Mount Fuji is the highest point on the volcanic islands of Japan, the 35th highest mountain in the world, and possibly the most iconic and distinctive peak on the planet. Climbing the 3,776m to the top is something that millions of Japanese people and foreigners alike aim to do during their lifetime, but it’s not the only reason why the mountain is so popular.
Visual representations of ‘Fuji-san’ can be seen on almost every surface available in Japan, but simply getting the chance to actually gaze at it is regarded by many as the highlight of a trip. Mount Fuji deserves its reputation and is worth a visit on any trip to Japan.
What Is Mount Fuji?
While many think that Mount Fuji is just a mountain, it’s actually a volcano. Although it hasn’t erupted since 1707, it’s still deemed as active today. A famous Japanese proverb states that ‘a wise man will climb Mt Fuji once; a fool will climb it twice’.
The mountain was first summited by a foreigner in the 19th century, but has reportedly been climbed by the Japanese from as early as 663, when first climbed by a monk. Its role as a sacred monument for both Shintoism and Buddhism dates back much longer than its thrill-seeking properties and is still seen by many as a gateway to another world. Fuji’s religious significance is marked by the twin Sengen shrines (one at the foot of the mountain, one at the top), and several torii gates dotted among the 10 stations that comprise the route.
How to Visit Mount Fuji
To experience the best of Japan’s most sacred and iconic symbol, taking a guided tour is an absolute must for your a visit to Mount Fuji. Tourist Japan’s Mount Fuji and Hakone day tour is the ideal choice for travelers looking to fully immerse themselves in the wonder of Japan’s highest mountain. With transportation, expert guides, and meticulously planned itineraries provided, you can relax and embrace the splendor of Mount Fuji.
These government-licensed experienced guides offer local insights and historical context, ensuring that your journey transforms into a cultural adventure. Additionally, guided tours often feature stops at scenic viewpoints, charming gift shops, and hidden attractions, enriching your experience.
For instance, this specific Mount Fuji tour also includes a visit to the nearby Hakone area, complete with a cable car ride offering a unique perspective of Mount Fuji. By choosing a guided tour, your visit to Mount Fuji will for sure become the highlight of your Japan trip.
Location of Mount Fuji
Though it sits 100 km south-west of Japan’s capital and is actually much closer to Shizuoka, Tokyo really seems to lay claim to the great mountain. There are dozens of ways to reach the greater Fuji-area from Tokyo and countless methods for catching a glimpse of the peak without leaving the city itself.
The ‘Five Great Lakes’ that surround the northern rim are also home to five touristy towns that pride themselves on their access and proximity to the mountain. Most shinkansens going to Tokyo from the south-west will blast straight past Fuji along the Tokaido route, offering passengers a quick view if they’re lucky.
Different Ways to Ascend Mount Fuji
Option 1: Climbing the Mountain
Climbing Fuji is not for the faint of heart, but it’s sure to be an incredible experience for seasoned hikers. The official climbing season only includes July and August and though you can climb at other times of the year, it should only be for seasoned mountaineers as nowhere along the route will be open and you’ll face some difficult weather conditions. All sorts of people climb Mount Fuji but you should have a good base level of fitness to consider the climb. Expect to walk for 8-10 hours before (almost certainly) spending the night in a hut. Even in July or August, the weather at the top can drop below freezing, especially if you’re trying to reach the peak for the spectacular sunrise.
There are numerous other routes up to the top but the most fabled, and most challenging, is starting from the bottom, which is surprisingly something that very few climbers ever attempt. Beginning from the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine in Fujiyoshida, true Fuji pilgrims will expect to climb almost completely alone for the entire Yoshida-guchi trail, before they merge with other climbers at the 5th station. Be warned, this route is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re prepared to climb this impressive mountain, be sure to read our full guide to climbing Mount Fuji.
Option 2: Seeing Mount Fuji from a 5th Station
The most popular option to mix climbing with driving is to take a bus to one of the four ‘5th Stations’ half-way up the mountain and climb from there. The Yoshida-Guchi trail which begins from Kawaguchiko 5th Station is the most frequented of all. From here, follow the hordes of climbers to a mountain hut near the 8th station for a night’s rest, before tackling the summit at dawn. Expect slow-moving human traffic from the moment you step off the bus, especially if you try to reach the top via torch-light in the early morning.
For those who dream of seeing the beauty of Mount Fuji but aren’t hikers, this day tour to Mount Fuji and Hakone is suitable for those of any fitness level, as it has minimal walking. In fact, visitors will get to see Mount Fuji from three different vantage points: From the Shubaru 5th Station, on a boat from Lake Ashi at the foot of the mountain, and in a cable car in nearby Hakone.
Discover the Majestic Mountain for Yourself!
Mount Fuji isn’t just a mountain; it’s an emblem of Japan, an iconic peak that continues to captivate people worldwide. Its rich history, cultural importance, and awe-inspiring natural beauty make it an absolute must-see. Whether you’re a daring adventurer aiming to conquer its summit or a traveler in search of a more relaxed experience, there are numerous ways to explore and revel in the grandeur of this extraordinary mountain. Opting for guided tours, such as our Mount Fuji and Hakone day tour, is a seamless and immersive way to maximize your visit. From the serene lakes adorning its northern rim to the vibrant cities and scenic viewpoints offering distant glimpses of Fuji, the journey to Mount Fuji ensures unforgettable memories and a profound appreciation for this incredible natural wonder.