Monday, 11th August 2008
Spectacular sunrises from the summit of Mt. Fuji
It's a tough climb up Japan's highest mountain taking some seven hours to reach the 3,776 metre peak but our Essential Honshu tours this year have seen climbs made by young and old. The climb starts at the 5th station (2,000 metres) where we aclimatise and pick up our all important climbing sticks - ready to be stamped at each station on the way up. At the 8th station we take a short overnight break - including a curry dinner - before waking at 2am for the last push to the summit. The official climbing season is short - July 1st to August 31st - and so we were not the only ones climbing; in fact some 200,000 people climb each year. Mountain-side comradery all adds to this very special climb and you can't help but join in with shouts of "banzai" as the sun emerges at around 4am. Mt. Fuji is certainly a challenging climb but it is achievable with average fitness and determination - don't forget the common Japanese saying though; "a wise man climbs Mt. Fuji once but a fool climbs it twice..."