So You Want To Hike Mt. Fuji This Summer?
Ah, Mt. Fuji. The bosom that which Japan was birthed from, the Land of the Rising Sun, the place that gave us Pokemon GO.
We can all google the facts about Mt. Fuji-san. The fact that it's still an active volcano, its 12,388 ft from sea level, and the images of amazing views with sunsets. But nothing will prepare you like the actual experience of ascending the mother of Japan.
I traveled to Japan to hike Mt. Fuji and in this article I will share with you some things that may help you to be more ready for in your preparations and just my story of being there. I've also added a link to a videos I made about a list of things I wish I would have known before traveling to Japan and 5 tips for hiking Mt. Fuji.
The adventure was filled with mystery as I felt there was a lack of information on the internet pertaining to travel tips from other average-joe travelers like me. I also took some ill manifested confidence in the fact that I would be staying with an ol' Navy buddy who was stationed there at the time. I thought since he lived in that area he would be able to show me around on my vacation. The Navy had other plans for Scott as he ended up working most of the time I was there. Nonetheless, we had some good dinners and got to see an amazing view together at the top of Mt. Fuji.
Most of the days we were not hiking Mt. Fuji. On those days you could find me wandering around the streets of Japan, playing Pokemon GO or trying to find one of the many drink vending machines that seem to be within sight of one another. One day I found a friend to play Pokemon GO with me, her name was Saori. I met Saori on a social app I won't name here. My headline said "POKEMON GO." I figured that would get my point across. And sure enough I got a message and we met up and spent the afternoon in Tokyo together catching tiny virtual bugs on our screens. There was even a Jamaican Reggae Festival going on in one of the parks in Tokyo! I asked her to take me to the "most authentic" sushi place she knew of, which was obviously delicious.
The main focus of the Trip was getting to the tops of that peak. And I would say that starts with getting a good nights sleep. Scott was going off about an hour of sleep because had duty the night before which means work+security watch. Since I was spending that night alone and didn't want to exert myself too much I decided to stay home, watch YouTube videos, and see how much Saki it took to get me drunk. Apparently a lot, but an equal amount was enough to leave me with a splitting headache in the morning.
The next thing you want to be sure of when attempting to hike a huge mountain is to pack a decent lunch. So what does a guy with one hour of sleep and the other profusely hungry do? Well they stop at 7-11 of course and get a bunch of salty fish balls and wasabi crusted garbanzo bean snacks and we were on our way.
I finished 3/4 of the food I bought by the time we started the hike, not good. Luckily for us on Mt. Fuji has many little stations along the way that allow you to buy water and other healthy snacks. I bought a banana at every station until you get to the top, they sell Ramen and egg, and It was the best Ramen I have ever eaten, also the most expensive, but still great.
The terrain going up Mt Fuji is very steep and sometimes rocky. If you watch any of my hiking videos on YouTube, you know that I am a huge proponent of hiking poles. So I'll reiterate here, if you don't use hiking poles, get yourself a pair and notice the night and day difference in the comfort of your hikes. I highly recommend a pair for all hiking scenarios.
The ascend down was also not an easy task. Normally on a hike the decent is the time where you get to enjoy not climbing anymore, and take in the last of the views. On our descent from the top it seemed more steep than the hike up and because our legs were so tired we didn't have the strength to keep from doing a slow jog the entire way down. It took us about 4.5 hours to ascend around 10,000ft (which I think is faster than average) but only an hour an a half to descend that same amount.
Anyways, enjoy your travels out there. I hope this article maybe helps you get a better feel for experiencing Mt. Fuji. I've also included links to my YouTube Channel for more hiking and traveling tips.
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And "I'll see you out there!"