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walking stories  |   asia   |  china  | japan | mount fuji summary | mount fuji story
Mount Fuji (Fuji-san) 3776m (12,389 ft) night-time climb, Japan


This was one of those unique, momentous events that I’ll never forget.  A very long climb through the night, first on our own then with a cast of thousands!  We were rewarded with spectacular views at dawn, as we descended.  A day of effort, exhaustion and elation!

  • The best bit for me was when the clouds opened up to give us a wonderful view just after dawn..
  • The worst bit was feeling cold and exhausted, queuing to get to the summit in the dark.
  • The funniest bit was the zig-zag line of tired multicoloured walkers descending.
  • A word of warning for other walkers would be to take enough warm clothing even if hiking during the day, and enough torch batteries if hiking at night.
  • Scary bits? The pitch blackness of the forests was a bit unnerving.
  • I didn’t expect to be eating chicken curry on the summit at 4 a.m.!

Read the full story with lots of photos

Contributed by: Andrew Llanwarne

The wonderful view over the clouds, just after dawn

The uplifting view over the clouds, just after dawn

Key Facts

Location Climbed from Fujiyoshida, one of several starting points
When it was walked July 2003
Walk type High hills and mountains
Difficulty Path all the way, but it is a long climb requiring plenty of stamina
Distance approx 27 km (17 miles)
Height climbed approx 3000 m (10,000 ft)
Time taken approx 11 hrs up, 3 hrs down (to 5th stage)
Map used if any Free maps from Tourist Office
Source of info on walk Fujiyoshida tourist guide map, Guide map of Mt Fuji, Lonely Planet guide
Getting there Bus from Shinjuku bus station in Tokyo, 21/2 hours to Fujiyoshida
Places to stay Huts along the route, or towns at the base.
Places to eat/ buy food Shops and restaurants in Fujiyoshida
Any other local attractions or facilities The Fuji Five Lakes around the northern side of the mountain, for views and walking