At 3,776m (12,388 feet) Mt. Fuji is the highest and most celebrated mountain in Japan. It is arguably the most perfect volcano cone in existence, and it is visible from the city of Tokyo, only 100km (60 miles) away.
Situated in a region densely populated and relatively inactive since its last eruption in 1707, the mountain has acquired an enormous quantity of ancient myths regarding its divine origins, resident deities, and spiritual powers. The soaring peak has been said to be the home of a fire god, the dwelling of a goddess of trees, and the abode of the Buddha of All-Illuminating Wisdom. According to early myths Mt. Fuji was first climbed by the wizard-sage En no Gyoja around 663 AD.
The climb up Mt. Fuji is unlike any alpine pursuit one will ever find in North America or Europe; to climb this sacred mountain in the footsteps of millions of earlier pilgrims is to tap into a field of great devotion and holiness that is unique to Mt. Fuji. Fuji Mountain Guides will help you meet the incredible challenge of Mt. Fuji and appreciate the deep history and culture that has made it the icon of Japan
Climbing Difficulty Level
Do not believe the blogs that say that Mt. Fuji is an easy climb. Make no mistake; at 3776m/12,388ft the climb up Mt. Fuji is characterized by serious elevation gain, rapidly changing extreme weather, steep inclines, and long switchbacks.
This is not a climb that you want to attempt without proper conditioning and physical preparation. While it is true that some people climb Mt. Fuji in sneakers, jeans, and a sweatshirt, they are taking serious personal risks that should never be replicated. Despite weather forecasts, the weather on Mt. Fuji can never be predicted 50% of the time. This means that unexpected thunderstorms, rain downpours, snow storms, hails storms, etc. are common and should be properly prepared for with proper equipment.
While it is true that many young children and old adults are able to climb Mt. Fuji, you need to remember that those old people on the mountain have been doing this their whole life and those young kids are generally the exception and not the rule. But do not be frightened; with proper gear and proper physical conditioning, Mt. Fuji is an exciting and challenging climb worthy of its place in the book, "100 Things to do Before You Die".
Check out our physical fitness guide for preparing to climb Mt. Fuji
Even during the middle of the summer when temperatures in Tokyo reach 40c/100f, the summit of Mt. Fuji is usually below freezing with a biting wind. Wind-chill taken into account, the summit often feels like -10c/15f in the predawn darkness.
Suffice to say, Mt. Fuji is serious alpine terrain and is not to be underestimated. At 3,776m (12,388ft) the oxygen on the summit has two-thirds the density of normal oxygen at sea level which can cause altitude sickness or AMS.
In order to avoid altitude sickness FMG sets a slow, steady pace to help you acclimatize and enjoy your climb more. Due to the exposed nature of this volcanic mountain Fuji's weather can be extremely temperamental; in extreme conditions high gusts have been known to knock people to the ground and hail has been known to reach a diameter of one centimeter.
Combination rain-wind is also a doosy as the high winds can cause the rain to slash sideways and pelt the climbers. Once again, if you have the proper gear and you are climbing with an experienced guide, this kind of extreme weather is an exciting experience that is enjoyable. But remember--if you have any medical conditions that may put you at risk or impede your performance at high altitude or in cold conditions please consult a physician before considering an ascent of Mt. Fuji.