Every year, thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the top of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji, the country’s tallest mountain. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan, drawing thousands of visitors each year for its challenging ascent and rewarding views at the top. If you’re planning a trip to the mountain yourself, there are a few things you need to know before you go.
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Mt. Fuji is located about 60 miles southwest of Tokyo. The easiest way to get there is by train — the JR passes that are available for foreign visitors include access to all JR trains in the Tokyo area, which will take you as far as Fujinomiya or Kawaguchiko station. From there, you can take a bus or taxi the rest of the way. If you’re driving from Tokyo, it will take about two hours to reach Mt. Fuji. Keep in mind that during peak tourist season (July and August), traffic can be heavy and parking can be difficult to find, so we recommend taking the train.
The climbing season typically runs from early July through mid-September; during this time, the weather is usually stable and there are huts along the route where you can rest and buy food and drinks. The most popular route is the Yoshida Trail, which starts at the fifth station; from there, it’s about seven miles to the summit. Most people choose to hike up overnight and watch the sunrise from the top of the mountain before heading back down. Hiking Mt Fuji is no small feat, so be sure that you’re physically prepared before attempting it.
If you’re not an experienced hiker or simply don’t feel up for such a strenuous climb, don’t worry – there are plenty of other things to do in the area. Lake Kawaguchiko is a great place for a leisurely stroll, and there are several museums and art galleries in Fujiyoshida worth checking out as well. And of course, no trip to Japan would be complete without trying some authentic Japanese cuisine. You’ll find plenty of delicious restaurants serving everything from sushi and ramen to tempura and soba noodles in both Fujiyoshida and Lake Kawaguchiko.