Climbing Mount Fuji – Which route?

Discover the best route for Climbing Mount Fuji tailored to your adventure level and experience. Find tips for a successful ascent right here.

“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” – Matty Mullins

Mount Fuji, also known as Fujisan, is Japan’s tallest mountain and offers an exhilarating adventure for climbers from around the world. With multiple routes to choose from, it’s important to select the best one for your skill level and preferences. In this article, we will explore the different routes up Mount Fuji and provide tips for a successful ascent.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mount Fuji offers multiple routes for climbers to choose from.
  • Each route has its own unique characteristics and challenges.
  • Consider your skill level and preferences when selecting a route.
  • Proper preparation and safety precautions are crucial for a successful climb.
  • Climbing Mount Fuji is an accomplishment that can create lasting memories.

The Yoshida Trail – The most popular route

The Yoshida trail is the most popular and widely used route for climbing Mount Fuji. It offers easy access and plenty of mountain facilities to ensure a comfortable experience. The trail begins at the Fuji-Subaru Line 5th Station, located at an elevation of 2,300 meters. This is also the route that Johnny has summited 4 times now. And even once with his 70 year old mum!

The ascent takes approximately five to seven hours, covering a distance of 6.8 kilometers. Along the trail, climbers can enjoy breathtaking views and visit various mountain huts. The Yoshida trail is known for its zigzagging path and gentle slope from the 6th to 7th stations. However, it becomes rockier past the 7th station and can be congested during peak hours.

The trail merges with the Subashiri trail from the 8th station, both for the ascent and descent. It offers the most facilities of all the routes, including first-aid centers, doctors, vending machines, and toilets at regular intervals. The Yoshida trail provides a relatively easier ascent and is recommended for climbers of all levels.

The Fujinomiya Trail – The second most popular route

The Fujinomiya trail is the second most popular route for climbing Mount Fuji. It offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for climbers. The trail starts at the Fujinomiya 5th Station and takes approximately five to seven hours to reach the summit, covering a distance of 4.5 kilometers.

Unlike the Yoshida trail, the Fujinomiya trail does not have as many facilities along the way. However, climbers will find a shop and an information office at the trail’s starting point. The descent follows the same route as the ascent, which can lead to congestion during peak times.

The Fujinomiya trail is known for its steep sections and rocky terrain, providing a more demanding climb compared to the Yoshida trail. It is recommended for experienced climbers or those seeking a more challenging adventure.

The Subashiri Trail – A less crowded alternative

If you’re seeking a unique and less crowded experience on Mount Fuji, the Subashiri trail is the perfect alternative. Starting at the Subashiri 5th Station, this trail merges with the Yoshida trail from the 8th station. The ascent covers a distance of 8.5 kilometers and takes approximately six to eight hours.

The Subashiri trail is known for its stunning scenery, offering a mix of forested areas and rocky terrain. Although it may not have as many facilities as the Yoshida trail, climbers can still find mountain huts along the way for rest and refreshments.

This alternative route is recommended for climbers who prefer a quieter ascent and enjoy the tranquil beauty of nature. The serene surroundings and fewer crowds make the Subashiri trail an appealing choice for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more popular routes.

Features of the Subashiri Trail:

  • Breathtaking scenery with a mix of forests and rocky terrain
  • Less crowded compared to more popular routes
  • Opportunities for rest and refreshment at mountain huts along the way

Experience the serenity and beauty of the Subashiri trail as you make your way towards the summit of Mount Fuji. Enjoy the solitude and breathtaking views that await you on this less-traveled route.

Trail DetailsSubashiri Trail
Starting PointSubashiri 5th Station
Distance8.5 kilometers
Ascent TimeApproximately 6-8 hours
Difficulty LevelModerate
SceneryForested areas and rocky terrain

The Gotemba Trail – The longest and most difficult route

The Gotemba trail is renowned as the longest and most challenging route to the summit of Mount Fuji. In contrast to other routes, the Gotemba trail begins at a lower elevation of 1,440 meters, adding an extra layer of difficulty to the ascent. Climbers must conquer a distance of 9.4 kilometers, enduring a grueling climb that typically takes between eight and ten hours to complete.

One of the distinguishing features of the Gotemba trail is the absence of facilities along the route. Unlike other routes that offer periodic mountain huts, the first available hut is only found at the 3,000-meter mark. This means that climbers on the Gotemba trail must be fully prepared and self-sufficient throughout their journey.

However, the challenges of the Gotemba trail are offset by the thrilling descent down the Osunabashiri, known as the “Great Sand Run.” Descending this expansive slope offers an exhilarating experience and allows climbers to descend more rapidly.

Due to its rigorous nature, the Gotemba trail is best suited for experienced climbers seeking a demanding and adventurous route up Mount Fuji. It tests both physical endurance and mental fortitude, rewarding those who conquer its trials with a profound sense of achievement.

Climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season

While the official climbing season for Mount Fuji is from early July to mid-September, many adventurous climbers choose to tackle the mountain outside of these months. Climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season can offer a unique and thrilling experience, but it comes with increased risks and challenges.

During the off-season, the mountain huts that provide essential facilities for climbers, such as restrooms and shelter, are usually closed. This means that access to these amenities is limited or non-existent, which can make the climb more challenging. Additionally, emergency evacuation services may be limited during the off-season, posing additional risks in the event of an emergency.

One of the main concerns when climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season is the weather. Outside of the official climbing season, weather conditions on the mountain can be more severe and unpredictable. Low temperatures, strong winds, and heavy snowfall are common occurrences, making the climb more difficult and potentially dangerous.

It’s important to note that climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season is not recommended for inexperienced climbers. Mountaineering skills and proper equipment are essential for safely navigating the mountain in challenging conditions. Without previous experience and knowledge of mountaineering techniques, off-season climbers may be putting themselves at a higher risk of accidents and injuries.

Key risks of climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season:

  • Limited or unavailable facilities
  • Potential lack of emergency evacuation services
  • Severe and unpredictable weather conditions
  • Inadequate experience and mountaineering skills

If you are considering climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season, it’s crucial to be well-prepared and take necessary precautions. This includes having the appropriate mountaineering gear, being familiar with emergency protocols, and closely monitoring weather forecasts. Additionally, it’s recommended to inform others of your climbing plans and fill out the necessary climbing forms for safety purposes.

Despite the additional risks, climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season can also offer a sense of adventure and solitude that may not be experienced during the peak season. However, it’s important to weigh the potential risks against the rewards and make an informed decision based on your experience and abilities as a climber.

Ultimately, whether you choose to climb Mount Fuji in the official season or venture off-season, always prioritize safety and be prepared for the unique challenges that come with climbing this iconic mountain.

Climbing Mount Fuji in the off-season

Tips for a successful ascent

Climbing Mount Fuji requires proper planning and preparation to ensure a successful ascent. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

  1. Physical Fitness: Be in good physical condition and train appropriately before attempting to climb Mount Fuji.
  2. Research Routes: Familiarize yourself with the different routes and choose one that suits your skill level and preferences.
  3. Proper Gear: Invest in high-quality climbing gear, including hiking boots, layered clothing, gloves, and a hat.
  4. Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated and pack enough water and snacks to sustain you throughout the climb.
  5. Acclimatization: Take your time and allow your body to acclimate to the high altitude as you ascend.
  6. Pace Yourself: Set a comfortable pace and take breaks when needed to avoid exhaustion.
  7. Weather Conditions: Monitor the weather forecast and be prepared for sudden changes in weather during the climb.
  8. Safety Measures: Observe safety guidelines, follow trail markers, and be mindful of your surroundings at all times.
  9. Respect the Mountain: Leave no trace and ensure you pack out any garbage or waste.
  10. Enjoy the Journey: Take time to appreciate the stunning views and the unique experience of climbing Mount Fuji.

Access and transportation options

Accessing Mount Fuji and its trailheads is relatively easy with various transportation options available. Here are some ways to reach the mountain:

  1. Express Buses: From Tokyo’s Shinjuku station, you can take an express bus to the Fuji-Subaru Line 5th Station during the climbing season. Reservations are necessary for these buses.
  2. Local Buses: If you’re already in the Fuji area, local buses operate from Fujisan and Kawaguchiko stations to the 5th station at regular intervals.
  3. Car Rental: Renting a car gives you the flexibility to drive to the Fujihokuroku parking area and then take a shuttle to the 5th station. Shuttles depart at regular intervals throughout the day.

It’s important to note that transportation options and schedules may vary, so it’s advisable to check the official websites or contact the relevant transportation companies for the most up-to-date information.

Choosing the right time and season

When planning your Mount Fuji climb, it’s essential to consider the best time and season to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. The official climbing season for Mount Fuji is from early July to mid-September. During this period, the weather conditions are generally favorable, with milder temperatures and a lower risk of severe weather.

However, it’s important to note that the weekends of late July and August tend to be the busiest times on the mountain, with a significant number of climbers. If you prefer a quieter experience and want to avoid the crowds, it’s recommended to choose weekdays or consider climbing in the shoulder seasons, such as early July or mid-September.

While climbing during the official season offers well-maintained trails and open mountain huts for necessary facilities, the weather conditions can still be unpredictable. It’s crucial to check the forecast and be prepared for changes in the weather, regardless of the climbing season you choose.

Mount Fuji Climbing Season

Choosing the right time and season for your Mount Fuji climb is a personal decision based on your preferences and priorities. Whether you enjoy the bustling atmosphere of peak season or prefer a quieter ascent, always prioritize safety and be prepared for the unique challenges that come with climbing Japan’s iconic mountain.

Accommodation options on the mountain

If you’re planning to climb Mount Fuji, there are several accommodation options available on the mountain to ensure a comfortable stay. These mountain huts, or lodges, provide necessary amenities for climbers, such as shelter, food, and rest areas. Here are some popular mountain huts along the climbing routes:

  1. Goraikokan: Located between the 8th and 9th stations, Goraikokan offers sleeping facilities with blankets and pillows in a communal space. Prices start at 11,000 yen per night.
  2. Taishikan: Situated at the 8th station, Taishikan provides each person with their own premium sleeping bag and designated space. Prices start at 10,000 yen per night and include two meals.
  3. Kamaiwakan: Found at the 7th station, Kamaiwakan offers weekday spaces with meals starting at 10,000 yen. They provide sleeping bags and pads in a bunk-bed dormitory or private rooms.

It’s important to make a reservation in advance for these mountain huts, especially during the peak climbing season, to secure your spot. These accommodations not only provide essential facilities but also offer a sense of community and camaraderie among fellow climbers. Rest and recharge at these mountain huts before continuing your journey to conquer Mount Fuji.

Safety considerations and precautions

Safety should always be a top priority when climbing Mount Fuji. Taking necessary precautions and being prepared can help ensure a safe and enjoyable climb. Here are some important safety considerations to keep in mind:

Be Prepared

Carry essential supplies such as a map, compass, headlamp, first aid kit, and extra food and water. These items can be crucial in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.

Monitor Weather Conditions

Stay updated on weather conditions and be prepared for changes. Avoid climbing in severe weather, such as storms or heavy rain, as it can make the ascent more challenging and dangerous.

Watch out for Altitude Sickness

Monitor yourself and others for symptoms of altitude sickness, such as nausea, dizziness, or shortness of breath. If symptoms worsen, it’s important to descend to a lower altitude to prevent further complications.

Follow Trail Markers

Stick to designated trails and follow the trail markers to avoid getting lost or straying into dangerous areas. It’s important to stay on well-established paths to ensure your safety during the climb.

Respect Wildlife

Keep a safe distance from wildlife and avoid feeding or approaching animals. It’s important to respect the natural habitat of the mountain and not disturb the wildlife during your climb.

Practice Leave No Trace

Adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace by packing out all garbage and waste. It’s essential to respect the environment and maintain its natural beauty by leaving nothing behind.

Be Aware of Emergency Services

Take note of emergency services and evacuation procedures on the mountain. Familiarize yourself with the nearest emergency contacts and be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.

Know Your Physical Limits

Recognize your own physical limits and listen to your body. Don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities. Take breaks and rest when necessary to prevent exhaustion.

By following these safety considerations and precautions, you can make your Mount Fuji climb a safer and more enjoyable experience.

Recommended equipment for climbing Mount Fuji

Having the right equipment is crucial for a successful and safe climb on Mount Fuji. Here are some recommended items to include in your climbing gear:

  1. Hiking Boots: Choose sturdy and comfortable hiking boots that provide good ankle support.
  2. Layered Clothing: Dress in layers to adjust to changing weather conditions. Include moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof outer shell.
  3. Gloves and Hat: Protect your hands and head from cold temperatures and wind by wearing insulated gloves and a warm hat.
  4. Headlamp: A headlamp is essential for climbing during pre-dawn hours or in low visibility conditions.
  5. Backpack: Carry a backpack to hold your gear, snacks, water, and extra clothing layers.
  6. Trekking Poles: Trekking poles provide stability and support, especially during steep sections or descents.
  7. Sunglasses and Sunscreen: Protect your eyes and skin from the sun’s UV rays by wearing sunglasses and applying sunscreen.
  8. First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essential items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
  9. Navigation Tools: Bring a map, compass, or GPS device to navigate the trails accurately.
  10. Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated and energized by carrying an adequate supply of water and nutritious snacks.

Remember to pack lightweight and functional gear to minimize weight and ensure comfort during the climb.

Exploring Mount Fuji outside of climbing

Mount Fuji offers more than just climbing opportunities. If you have time before or after your climb, consider exploring the attractions in the Fuji area. Here are some things to do near Mount Fuji:

  1. Visit the nearby Hakone area famous for its hot springs, scenic views of Mount Fuji, and Lake Ashinoko.
  2. Explore the Fuji Five Lakes region, known for its stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and picturesque views of Mount Fuji.
  3. Enjoy the thrilling rides and attractions at Fuji-Q Highland amusement park, located at the base of Mount Fuji.
  4. Capture stunning photos of Mount Fuji framed by the iconic Chureito Pagoda in the city of Fujiyoshida.
  5. If visiting during the spring season, don’t miss the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, where you can admire the vibrant pink moss phlox (shibazakura) in bloom.

These are just a few examples of the many attractions and activities available near Mount Fuji. Take the time to explore the area and make the most of your visit.

Planning your Mount Fuji climb

Planning is crucial for a successful and enjoyable Mount Fuji climb. Here are some steps to help you plan your ascent:

  1. Choose the Right Season: Determine the best season to climb Mount Fuji based on weather conditions and your preferences.
  2. Select a Route: Research the different routes and choose one that suits your skill level and desired experience.
  3. Gather Information: Gather information about trail conditions, accommodations, transportation options, and safety guidelines.
  4. Physical Conditioning: Start training and improving your fitness level in preparation for the climb.
  5. Pack Essential Gear: Create a checklist of the necessary gear and equipment, including clothing, navigation tools, first aid kit, and food/water supplies.
  6. Reserve Accommodation: If planning to stay at a mountain hut, make necessary reservations well in advance.
  7. Check Weather Forecast: Regularly check the weather forecast leading up to your climb and make any necessary adjustments to your plans.
  8. Inform Others: Share your climbing plans with someone back home and provide them with relevant contact information.
  9. Transportation Arrangements: Arrange transportation to and from Mount Fuji, whether it’s by bus, train, or car rental.
  10. Enjoy the Experience: Finally, remember to embrace the journey and enjoy every moment of your Mount Fuji climb.
RouteDifficultyDistanceEstimated Time
Yoshida TrailEasy6.8 kilometers5-7 hours
Fujinomiya TrailModerate4.5 kilometers5-7 hours
Subashiri TrailModerate8.5 kilometers6-8 hours
Gotemba TrailDemanding9.4 kilometers8-10 hours

By following these steps and being well-prepared, you can make your Mount Fuji climb a memorable and rewarding adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions about Climbing Mount Fuji

Gearing up to climb Mount Fuji? We’ve got answers to some of the most common questions about this awe-inspiring adventure. Read on to find out more.

1. Is climbing Mount Fuji difficult?

Climbing Mount Fuji can be challenging, especially for those who are not physically fit or inexperienced hikers. However, with proper preparation and taking necessary safety precautions, climbers with moderate fitness levels can successfully reach the summit.


Climbing Mount Fuji is an incredible experience that offers adventure, stunning views, and a sense of accomplishment. Whether you choose the popular Yoshida trail or opt for the challenging Fujinomiya, Subashiri, or Gotemba routes, safety and preparation are paramount. Consider your skill level, physical fitness, and preferences when selecting your route.

During the official climbing season from early July to mid-September, Mount Fuji attracts a high number of climbers. If you prefer a more peaceful experience, consider weekdays or the shoulder seasons. No matter the timing, be prepared for changing weather conditions and follow safety guidelines.

As you ascend the majestic peak, take time to appreciate the breathtaking views and enjoy the journey. Climbing Mount Fuji is not just about reaching the summit but also about the memories you create along the way. So, plan your climb, pack your gear, and embark on this remarkable adventure that will undoubtedly leave you with a sense of awe and accomplishment.

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