Conquering Mt. Fuji

There is a saying in Japanese, “A fool never climbs Mt. Fuji. A bigger fool climbs it twice”. In other words, it’s such a great experience to view the world from such a famous location you’re an idiot not to have done it. But it’s such a painful (not to mention expensive) ordeal that doing it more than once is suicidal.

I’d known about this saying before but oddly enough about a week before climbing my Japanese lesson had an essay about climbing Fuji, including that phrase, bringing it back to mind. What timing.

I went with two classmates from school. Really from Fuji you can see some awesome views. However Fuji itself is not all that pretty close up, the lower half is almost all forest (very pretty), after that (which is where most people start from, also known as Station 5) is barren rock. When we arrived there was a lot of cloud cover, but just enough so it was pretty and not blocking too much of our view. Our aim was to get there before the sun rose (however in the end it only seemed to be me with enough effort to get in place to watch it…) but this meant we climbed most of it in the dark and could only take photos for the first hour or so. After a few hours of climbing we lost so much spirit due to the cold and being worn out that we just wanted to get it over as soon as possible, thus the photos get a little scarce in points where I just don’t care and want to stay as warm as possible. The wind was the main cause of being cold; as long as you could find shelter it wasn’t so bad. However sitting in shelter is little good when you need to keep walking.

If I was to climb Fuji again (which I never ever will) I would choose the day time so that it’s warmer and the view is nicer.

In the end, it’s a great experience to have under my belt. Mt. Fuji one of the symbols of Japan and people outside of this country can easily relate with Mt. Fuji than if I told them I went to Kyoto…







Gallery: Climbing Mount Fuji.