Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji - Fifth Station It is 7:50am and I am back at the Mount Fuji trailhead called 5th Station. I am having coffee at the local "rustic" restaurant and it is raining outside. My bus departs for Tokyo at 10am, so I have a couple of hours to kill. Yes, I saw the sun rising above clouds from the top of Fuji-san just little past 5 am. Check.

Mount Fuji - Waiting Sunrise Mount Fuji - Waiting Sunrise Last night I started the climb at 8:20. It was already dark. I used the head-light all the time. And I always had a lot of company. Actually I think that more than a thousand people made the climb. Mount Fuji - Sunrise It was surreal. Lights were zigzaging at the mountain side well above and below. Many large organized groups of climbers from all over the world.

These groups reserved all the mountain huts and so I had a problem: Very cold and no adequate clothing. I planned to reach one of the upper huts around 11pm and sleep say until Mount Fuji - Some are Still Climbing Up 4am (or at least stay warm). The only thing I managed to get accommodation-wise was that at one hut they allowed me to order food and eat it inside but no longer than 15 minutes. I used that time to put on every peace of clothing I had in my backpack.

By the way I ordered and ate the most expensive Ramen Noodle Soup ever (750 yen=about $10). Despite my delay tactics I was at the summit before 1am.

Mount Fuji - Back in Tokyo

I just barely survived the bitter cold and wind by keeping myself in the middle of the mostly shivering crowd. The sunrise was great, but I have read that the Japanese have this saying: "The wise man climbs Fuji-san once and the fool twice". I hope not to be that fool.