Climbing Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan and one of its most iconic symbols is an incredibly popular activity. But how many people succeed at climbing Mount Fuji? Typically, there are many climbers and a high success rate every year. But there are also other ways to explore Mount Fuji that give you the same experience without the physical and mental strain.
Here are some of our top tips on what to expect when visiting and climbing Mount Fuji, difficulty levels for climbers, and how you can avoid the stress of climbing while having a great time.
How Hard is Mount Fuji to Climb?
So how feasible is climbing Mount Fuji? Surprisingly, it’s a fairly easy mountain to climb. The trail is well-maintained, and there are plenty of rest stops along the way.
However, the altitude can be challenging for some hikers. The Mount Fuji elevation is 3,776 meters (12,389 feet). It’s important to set aside plenty of time for acclimatization, or gradually adapting to a higher altitude.
Here are a few more tips for hiking Mount Fuji:
- Start Early – Sunrise is usually around 4 a.m. in July and August, the most popular months for climbing. Set off to reach the summit before sunrise or very soon after. This will help you get up before any potential afternoon storms which may develop later in the day.
- Pack Light – Don’t burden yourself with too much heavy gear. Pack only what you need. Make sure to bring plenty of snacks, water, and warm clothing.
- Pace Yourself – You don’t have to rush up the mountain. Take your time and enjoy the scenery as you go along. This will help keep your energy levels up for the entire climb.
- Be Respectful – Remember that Mount Fuji is a sacred place in Japan and respect all regulations while on the mountain (such as no smoking or littering).
If you don’t feel up to taking on the toll of climbing Mount Fuji, you can join a guided tour, like our Mount Fuji and Hakone Day Tour.
You’ll have a relaxing day at the Mount with a gorgeous view from the Subaru Fifth Station. After a delicious Japanese lunch, you’ll take a boat cruise and then ride on the Hakone Ropeway cable car for even more scenic views. You’ll still get to enjoy Mount Fuji without the strain of a long climb or worrying about the weather.
Mount Fuji Fifth Stations
Mount Fuji has four fifth stations that operate as trailheads to climb the mountain. They are:
- The Fuji-Subaru Line Fifth Station – 2,300 meters (7,546 feet)
- The Subashiri Fifth Station – 1,950 meters (6,398 feet)
- The Gotemba New Fifth Station – 1,400 meters (4,593 feet)
- The Fujinomiya Fifth Station – 2,400 meters (7,874 feet)
These fifth stations mark the beginning of the ascent. You’ll see most people climbing Mt Fuji from one of the fifth Stations. Each fifth station is accessible by different mountain climbing buses.
Interactive map of Mount Fuji’s Fifth Stations
We recommend that you use the popular Subaru Line Fifth Station, which can be reached by cable car from Kawaguchiko Station. The Subaru and Fujinomiya Fifth Stations are the highest stations and therefore closest to the summit, but the Subaru station offers better amenities than the Fujinomiya Station, and in fact makes a great trip all on its own. The Subaru Line Fifth Station is part of the Mount Fuji and Hakone Day Tour and gives you breathtaking views of the Mount.
From here, it’s a 6-7 hour hike to reach the summit of Mount Fuji, depending on your pace and conditions.
Mount Fuji Panoramic Ropeway
Mount Fuji can be seen from the Hakone Ropeway, a cable car that travels from Sounzan Station to Owakudani Station. These are not stations on Mount Fuji, but the views are breathtaking and can give you an idea of what to expect when you make your climb.
The ropeway also provides access to various viewpoints along the way. It allows visitors to take in the full weight of Mount Fuji’s beauty before they actually go to the mountain. The Mount Fuji panoramic ropeway price is included in our Mount Fuji and Hakone Day Tour.
Is it Bad to Have a Rental Car When Climbing Mount Fuji?
Having a rental car can be useful if you want to explore the surrounding area or visit other attractions in the region. However, it is not recommended to climb Mount Fuji itself. This is because few roads lead up to the mountain and they are narrow and winding.
If you do decide to drive, make sure you’re familiar with the roads before setting off and take extra care when navigating them in your vehicle. However, there are many other ways to travel to Mount Fuji from popular cities, like Tokyo, that make for much better options.
Why is There an Official Climbing Season for Mount Fuji?
Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano, and its summit can be very cold during the winter months. During this time, the mountain may also be blocked off due to heavy snowfall. For these reasons, there is an official climbing season from July to September when conditions are generally more favorable and safe for hikers.
However, if you’re an experienced climber who doesn’t mind colder temperatures or occasional snow, it is possible to make a Mount Fuji climb outside of this period. Just make sure that you check weather forecasts in advance and bring appropriate clothing for any eventuality.
See Mount Fuji and More with Tourist Japan!
Our day trips from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, like the Mount Fuji and Hakone Day Tour, are the best way to see the Mount in all its glory without worrying about climbing. And if you want more experiences in Japan’s natural beauty, we have plenty of nature tours throughout the country.
Want to take planning into your own hands? We’re here to help with that, too! We have guides on how to plan the perfect trip to Japan, a cultural guide to Japan, and more. They’re sure to help you have a successful and relaxing trip.