your field of vision. From the sixth station on there are some challenging paths, so it's a good idea to make the necessary preparations. Let's take a good rest and prepare for the next stage!
Going from the Seventh to the Eight Station
The wide, zig-zagging stone path will continue for a while, right up until we arrive at the first mountain hut. Here on after, the path takes sudden twists and turns.
There might be many people suffering from altitude sickness as we reach heights of more that 3,000 meters (from around the eighth station onward). For this reason, a nurse is permanently stationed 24 hours a day in the first aid area during the climbing season. Some people may forget to take fluids when climbing, which could result in overheating, so it's vital to drink regularly.
Going From the Ninth Station to the Peak
The crunching sounds created by the rustling stones around your feet as you journey up towards the peak are impressive. The path ahead looks really crowded as the other mountain climbers converge from the Subashiri route at the eighth station. The ninth station is at the height of 3,600 meters, but there's still another 400 meters until we reach the top. As tiredness begins to descend over you like a huge tidal wave, the next 400 meters may make you feel like you are running a marathon!
Struggling along, you might have to dig deep in order to complete the climb. When you reach the final gate, your legs will be wobbling like jello, but you have finally arrived at the summit!
The Summit of Japan's Tallest Mountain, Mount Fuji
You have FINALLY reached the highest peak of Mount Fuji - a height of 3,776 meters! It has all been worth it, as these spectacular views will render you completely speechless!
You will be able to see the "Mount Fuji Mountain Hut" on street view. This hut is located on the tallest peak of Japan! You have the added pleasure of being able to purchase highly sought after and original souvenirs, as well as finding yourself on the perfect spot to view the spectacular sunrise over Mount Komagatake. This place attracts many people due to its prominence.
Reaching Japan's Highest Summit
How was your virtual tour of Japan's prestigious Mount Fuji? For those who were taken aback by this unforgettable adventure, please go ahead and take on the challenge of climbing Japan's tallest peak for real! Just remember to plan ahead.
Address: Shizuoka prefecture, Fujinomiya City, Mount Fuji
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Credit Cards: -
Language: English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean
Information Provided in other Languages: Yes
Nearest Station: Kawaguchi-ko Station 河口湖駅
Access: Take a bus to Mount Fuji's Fifth station (Fuji go gōme 富士五合目) from either Kawaguchi-ko Station or Fuji-san Station.
Price: Mountain entrance fee (maintenance and cooperation fee)
Religious Information: -
Telephone: Mount Fuji General Information 054-221-3776
Official Homepage: Official Web Site for Mount Fuji Climbing