One of the most iconic symbols of Japan is Mt. Fuji; this mountain has captured the wonder and imagination of people for thousands of years. The challenge of reaching the summit of Mt. Fuji has drawn individuals to this challenge for nearly just as long. This journey is indeed difficult, but has been made much easier as the mountain has become a major tourist destination. There are several paths to the summit when climbing Mt. Fuji, such as Yoshida trail and Fujinomiya trail. Making the right choice has a large impact on the level of difficulty encountered when hiking.
Yoshida trail is by far the most popular route on Mt. Fuji, with nearly 171,000 climbers ascending Mt. Fuji using this trail in 2014. Yoshida trail has the second highest starting point at 7,560 feet/2,305 meters (Subaru Line 5th Station). Being perched fairly high up the mountain, Yoshida trail is one of the easier trails to hike, with an average trip taking around six hours to ascend and three hours to descend.
Because not much time is needed to reach the summit of Mt. Fuji, the best time start is in the late afternoon. Then proceed to rest in one of the available mountain huts (which populate Yoshida trail more than any other route on Fuji-san) shortly after sunset. After a few hours rest, begin climbing again in the middle of the night in order to see the sunrise. Sunrise during the climbing season usually occurs between 4:30 and 5:00 am.
The length of Yoshida trail is approximately 3.6 miles\5.8 km on the way up, and 4.3 miles/6.9 km for the descent.
Yoshida trail has the most mountain huts (about 20) snacked along the path that supply food, water, shelter, and restrooms. This along with the extremely high traffic, makes the route one of the safest. It is also recommended that new climbers or those who have never climbed Mt. Fuji before start with the Yoshida trail.
It is important to note, however, that there are no mountain huts on the route for descent.
Subaru 5th Station
Located fairly high on Mt. Fuji, Subaru 5th station offers outstanding views of the Fuji five lakes region. Often times, people will take the journey to Subaru 5th station to simply take in the views and relax in the fresh mountain air, with no intention of surmounting Fuji-san. The facilities available at this station are the most numerous and accommodating out of all of the 5th stations on Mt. Fuji; multiple shops, restaurants, information center, as well as a shrine create a quaint little town perched on the mountain.
Access to Yoshida Trail
During much of the climbing season (July 10th – August 31st), access to Subaru 5th station is only available by buses and shuttles, because the route to the station is closed to public traffic during this time.
Similar to Fujinomiya trail, the best time to climb the Yoshida trail is both early and late in the climbing season, and climbing should be avoided during the end of July to the middle of August, as summer holidays and summer vacation for students exceedingly increase the amount of climbers hiking on Mt. Fuji.
Buses and trains to Subaru 5th Station
There are many buses and trains available to get to the start of the Yoshida trail at Subaru 5th station. Actually, it is one of the more assesable 5th stations on Mt. Fuji, especially for the Tokyo area. There are a network of buses that reach as far as Osaka, and include Tokyo, Yokohama, Hakone, Shizuoka and Shizuoka Airport, Gotemba, Shin-Fuji, Mishima, and most of these routes have a mandatory stop in Kawaguchiko.
|Length of Ride Time||2.5 hours||3.5 hours||3.5 hours||11.5 hours|
|Best time to board||2 PM||1 PM||1 PM||4 AM|
Have Fun Climbing Mt. Fuji
Although difficult, climbing Mt. Fuji is an incredible experience with exceptional views as well as a far-reaching history, and making it to the top will surely fill anyone with a sense of pride and achievement. Although Yoshida trail is the most crowded route, it is the safest as well as one of the easiest trails, which is why it is an excellent option for first-time climbers. The most important aspect of climbing Mt. Fuji is the preparation, but close behind is to make sure to have fun! It is a one-of-a-kind experience which should be enjoyed and remembered as one of the highlights of your trip to Japan.