Hiking Japan’s Mt Fuji

Ranked as the 3rd most booked activity in the Shizuoka Prefecture, Mt. Fuji hiking season has officially begun. From the 10th of July to the 10th of September, the trails to the summit are officially open to climbers.

Popular among both locals and foreign tourists, climbing during this time ensures favourable weather conditions with the mountain usually free of snow for a safe and enjoyable ascent. Hiking to the summit of Mt. Fuji in the Shizuoka Prefecture promises an exhilarating and awe-inspiring adventure that draws thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike. This iconic natural landmark, standing tall at 3,776 meters and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, holds a special place in the hearts of Japanese people and is a must-visit for travellers worldwide.

Image: Explore Shizuoka

The Shizuoka Prefecture emerges as the ideal starting point for the ascent, granting access to three of the four Mt. Fuji trails: the Subashiri Trail, Gotemba Trail, and Fujinomiya Trail. Each trail offers unique landscapes, ranging from lush forests to stunning tree-lined pathways and panoramic views of surrounding rice fields. Climbers can choose from challenging paths or more leisurely ascents, tailoring the experience to their preferences and physical strength. Depending on the trail one chooses to ascend Mt. Fuji, the climb can take between 5-10 hours.

Subashiri Trail

The Subashiri Trail offers climbers the most variety in terms of landscapes, with stunning tree-lined pathways guiding you up the mountainside. Most popular among morning hikers aiming to catch a glimpse of the sunrise, the trail has many amenities along the way. Taking around 6 hours, this trail is renowned for its long stretches of volcanic sand.

Gotemba Trail

The Gotemba Trail is the least congested of the four trails and has fewer amenities. This trail has a much gentler slope and as a result will take longer to complete, around 8 hours to reach the summit. This trail is perfect for those who want a much more leisurely ascent away from the crowds, with spectacular views of the surrounding rice fields along the way. 

Fujinomiya Trail

The Fujinomiya Trail offers climbers the shortest ascent taking around 5 hours and is usually the busiest trail during peak periods. Because of its popularity, there are a good number of mountain huts and facilities available as you make your way up the mountain, so you can feel safe and reassured during your ascent.

Hiking tips

Image: Explore Shizuoka

Shizuoka provides excellent amenities and facilities to support climbers on their journey. Local accommodations, transportation options, and experienced guides are readily available, offering a secure and comfortable experience before and after the ascent. Climbing Mt. Fuji doesn’t require advanced climbing skills, as the trails are well-marked and relatively even and sturdy. However, climbers should be mindful of the altitude, as the air becomes noticeably thinner towards the summit. While a guide is not necessary for the average person, some inexperienced climbers find comfort in having an experienced tour guide show them the way. 

There is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new sun. This is Where Wild Things Roam.