Mount Fuji 0-3776m

I live my life a quarter mile at a time. So considering this was only 9 and a bit quarter miles of elevation, this was a damn long day.

Most people start hiking up mount Fuji from one of the ‘5th stations’ which is basically the farthest point you can drive a car to. But I asked myself… Is that really climbing up a mountain when a car has done most of the work for you?

The most common 5th station is Yoshida trail 5th station. It is already 2,300 metres up. That’s more than half of the full quarter miles up! After considering all my options, The ultimate ‘bullet climbing’ (climbing in a single day) had been decided on. I decided to take the stupid way, riding my bike from Mishima (22m altitude, but let’s call it 0) to the most economic 5th station, Gotemba (or in proper pronunciation, Gotenba) starting at 1,450m.

Locked up in Mishima for 4 days while I was in Tokyo

Best English site i found on the trails is here:

Simplified Plan:

Stage 1: Mishima (0) to Gotemba 5th statiom (1,450) by bicycle.

Strava Link 1

Stage 2: 5th Station to Summit (3,776) overnight to see the sunrise.

Strava Link 2

Strava Link 3

Stage 3: Back down and go to Fuji City (maybe like 100m).

Strava Link 4

See the full video here:

I knew with all my gear the ride was probably going to be the hardest part and trust me, it was. Not only was it steep, but it tired me out for the rest of the hike.



Worst of all is when I reached the 5th station there was no water I could buy or scavenge from taps due to the season still being closed (for 2 more days…). Here I should probably mention I was facing some pretty stupid odds.

For Against
Route closed
Pure determination
Hiking solo
Night hike
No real winter clothes
Bullet climbing
Tired from ride up
Minimal food
Route with the least amount of people
Route with the least amount of huts
Longest route
Route with most elevation change

Yeah so most people will say something like ‘be careful and know your limits’. I recommend most people heed this advice. I admit it wasn’t the best idea but I was 93.38% confident I would make it on determination alone.

Anyway, back to my water crisis. I was actually super angry as there were vending machines but they weren’t switched on yet. A bus pulled up and I went to talk with him. A few minutes later and I had spun myself a real cry-worthy story so sad the bus driver went down the mountain to buy water and bring it back for me! But seriously he was just a really nice guy and this was his route.

So at 7pm and with a bit of water, I was ready to set off as the sky began to darken.

There’s not much to say but it’s a long hike. There is lots of black sand rock stuff that makes walking 40% harder. You want to reach the summit before sunrise (4:30ish am) so I was climbing slowly as not to be on the cold summit for longer than necessary. Got some great first-time night shots on my camera though.

I finally ran into one other guy (Kenta) and we chatted for a bit, and long story short we became mates and walked up to the summit together. After 9.4 lonnnnggg quarter miles up I finally made it to the summit. Holy smoke it was cold up there. Heed the warnings on the websites, it’s bloody freezing up there, 2 degree before windchill!



As spectacular as the view was, my pseudo summer clothing wasn’t enough so we grabbed some photos and went back down.



Down was easy but long. Even when I fetched my bike and emptied out a 1kg of black rocks and sand from my shoes I still had to battle up a few hills on the bike before 4 of the fastest quarter miles downhill yet.

I went and stuffed my face then fell asleep in the local park in plain daylight. At that time i realised I had been riding and hiking practically non-stop for the last 24 hours. In recognition of this, I went to the closest internet cafe and pigged out on all you can eat ice cream with some slightly alcoholic tiramisu topping.


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