๐ŸŒ‹ Hiking Mt. Fuji: Firsthand Review & Tips

A woman next to a Shinto shrine above the clouds.
๐Ÿ€ Lukiih’s Overall Rating7.6
๐Ÿฆ„ UniquenessVery High
๐Ÿ˜Š EnjoymentHigh
๐Ÿ’ฐ ValueAffordable
๐ŸŽ’ PreparationExtensive
๐ŸŒŸ Book a TourView Price
Overall Rating is based on a weighted average of factors (learn more).

Every year, roughly 300,000 people hike Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and one of its most iconic symbols. Hereโ€™s my honest review of hiking the most scenic route and firsthand tips.

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๐Ÿ€ Lukiih’s Overall Rating

7.6
I highly recommend hiking Mt. Fuji โ€“ try to prioritize it.

My overall rating is based on a weighted average of four factors travelers consider important when assessing an experience.

Verdict

Hiking Mt. Fuji was the most rewarding experience of my Japan trip. It’s a bucket-list item for good reason: the summit offers a spectacular sunrise with awe-inspiring views on the world’s most famous volcano.

The hike is affordable, even after accounting for accommodation, transportation, food, and entrance fee/conservation donation.

However, extensive preparation is required, as the hike demands physical fitness, careful packing, and advanced reservations.

With planning and training, many hikers can reach the summit. There are four trails, and hiking one of the less popular ones, like I did, is remarkably serene.

A set of houses next to a river with a mountain peak in the background.
Mt. Fuji’s peak

Planning a trip? Here’s what to know about Japan.

๐Ÿ† Where Does It Rank?

Hiking Mt. Fuji ranks as my #2 thing to do in Japan. Here’s how it compares to other experiences on my trip:

#ExperienceLocationOverall Rating
1๐Ÿ‘˜ RyokanKyoto8.3
2๐ŸŒ‹ Mt. Fuji Sunrise HikeYamanashi7.6
3โ›ฉ๏ธ Fushimi Inari TaishaKyoto7.5
4๐Ÿšฒ Shimanami Kaido CyclingHiroshima7.5
5๐Ÿฃ Nishiki MarketKyoto7.4
6๐ŸŽ‹ Arashiyama ParkKyoto7.3
7๐Ÿ•น๏ธ AkihabaraTokyo6.8
8๐ŸŒฑ Shinjuku Gyoen National GardenTokyo6.7
9๐Ÿฃ Kuromon Ichiba MarketOsaka6.6
10๐Ÿ  Osaka Aquarium KaiyukanOsaka6.5
11๐Ÿฎ AsakusaTokyo6.2
12๐Ÿš‚ Sagano Romantic TrainKyoto6.1
13๐Ÿ›๏ธ Ginza ShoppingTokyo6.0
14๐Ÿšถ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Philosopher’s PathKyoto5.9
15๐Ÿšฆ Shibuya ScrambleTokyo5.8
Overall Rating is calculated using Lukiih’s rating system.

My Japan itinerary features the above experiences.

โœˆ๏ธ About My Trip

For context on my review, here’s what to know about my trip:

  • ๐Ÿ€ย Self-fundedย โ€“ I finance my trips and don’t receive sponsorship, so this review reflects my honest opinions.
  • ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ 2023 โ€“ This post has updated 2024 information, but I hiked Mt. Fuji in 2023.
  • โ˜€๏ธ Low season โ€“ My Japan trip was in September when it was less crowded and expensive.

๐Ÿฆ„ Uniqueness: High

The Uniqueness Score is based on how rare and memorable an experience is.

Rarity: Rare

Climbing Mt. Fuji is a rare experience, as less than 20 similar volcano sunrise hikes exist worldwide.

๐Ÿ’Ž What Makes It Rare?

  • Mt. Fuji has been a sacred mountain for centuries. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the world’s most famous volcano known for its symmetrical aesthetic.
  • It’s one of the few volcano hikes with mountain huts and humble shops on the trail.

Mt. Fuji is only open for hiking for two months every year.

๐ŸŒ What Makes It Less Rare?

  • Other popular volcano sunrise hikes exist around the world, such as Indonesia’s Mount Batur, Guatemala’s Acatenango Volcano, and Italy’s Mt. Etna.

Here’s a comparison of some of the most famous volcano sunrise hikes:

VolcanoLocationAltitudeTime to SummitHuts
Mt. FujiJapan12,389 ft5-8 hrsYes
AcatenangoGuatemala13,044 ft5-7 hrsNo
Mt. BaturIndonesia5,633 ft2-3 hrsNo
Mt. EtnaItaly10,922 ft4-6 hrsYes
Mt. KilimanjaroTanzania19,341 ft5-9 daysYes

Memorability: Very High

Hiking Mt. Fuji is my most memorable experience in Japan.

๐Ÿ“ธ What Makes It Memorable?

  • The feeling of accomplishment upon reaching the summit is unforgettable.
  • The hostel-style Japanese mountain hut is surprisingly cozy and clean.
  • The hike in darkness before sunrise is epic, as you may see lightning light up the sky from afar.

๐Ÿ’ค What Makes It Forgettable?

  • Like most hikes at high altitudes, there’s a risk that the weather will not hold up. If you have a cloudy and rainy day like I did, you won’t see the spectacular views that make the hike remarkable.
A hiker standing at the edge of a mountain with a foggy view.
Cloudy day on Mt. Fuji

๐Ÿ˜Š Enjoyment: High

The Enjoyment Score is based on how much happiness and reward an experience provides.

Happiness: Moderate

I found climbing Mt. Fuji to be decently enjoyable.

๐Ÿ˜ƒ What Makes It Enjoyable?

  • There are four trails, and I chose a less crowded one. The Subashiri Trail’s serenity and lush scenery make the hike blissful.
  • Despite initially worrying about the dorm-style mountain huts, I found them cozy, clean, and pleasant.

๐Ÿ˜ฅ What Makes It Less Enjoyable?

  • It’s a strenuous and steep hike, no matter which route you take.
  • If you’re unlucky and get fog and rain like I did, the hike becomes more challenging.
  • The most popular route, the Yoshida Trail, is extremely crowded.

The Japanese government had to put restrictions on the Yoshida Trail starting in 2024 as issues like litter, traffic, and trail damage worsened.

Reward: Very High

Hiking Mt. Fuji is an exceptionally rewarding experience.

๐ŸŒŸ What Makes It Rewarding?

  • The sunrise hike usually takes two days, and the trails are steep, so it’s physically challenging.
  • Hiking before dawn in the hopes of catching the fantastic sunrise at the summit is very rewarding.

๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ What Makes It Less Rewarding?

  • Weather conditions can change rapidly, so you never know what you will encounter. The summit was colder and more windy than I expected, so I couldn’t stay and enjoy the peak for long.

Scroll down for a complete Mt. Fuji packing list.

A hiker sitting town and looking at a view with clouds beneath her.
Mt. Fuji viewpoint

๐Ÿ’ฐ Value: Affordable

The Value Score is determined by the price divided by the duration of an experience. All prices mentioned here are in USD.

Cost Estimate: $120 PP

Hiking Mt. Fuji over two days costs about $120. Here’s how the costs break down:

Expense CategoryApproximate Cost
๐Ÿ  Mountain hut$40-$65/night, depending on the hut.
๐ŸšŒ Bus$10-$15 total, depending on the route.
๐ŸšŒ Train from Tokyo$10 total, if you’re taking a standard train.
๐ŸŒ‹ Conservation donation or entrance fee$7-$13 total, depending on the route.
๐Ÿ™ Food$25 total, as some meals are included in the mountain hut.

I last checked prices in May 2024. At $60 per person per day for everything included, I consider this experience affordable.

For less experienced hikers who want more guidance, you can also hire a Mt. Fuji hiking guide.

Lukiih Spent: $139

I spent $139 over two days on Mt. Fuji, and below is my breakdown.

Expense CategoryTotal Cost
๐Ÿ  Mountain hut$64
๐ŸšŒ Transportation (bus & train)$40
๐Ÿ™ Food & snacks$23
๐ŸŒ‹ Conservation donation$7
๐Ÿงป Bathroom fees$3
๐ŸŽ Souvenir$2

See my Japan trip expenses.

A shinto gate next to Mt. Fuji signage.
Mt. Fuji station

๐ŸŽ’ Preparation: Extensive

The Preparation Score is based on the required skills & fitness, transportation, and bookings & packing. The higher the score, the less preparation is needed.

Skills & Fitness: Significant

You need some nontrivial skills and fitness to summit Mt. Fuji.

  • ๐Ÿฅพ Skill โ€“ The main skills needed are knowing how to adjust to high altitude and preparing for unpredictable weather. The trails are well marked, so you don’t need much navigational skills.
  • ๐Ÿ’ช Fitness โ€“ You will need endurance to hike steep inclines for eight to ten hours over two days.

Read on for how difficult it is to summit Mt. Fuji.

Transportation: Significant

The four Mt. Fuji trailheads are located in different areas of the mountain. Although theyโ€™re accessible by public transportation, the journey takes a while, and you will need a bus transfer.

  • ๐Ÿš† Method โ€“ All trails require taking a train to a town near the volcano and then a mountain bus to the trailhead.
  • โฐ Duration โ€“ The train journey takes two to three hours from Tokyo, depending on the trail. The bus typically takes another 50 minutes to go up the volcano.

Booking & Packing: High Effort

To hike Mt. Fuji, you’ll need to book and pack accordingly:

  • ๐ŸŽŸ๏ธ Tickets โ€“ Except for the Yoshida Trail, reservations are not required. You can pay the entrance fee near the trailheads.
  • ๐Ÿ  Reservations โ€“ Reserve a mountain hut before it gets full. You’ll typically need to reserve them starting in June for the more popular routes.
  • ๐ŸŽ’ Packing โ€“ Don’t underestimate mountain weather; pack accordingly. One person in my group turned around because he didn’t bring enough layers to withstand the cold.

How To Guide & Tips

Interested in hiking Mt. Fuji after reading my review? Below is a practical how-to guide and firsthand tips.

When to Hike

Mt. Fujiโ€™s official climbing season is from early July to early September every year. See the official website for the exact dates for 2024.

During the climbing season, the trails are open and accessible (e.g., trail signs are visible, weather conditions are not dangerous, and facilities are operational).

You can technically hike it during the off-season, but it’s not recommended because it becomes significantly riskier.

I hiked it on September 8th and 9th of 2023, right before it closed for the 2023 season.

Learn what visiting Japan in September is like.

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How Hard Is It

Mt. Fuji is considered a challenging hike. As a decently strong hiker, I found it medium-hard. Itโ€™s not a long trek (I thought the Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu was more challenging), but it has a steep ascent and descent.

Consider these five factors when assessing the difficulty:

  • ๐Ÿคข Altitude sickness โ€“ Mt. Fuji is 12,388 feet above sea level. Many people will have symptoms starting at 10,000.
  • ๐Ÿ“ˆ Elevation gain โ€“ This varies by trail, ranging from 4,819 to 7,723 feet. All trails have steep inclines, especially near the summit, where youโ€™re basically doing a two-hour StairMaster workout.
  • โ„๏ธ Unpredictable weather โ€“ The weather can change drastically and become severe. The summit can drop to 30 ยฐF with strong winds of over 27 mph.
  • ๐Ÿ’ค Hours of sleep โ€“ Youโ€™ll likely only get five to six hours of sleep in a mountain hut. Most hikers go to bed after 8 pm and wake up between 2 am and 3 am to summit for the sunrise.
  • ๐Ÿฅพ Trail choice โ€“ The four main routes have different characteristics, so some are more challenging than others due to length, steepness, and terrain differences.

Most people donโ€™t need to hire a guide to hike Mt. Fuji because the trails are clearly marked. A guided tour is only recommended for less experienced hikers.

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How Long Is It

You can climb Mt. Fuji in one day (known as “bullet climbing”) or two days. On average, you can finish in 8 to 10 hours.

Below are the average times to climb each route. The durations do not reflect the difficulty of the trails. For example, the Subashiri Trail is longer than the Yoshida Trail, but the average time is shorter because it’s less crowded, and more experienced hikers do the former.

TrailTotalAscentDescent
๐Ÿฅพ Yoshida Trail10 hrs6 hrs4 hrs
๐Ÿฅพ Gotemba Trail10 hrs7 hrs3 hrs
๐Ÿ€ Subashiri Trail9 hrs6 hrs3 hrs
๐Ÿฅพ Fujinomiya Trail8 hrs5 hrs3 hrs
Mt. Fuji Trailsโ€™ Durations

It took me 5 hours to ascend and 3 hours to descend the Subashiri route over two days. I went at a decently fast pace but also made several stops. Most people in my group took 9 to 10 hours. A very strong hiker can likely complete it in less than 7 hours.

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Choosing a Trail

Mt. Fuji has four trails, and the best trail depends on your preferences and comfort level. Below are the pros and cons of each one in order of popularity.

๐Ÿ“ Trailheads Map

1. Yoshida Trail: Most Popular Route

62% of hikers did the popular Yoshida Trail in 2023.

Trail Length: 8.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,819 feet

  • ๐Ÿ‘ Pros: It’s popular because itโ€™s the easiest to access from Tokyo and has the most facilities (e.g., shops, first-aid centers, toilets, mountain huts). It is considered the
    “beginnerโ€™s trail,” but be warned that it’s not an easy hike.
  • ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons: This is the route people refer to when they criticize the overcommercialization of Mt. Fuji. Overcrowdedness means more litter, traffic, and trail damage.

Due to its popularity, reservations are required for the Yoshida Trail.

2. Fujinomiya Trail: Fastest Route

22% of hikers did the Fujinomiya Trail in 2023.

Trail Length: 5.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,350 feet

  • ๐Ÿ‘ Pros: It’s the easiest to access from Western Japan and is the shortest route at eight hours. It has a relatively good number of facilities, including one first-aid station and several shops.
  • ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons: It’s very rocky and steep. Itโ€™s also the only trail with the same ascending and descending routes, so you get the same views and terrain both ways.

3. Subashiri Trail: Most Scenic Route

9% of hikers did the Subashiri Trail in 2023. This is the route I chose, and I write about it in detail below.

Trail Length: 7.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 5,718 feet

  • ๐Ÿ‘ Pros: It’s considered the most scenic route and has the highest tree line, so you experience forest and volcanic atmospheres. Compared to the first two trails, it’s significantly less crowded, making it a serene hike.
  • ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons: Because it has fewer climbers, it doesnโ€™t have many amenities and only has a few shops, toilets, and no first-aid centers. The descent is steep, and you’ll be on volcanic gravel for most of it.

๐Ÿ€ Lukiihโ€™s Experience: I had a foggy day during my ascent on the Subashiri route, so I missed the great views on the way up. However, I didnโ€™t see any other group for over 90% of the trail, which made my hike very serene. I particularly enjoyed the beautiful forest at the beginning. See my Subashiri Trail itinerary below.

๐Ÿฅพ The Subashiri Trailโ€™s Terrain

Hereโ€™s what the Subashiri Trailโ€™s terrain is like:

  • Forest belt โ€“ It has the highest tree line, so youโ€™ll spend the first and last hours in a beautiful forest belt that looks mystical in dense fog. This part of the terrain is sometimes rocky, but it’s mostly a gentle slope.
A hiker going up a set of wooden stairs in a forest.
Start of Subashiri Trail
  • Volcanic gravel โ€“ The rest of the ascending trail is volcanic gravel with constant switchbacks, and parts of this portion become very steep.
Rocky volcanic terrain trail in thick fog.
Subashiri Trail’s volcanic terrain
  • Uphill climb โ€“ When the Subashiri Trail merges with the Yoshida Trail near the summit, it becomes a long stair workout with some rock scrambles.
  • Volcanic gravel again โ€“ The descending trail is primarily a steep volcanic gravel route. The most efficient way to tackle it is to run down and use your momentum, but this can be very tough on your knees (I know because this is what I mostly did).

Hiking poles are highly recommended for going down the Subashiri Trail at a steady and controlled pace.

A hiker going down steep volcanic gravel.
Descending the Subashiri Trail

4. Gotemba Trail: Longest Route

7% of hikers did the Gotemba Trail in 2023.

Trail Length: 12.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 7,723 feet

  • ๐Ÿ‘ Pros: It’s the least crowded route, making it the most quiet trail.
  • ๐Ÿ‘Ž Cons: It’s the longest route with the least amenities. It also has the worst signage, so your chances of taking a wrong turn are higher.

The Gotemba Trail is generally recommended for more experienced hikers.

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Entrance Fee & Donation

Most Mt. Fuji trails are free to hike. Starting in 2024, the Yoshida Trail will have a 2,000 yen fee (about $13) and a limit of 4,000 hikers per day.

At the start of each trailhead, there are conservation donation stations, where people are encouraged to donate 1,000 yen (a little under $7).

All bathrooms have a small fee of slightly more than $1. Theyโ€™re cash-only, so make sure to bring coins with you.

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How To Get There

Here’s how to efficiently get to Mt. Fuji’s trailheads.

Step 1 โ€“ Take a train to one of the nearby towns.

  • Yoshida Trail โ€“ Take a train to the Kawaguchiko Station on the north side.
  • Fujinomiya Trail โ€“ Take a train to the Fujinomiya Station on the south side.
  • Subashiri & Gotemba Trails โ€“ Take a train to the Gotemba Station on the east side.
A train station with Japanese signs on it.
Gotemba train station

Step 2 โ€“ From the bus station, take a direct bus to one of the fifth stations on the volcano, where you can start the hike.

Each trail has about ten stations. You will start at the fifth station of every route. For example, the Yoshida route begins at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, while the Fujinomiya Trail starts at the Fujinomiya 5th Station.

๐ŸšŒ How To Get To Subashiri Trail

The Subashiri Trail starts on the eastern side of Mt. Fuji at the Subashiri 5th Station. Hereโ€™s how I got to the starting point from Tokyo:

If youโ€™re departing from Tokyo like I did, there is a train called the Romancecar that takes you directly from Shinjuku Station to Gotemba Station in under two hours. The Romancecar is a limited express train that is reservation-only and costs about $20.

  • Step 2 โ€“Take the “Subashiri Trail 5th Station” bus from the bus station a few feet outside Gotemba Station. Buy a bus ticket at the kiosk, which will cost about $16. See the bus timetable.
A kiosk showing different prices in yen for a bus ticket.
Gotemba bus station kiosk

Start lining up for the bus about 15 to 20 minutes before the scheduled departure. If youโ€™re one of the last people to get on the bus, you might not get a seat for the hour-long ride.

  • Step 3 โ€“ The bus will take you to the Subashiri trailhead. At the Subashiri 5th Station, youโ€™ll see a bathroom (which costs 200 yen) and two souvenir shops a few feet away from the starting point.
A hiker standing in front of a shop with Japanese letters on it.
Subashiri Trail 5th Station

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Where To Stay

Every trail on Mt. Fuji has mountain huts for overnight stays. The more popular the trail, the more huts there are (e.g., the Yoshida Trail has over 15 of them while the Gotemba Trail only has a few).

๐Ÿ›– What To Expect

Hereโ€™s what to expect when staying in a mountain hut:

  • Dorm-style โ€“ Most mountain huts have a hostel sleeping arrangement where each hiker gets a sleeping bag in a shared space. Very few mountain huts have private rooms, which are just spaces separated by curtains.
A set of sleeping bags on two levels of shared bunk beds.
Mountain hut sleeping arrangement
  • No showers โ€“ There is no hot running water on the mountain. You can bring baby wipes to freshen up if you like.
  • Basic food โ€“ Mountain huts provide basic dinner and breakfast. Donโ€™t expect these meals to be phenomenal. Remember that youโ€™re very high up in the mountains with limited facilities. My hut provided Japanese curry for dinner and onigiri for breakfast.
  • Curfew โ€“ Mountain huts generally have a curfew so you donโ€™t disturb other hikers. Most people sleep around 8 pm and wake up early, between 2 am and 3 am, to do the summit push before sunrise.
  • Outdoor shoes โ€“ Like in many Japanese accommodations, outdoor shoes are expected to be left by the entrance.

Learn other proper Japanese etiquette.

  • Wet clothes โ€“ If it rains during your hike, try to stay as dry as possible by bringing rain gear. Many mountain huts donโ€™t have a proper way to dry clothes.

๐Ÿ  Where To Stay on the Subashiri Trail

The Subashiri Trail has limited mountain huts, so booking in advance is important. You can book online or by calling them (I had a Japanese-speaking friend call on my behalf).

I stayed in Miharashikan Hut for $64 on the 7th station, which was ideal.

  • Location โ€“ The 7th station is near the halfway point of the Subashiri routeโ€™s ascent. That means I spent three hours hiking up on the first day and two hours on the second day.
  • Cozy atmosphere โ€“ The hut is relatively small and new compared to others. It provides a simple but cozy atmosphere with fewer people. In comparison, the 8th station hut is significantly larger and more crowded.
A woman sitting in a simple hut eating ramen.
Subashiri mountain hut

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What To Pack

Unprepared hikers tend to underestimate Mt. Fujiโ€™s bad weather, which can include heavy rain, strong winds, and cold temperatures, especially at the summit. Make sure you wear warm clothing and bring proper equipment.

Hiking items laid out, including a rain jacket, gloves and hiking socks.
Packing list for climbing Mt. Fuji.

Hereโ€™s a complete packing list for spending two days on Mt. Fuji:

  • Rain gear โ€“ I brought a rain jacket and a rain poncho in case of a downpour.
  • Hiking shoes โ€“ Make sure theyโ€™re waterproof.
  • Headlamp โ€“ Youโ€™ll need headlamps for the night climb before sunrise.
Mountain trail signs in the dark.
Mt. Fuji night climb
  • Warm outer jacket โ€“ I brought my light down jacket but wished I had brought something heavier because the summit was colder than anticipated.
  • Warm base layers โ€“ The weather changes from the base of the mountain to the top, so layering is essential. I brought my Smartwool top and leggings.
  • Athletic top and hiking pants โ€“ Your hiking pants should be at least water-resistant if theyโ€™re not waterproof.
  • Hiking poles โ€“ The descent on some trails is steep and composed of volcanic gravel. Hiking poles are highly recommended to go down at a steady and controlled pace.
  • Innerwear โ€“ Bring an extra pair, as youโ€™ll probably want to change your sports bra and underwear for the second day of hiking.
  • Warm hiking socks โ€“ I brought my hiking socks to stay warm and dry.
  • Reusable water bottle โ€“ I brought a 24 oz. water bottle, which was sufficient. You can refill it by buying bottled water at certain stations.
  • Earplugs and sleeping mask โ€“ Youโ€™re sleeping in a shared space, so bring these to help with noise.
  • Gloves โ€“ The summit can drop to 30 ยฐF with strong winds of over 27 mph, so wear gloves.
  • Hat โ€“ For the same reason as above, bring a warm hat. I brought a headband which was not sufficient at the summit.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Day pack and backpack rain cover โ€“ If you forget a rain cover like I did, you can drape a trash bag around your day pack if it starts raining.
  • Snacks โ€“ Before your hike, visit a convenience store, like 7-Eleven, Family Mart, or Lawson, to stock up on snacks. Small shops on Mt. Fuji sell limited snacks at a higher price.

The Japan trip planner below has this Mt. Fuji packing list in a downloadable format.

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What Facilities Exist

Mt. Fuji has small shops, public toilets, and first-aid centers. The popular Yoshida Trail has many of these, while the uncrowded Gotemba Trail doesnโ€™t even have a first-aid center.

Based on my experience on the Subashiri Trail, hereโ€™s what you can expect from the facilities:

  • Public toilets โ€“ The toilets cost a little less than a US dollar to use (about 200 yen) and have cold running water, toilet paper, and a small sink.
  • Small shops โ€“ Certain stations have small shops that sell food like cup noodles, sports drinks, rice curry, water, and beer. Most shops are small and simple, while the bigger shops near the 8th station also sell instant hot chocolate/coffee, bread, and souvenirs.
A small, simple store selling water and other snacks.
Shop at the 8.5th Station

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What’s at the Summit

The summit of Mt. Fuji is more than just a place to view the sunrise.

  • Shops โ€“ There are a few shops where you can purchase simple food, souvenirs, and beverages. Thereโ€™s even a post office where you can send a postcard from Japanโ€™s tallest mountain. All the shops open around 6 am.
  • Shelters โ€“ The top tends to be extremely cold and windy, and there are very few shelters. Since the shops donโ€™t open until 6 am, prepare accordingly.
  • Extra hiking โ€“ You can also do extra hiking at the top. A walk around the craterโ€™s rim takes about an hour and passes some shrines.
A woman standing on a mountain edge with clouds in the background.
Crack of dawn at the summit

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Itinerary

Below is my Mt. Fuji itinerary while hiking the Subashiri Trail in September 2023.

๐Ÿ”๏ธ Day 0
4 pmArrive in Gotemba City from Tokyo by train
4:15โ€“4:30 pmCheck into The Gotembakan Hotel*
5โ€“8 pmVisit the Gotemba Premium Outlets
๐Ÿ”๏ธ Day 1 of Hiking Mt. Fuji
7:30โ€“8:30 amEat breakfast and get snacks at 7-Eleven
8:40โ€“9:45 amBuy bus tickets, pack and store luggage at the Gotemba Station
10:10โ€“10:30 amStart lining up for the bus
10:30โ€“11:30 amTake the bus from Gotemba City to Subashiri 5th Station
11:30โ€“12 pmCheck out the souvenir shops at the 5th Station
12โ€“3 pmAscend the Subashiri Trail from the 5th Station to the mountain hut
3โ€“8 pmEat dinner and meet other hikers at the mountain hut
8 pmโ€“3 amSleep in the mountain hut
๐Ÿ”๏ธ Day 2 of Hiking Mt. Fuji
2:45โ€“3 amEat breakfast and get ready to summit
3โ€“5 amSummit push
5โ€“6:30 amWatch the sunrise and walk around the summit
6:30โ€“9:30 amDescend the Subashiri Trail
9:45โ€“10:45 amTake the bus back to Gotemba City
Mt. Fuji hiking itinerary

๐Ÿ  Where To Stay in Gotemba City

The Gotembakan is a great hotel if your primary goal is to hike Mt. Fuji.

Itโ€™s located directly in front of the train and bus stations, includes a complimentary hearty breakfast, and is near a 7-Eleven, where you can stock up on snacks.

The rooms arenโ€™t particularly nice, but theyโ€™re affordable and have a good view of the volcano on clear days.

A cone shape mountain silhouette overlooking a town.
View from The Gotembakan
A Japanese style breakfast with egg, rice, beans and pudding.
Breakfast at The Gotembakan

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Japan Trip Planner 2024

To make your travel preparation easier, download the trip planner below. It has destination-specific travel information, itinerary, map, and packing list.

My trip planners are built on Notion, which I use for all my travel planning. I genuinely love this tool and creating an account is free.

Three Notion template screenshots are shown: travel information, itinerary, and map + packing list templates.
Preview of Japan trip planner.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. Gary Wolff

    Excellent write-up, Lukiih, in fact one of the best Mt. Fuji reports I’ve ever seen in the past 13 years of my posting similar info. Normally I’d link to this outstanding page from my Climbing Mt. Fuji FAQ page, but disabled right-clicks is a pet peeve. After temporary left-clicks to external links, then having to wait for the original page to reload when returning back is extremely troublesome and a waste of your site visitors’ time. I hope you will reconsider this annoying practice. Otherwise, good job & keep up the great work!

    1. Lukiih

      Hey Gary, I appreciate both your glowing and critical feedback.

      Your right-click feedback has led me to do more research and reevaluate. I now agree that the user experience tradeoff is not worth it. I’ve gone ahead and enabled right-clicks. Thanks for helping my blog be better!

      I also checked out your site. Didn’t realize they had a Mt. Fuji virtual challenge; that’s so cool!

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