Traversing the Sea to Summit Fujinomiya Trail to the Peak of Mt. Fuji Part 1
Standing 3,776 meters above sea level, Mt. Fuji is an iconic symbol of Japan that is known around the world. Located on the main island of Japan (Honshu), Mt. Fuji lies in the middle of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures. Every year, from the 1st of July to early September, the trail leading up to the summit of Mt. Fuji opens up and millions of people from around the world take on the challenge of climbing the mountain for a chance to gaze upon the breathtaking sunrise.
The most common route for climbing Mt. Fuji is known as the Fuji Yoshida Trail on the north side of the mountain that starts off hikers halfway up at the Fuji Subaru Line 5th station. However, for those looking for an adventure, there is a trail that will take you from the beaches of Shizuoka prefecture to the peak of Mt. Fuji: The “Mt. Fuji Tourism Climbing Route 3776.”
The route itself starts at sea level along Tagonoura Port Park in Suruga Bay. From there, the route takes you through the heart of Fuji city on route 72. Along the way you can stop for a rest at a local onsen and camping ground before heading into the highland forests of Mt. Fuji to the 6th Station. Once on the mountain, you can follow the normal Fujinomiya route to the summit. In total the trip is around 42 kilometers and can take 1 to 3 days depending on your experience and training.
Before grabbing a backpack and heading out into the wilderness though, there are several precautions to be aware of as well as tips to make the journey safer and easier. To start off, make sure you have the proper equipment as the weather around and on Mt. Fuji is known to change in a manner of minutes. Necessities include, but are not limited to: rain equipment, headlight, trash bags, guide map, food, water, warm clothes, and appropriate shoes.
If you are starting your adventure from Tokyo or another main city, it is best to look up a business hotel or hostel in Fuji city in order to plan and time your hike accordingly. It is generally advised to start your hike well into the early morning (2am) in order to avoid the summer heat. Staying at Fuji city will also allow you to preemptively complete the “Sea” portion of the journey, giving you a headstart.
An essential tip for hikers would be to bring a portable water reservoir and to wait to buy the majority of your snacks/food until you reach some of the convenience stores just before Yomogi Yu onsen. This way, you can prevent from carrying too much early on, however make sure to bring enough for a full day hike, as the next place where you can stock up on food and drinks is several hours away.
Along with rationing the weight you carry, it is highly recommended to take both trainer shoes and hiking boots. Half of the hiking trail is on asphalt, while the other is through a forest and on the mountain itself. By carrying the appropriate shoes for the occasion, you will be better prepared to avoid unnecessary injuries such as sprained ankles or blisters.
The first part of the journey is relatively simple as you walk through the city, but when you get to the edge of the city you must take extreme caution. Upon approaching the Fuji highlands and passing Yama Shrine, the road becomes thinner and the pedestrian sidewalk disappears. Make sure to keep an eye on the road and to listen for any approaching vehicles. When approaching corners, make sure to take the outside of the curve in order to maximize your visibility to oncoming drivers.
Now that you are in the highlands and getting closer to the mountain, you must also be aware of your off-road surroundings. Bear activity is common around the springtime in Japan and there is an off chance of running into some of the wildlife in the area. At best, try to bring a bell with you from this point and diligently scan the area around you while passing through to stay safe.
By the time you reach this area, you will notice that the incline begins to get steeper, there are no convenience stores or vending machines to restock, and no stops to relax on the side of the road. Keep pushing forward and you will reach Tensho Shrine. This is the last place that has a public restroom and a few benches to relax before continuing onward.
After a few more hours, you should arrive at the Omotefuji Green Camping Ground. This location offers snacks and drinks that you can buy and eat in their main building which thankfully has a ton of seats to relax in whether you journey solo or with a group. The suggested route recommends that you stay the evening here in one of their cabins which can accommodate up to six people. If you are hiking solo, they offer a camping ground and camping rentals for a low price.
At this point you can take it easy and rest before continuing the hike on the next day through the forest, however you can continue the hike up to the 6th station depending on your condition.
The next portion of the trail will journey through the forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, all the way to the 8th station.
- Facility Name
- Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration
- Yamanashi Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture
- This is an elegant mountain which is certainly also a symbol of Japan, which is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 meters. Mt. Fuji is also often the theme of artistic inspiration such as Hokusai Katsushika: “Fugaku Sanjurokkei” (Thirty-six Sceneries of Mt. Fuji). Also, Mt. Fuji is also the place where the “Mt. Fuji faith” started and it is revered as a sacred mountain in which a deity resides. In 2013 it was registered with World Cultural Heritage as “Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration”. There are four climbing routes including the Yoshida Route, the Subashiri Route, the Gotemba Route and the Fujinomiya Route. Since the opening periods vary depending on which mountain trail you choose, it is necessary to confirm in advance whether your intended route is open.
- Information Sources:
- NAVITIME JAPAN