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A Travel Guide On How NOT To Climb Mount Fuji


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Anett Humphrey



Mount Fuji, the iconic volcano and national symbol of Japan, is a sight to behold. Standing at 3,776 meters (12,389 feet) tall, it is not only the highest peak in Japan but also an important part of Japanese culture and spirituality. Every year, thousands of adventurers from around the world flock to Mount Fuji to challenge themselves and experience the breathtaking views from its summit.


However, climbing Mount Fuji is not without its challenges and considerations. It requires proper planning, a good level of physical fitness, and an understanding of the mountain’s unique environment. This comprehensive travel guide is here to help you navigate through the do’s and don’ts of climbing Mount Fuji, ensuring you have a safe and rewarding experience.


Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a first-time mountaineer, this guide will provide valuable information and insights to make your journey up Mount Fuji a memorable one. From choosing the right climbing season to understanding the various routes, packing essentials, and safety precautions, we have you covered.


Keep in mind that Mount Fuji is not to be taken lightly. It is a challenging climb that requires careful preparation and respect for nature. By following this guide and adhering to the guidelines set forth, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the majestic Mount Fuji, while minimizing your impact on the mountain’s fragile ecosystem.


So let’s dive in and discover how to embark on an unforgettable adventure up Mount Fuji, while ensuring your safety and preserving the beauty of this iconic Japanese landmark.


Planning Your Trip

Before embarking on your Mount Fuji climbing adventure, it is important to plan your trip carefully to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential factors to consider when planning your trip:

  • Choose the Right Season: Mount Fuji is only open for climbing during the official climbing season, which typically runs from early July to mid-September. This is when the weather is relatively stable, and the trails are clear of snow. It’s important to check the official opening and closing dates of the climbing season before making any plans.
  • Obtain Permits: Climbing Mount Fuji requires a permit, which can be obtained from the 5th Station or online in advance. It’s crucial to secure your permit before your trip, as climbing without one is not allowed. The cost of the permit varies depending on the climbing route and time of day.
  • Research the Climbing Routes: Mount Fuji has multiple routes to choose from, each with its own level of difficulty and scenery. The most popular routes include the Yoshida Trail, Subashiri Trail, Gotemba Trail, and Fujinomiya Trail. Research and decide on the route that best suits your fitness level and preferences.
  • Check the Weather Conditions: Weather conditions on Mount Fuji can change rapidly, so it’s important to keep a close eye on the forecast. Avoid climbing during typhoon season or when severe weather is expected. Clear skies and good visibility will enhance your experience and allow you to enjoy stunning views from the summit.
  • Book Accommodation in Advance: If you plan to stay overnight on the mountain, it is advisable to book a mountain hut or lodge well in advance. These accommodations can get fully booked during the peak climbing season, so make your reservations early to secure a place to rest and recharge during your ascent.

By taking the time to carefully plan your trip, you’ll ensure that you have all the necessary permits, understand the routes, and have suitable accommodation arrangements in place. This will help you embark on your Mount Fuji adventure with confidence and peace of mind.


Choosing the Right Season

When it comes to climbing Mount Fuji, choosing the right season is crucial for a safe and enjoyable experience. The official climbing season typically runs from early July to mid-September, but within this timeframe, there are still important factors to consider.


Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best season to climb Mount Fuji:

  • Weather Conditions: Mount Fuji’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to choose a season with favorable conditions. The summer months of July and August generally offer milder temperatures and lower chances of rain, while September tends to have cooler temperatures and a higher chance of rain. Consider your preferred hiking weather and plan accordingly.
  • Crowd Levels: Mount Fuji can get crowded during the peak climbing season, especially on weekends and holidays. If you prefer a more peaceful climbing experience, consider starting your climb on weekdays or during the off-peak periods at the beginning or end of the season. This way, you’ll have a better chance of enjoying the serene beauty of the mountain.
  • Availability of Facilities: During the official climbing season, facilities such as mountain huts, toilets, and food stalls are available along the climbing routes. If having access to these facilities is important to you, aim to climb during the main season when everything is fully operational. Outside of the climbing season, these facilities may be closed or have limited services.

It’s important to note that climbing Mount Fuji outside of the official season is strongly discouraged. The weather becomes harsher, and the trails can be dangerous due to snow, ice, and limited facilities. It’s best to respect the designated climbing season to ensure your safety and preserve the mountain’s fragile ecosystem.


By carefully considering the weather conditions, crowd levels, and availability of facilities, you can choose the best season to climb Mount Fuji that aligns with your preferences and ensures a memorable and safe adventure.


Understanding the Climbing Routes

Mount Fuji offers multiple climbing routes, each with its own unique features and challenges. Understanding the different routes will help you choose the one that best suits your abilities and preferences. Here are some of the main climbing routes on Mount Fuji:

  • Yoshida Trail: The Yoshida Trail is the most popular and accessible route, starting from the 5th Station on the Fuji Subaru Line. It offers a gradual ascent with well-marked paths and plenty of mountain huts for rest and refreshments. This route is suitable for beginners and offers stunning views of the sunrise from the summit.
  • Subashiri Trail: The Subashiri Trail also begins at the 5th Station but requires a longer and steeper descent compared to the Yoshida Trail. It is less crowded and provides a more challenging and adventurous experience. This route offers scenic views of the Suruga Bay and the surrounding landscape.
  • Gotemba Trail: The Gotemba Trail, starting from the Gotemba 5th Station, is known for its steep and rocky terrain. It is a demanding route that requires a good level of fitness and experience. However, it offers breathtaking panoramic views and is favored by more experienced climbers seeking a challenging adventure.
  • Fujinomiya Trail: The Fujinomiya Trail is the shortest route to the summit, starting from the Fujinomiya 5th Station. It features a steep and direct ascent, making it physically demanding. This route offers breathtaking views of the city lights at night and is recommended for experienced climbers who are looking for a shorter but more intense climb.

Each route has its own charm and difficulty level, so it’s important to research and choose the one that aligns with your skills and preferences. Consider factors such as fitness level, crowd levels, and desired scenery when selecting a climbing route.


It’s also essential to familiarize yourself with the route beforehand by studying maps, reading guidebooks, and seeking advice from experienced climbers. This will ensure that you are well-prepared and have a clear understanding of what to expect along the way.


By understanding the different climbing routes on Mount Fuji, you can select the one that suits your abilities and desires, ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey to the summit of this majestic volcano.


Packing Essentials

When preparing for your Mount Fuji climb, packing the right essentials is vital to ensure your comfort, safety, and convenience during the journey. Here are some essential items to include in your packing list:

  • Appropriate Clothing: Dressing in layers is crucial to accommodate changing weather conditions on Mount Fuji. Pack moisture-wicking and quick-drying clothing, thermal base layers, fleece or down jackets, waterproof and windproof outer layers, hiking pants, and extra socks. Don’t forget a warm hat and gloves for the colder temperatures at higher altitudes.
  • Hiking Boots: Choose sturdy and waterproof hiking boots with ankle support to withstand the rugged terrain of Mount Fuji. Make sure to break them in before the climb to prevent blisters and discomfort.
  • Backpack: A comfortable backpack with a capacity of around 30-40 liters is ideal for carrying your essentials. Ensure it has a hip belt and adjustable straps for proper weight distribution.
  • Water and Snacks: Hydration is key during the climb, so carry at least 2-3 liters of water or a hydration bladder. Pack energy-rich snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and fruits to keep you fueled throughout the climb.
  • Sun Protection: Mount Fuji’s high altitude exposes you to strong UV radiation. Pack sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin and eyes from the sun.
  • Headlamp: If you plan to climb during the night to witness the stunning sunrise from the summit, a headlamp is essential for navigating the trails in the dark.
  • Trekking Poles: Trekking poles provide stability and support when climbing steep or uneven sections. Consider using lightweight and adjustable poles to ease the strain on your knees and enhance balance.
  • First Aid Kit: It’s important to have a basic first aid kit that includes essential items such as bandages, adhesive tape, pain relievers, blister treatment, and any necessary personal medications.

Remember to pack light and only bring the necessities to avoid unnecessary weight. Additionally, be mindful of the environmental impact and avoid single-use plastics or disposable items.


By packing these essentials, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the challenges of Mount Fuji while staying comfortable and safe throughout your climb.


Staying Hydrated and Nourished

Proper hydration and nourishment are essential for a successful and enjoyable climb up Mount Fuji. The combination of physical exertion and higher altitudes can lead to increased water loss and energy expenditure. Here are some tips to stay hydrated and nourished during your Mount Fuji adventure:

  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water throughout the climb to prevent dehydration. Carry at least 2-3 liters of water and drink regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Consider using a hydration bladder for easy access to water while on the move.
  • Electrolytes: Along with water, it’s important to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating. Carry electrolyte tablets or sports drinks to maintain a proper electrolyte balance and prevent muscle cramps.
  • Food Consumption: Eat small, frequent meals and snacks to maintain energy levels. Pack lightweight, high-energy foods such as granola bars, trail mix, energy gels, and dried fruits. Include a balance of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your body throughout the climb.
  • Meals at Mountain Huts: If you plan to stay overnight at a mountain hut, they typically offer meals that cater to climbers’ needs. These meals are often hearty and carbohydrate-rich, providing the sustenance required for the climb. Be sure to inquire about meal options and make reservations in advance.
  • Avoid Overeating: While it’s important to fuel your body, avoid overeating, as it can lead to discomfort and sluggishness during the climb. Listen to your body’s hunger signals and eat until you feel comfortably satisfied.
  • Snacking on the Trail: Take short breaks to refuel with snacks during your ascent. This will help maintain your energy levels and provide a much-needed boost along the way.
  • Respect the Environment: Remember to pack out any food waste and dispose of it properly. Leaving rubbish on the mountain not only harms the environment but can also attract wildlife and disrupt the delicate ecosystem.

By staying hydrated and nourished, you’ll have the energy and stamina to tackle the challenges of Mount Fuji and enjoy the breathtaking views along the way. Listen to your body’s needs, eat mindfully, and make sure to prioritize hydration to optimize your climbing experience.


Acclimatization and Taking Breaks

Acclimatization is an essential aspect of climbing Mount Fuji, as it allows your body to adapt to the higher altitudes and lower oxygen levels. Taking breaks throughout your ascent is crucial for both acclimatization and overall safety. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Gradual Ascent: It’s recommended to pace yourself and take a gradual approach when climbing Mount Fuji. Ascend at a steady pace to allow your body to adjust to the increasing altitude. Avoid rushing to higher altitudes, as rapid changes in elevation can lead to altitude sickness.
  • Rest Stops: Take frequent rest stops during your climb to allow your body to acclimatize and recover. Use these breaks to hydrate, eat snacks, and catch your breath. Find a comfortable spot with a view and enjoy the surroundings.
  • Choose a Mountain Hut: If you plan to stay overnight on the mountain, consider booking a mountain hut. This not only provides a place to rest but also allows for an extended period of acclimatization. Use the extra time at the hut to relax and prepare for the final push to the summit.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any signs of altitude sickness, such as dizziness, nausea, headache, or fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, descend to a lower altitude immediately. It’s better to prioritize your safety and health over reaching the summit.
  • Be Mindful of Weather: Inclement weather can affect your acclimatization process. If the weather becomes severe, find shelter in a mountain hut or descend to a lower altitude until conditions improve. Safety should always be your top priority.
  • Practice Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing exercises can help improve oxygen intake and aid in adapting to the higher altitudes. Take slow, deep breaths to increase your oxygen levels and reduce the risk of altitude-related issues.
  • Enjoy the Journey: Remember to savor the experience and enjoy the stunning views along the way. Taking breaks not only allows your body to rest but also gives you the opportunity to fully appreciate the beauty of Mount Fuji and the surrounding scenery.

Acclimatization and taking breaks are pivotal for a safe and successful climb up Mount Fuji. By allowing your body time to adjust, you can minimize the risk of altitude sickness and fully enjoy the experience of conquering this iconic peak.


Safety Precautions and Emergency Situations

Ensuring your safety on Mount Fuji should be a top priority during your climb. While it’s generally a safe mountain to climb, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and take necessary precautions. Here are some safety tips to consider:

  • Monitor Weather Conditions: Stay updated on weather forecasts before and during your climb. Avoid climbing in severe weather conditions, such as strong winds, heavy rain, or thunderstorms. Be prepared to adjust your plans and have a backup option in case of adverse weather.
  • Stay on Marked Trails: Stick to the designated trails and follow the markers and signs along the way. Straying off the paths can not only lead to getting lost but also pose risks of falling or encountering dangerous terrain.
  • Bring a Map and Compass: Even with clear trail markers, it’s always a good idea to have a map and compass as a backup. Familiarize yourself with the route before starting your climb and know how to use the map and compass effectively.
  • Travel in Groups: Climbing with others is safer than going alone. Joining a guided tour or climbing with a group of friends ensures that you have assistance in case of emergencies and can help each other stay motivated and safe throughout the ascent.
  • Equip Yourself with Safety Gear: Carry essential safety gear, including a headlamp, whistle, first aid kit, emergency blanket, and a fully charged mobile phone. These items can prove invaluable during unexpected situations or emergencies.
  • Be Prepared for Altitude Sickness: Recognize the symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. If symptoms worsen or persist, descend to a lower altitude immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.
  • Follow Environmental Regulations: Respect the mountain and follow the guidelines for waste disposal and environmental conservation. Pack out all trash, avoid damaging vegetation, and adhere to any restricted areas or regulations set by local authorities.
  • Emergency Assistance: Familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers and the location of mountain huts or ranger stations. In case of injury or emergency, seek help immediately and follow the instructions of rescue personnel.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority when climbing Mount Fuji. By being prepared, staying alert, and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and rewarding climbing experience.


Environmental Considerations

When embarking on a climb up Mount Fuji, it’s important to be mindful of the environmental impact and take steps to minimize your footprint. Here are some environmental considerations to keep in mind during your ascent:

  • Leave No Trace: Practice the Leave No Trace principles by minimizing your impact on the mountain. Pack out all your trash, including food wrappers and any other waste. Leave the natural beauty of Mount Fuji untouched for future climbers to enjoy.
  • Respect Wildlife: Remember that Mount Fuji is home to a variety of wildlife. Respect their natural habitat by observing them from a distance and refraining from feeding or disturbing them. Avoid littering food scraps that may attract animals.
  • Stick to the Trails: Stay on the designated trails and avoid creating new paths. Straying off the trails can damage delicate plant life and soil erosion, disrupting the mountain’s ecosystem.
  • Minimize Noise Pollution: Keep noise levels to a minimum to preserve the tranquility of the mountain and respect other climbers’ experiences. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and be mindful of your impact on the environment.
  • Conserve Water: Water is a precious resource on the mountain. Conserve water by using it wisely, avoiding unnecessary wastage, and taking quick showers if available at mountain huts or lodges.
  • Respect Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with local customs and cultural practices. Be respectful when visiting shrines or sacred areas and follow any specific guidelines or restrictions in place.
  • Reduce Single-Use Plastics: Minimize the use of single-use plastics by opting for reusable water bottles, food containers, and utensils. Consider carrying a reusable bag to collect trash along the way if you come across any litter left by others.
  • Support Sustainable Practices: Choose accommodations, shops, and restaurants that prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Support local businesses that promote eco-friendly practices and contribute to the preservation of Mount Fuji.

By being conscious of your environmental impact and taking steps to lessen it, you can help preserve the beauty and integrity of Mount Fuji for generations to come.


Respect Local Customs and Etiquette

When climbing Mount Fuji, it is important to respect the local customs and follow proper etiquette to show appreciation for the culture and traditions of Japan. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Greeting and Politeness: Japanese culture places great importance on politeness and respectful greetings. When interacting with locals or fellow climbers, use a polite greeting such as “konnichiwa” (hello) or “arigatou gozaimasu” (thank you very much).
  • Observe Quiet Reflection: Mount Fuji is considered a sacred place in Japan. Show respect by observing moments of quiet reflection at shrines or designated sacred areas. Keep noise levels to a minimum and refrain from disruptive behavior.
  • Follow Dress Codes: When visiting temples or shrines, dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate clothing. It is customary to remove your shoes before entering certain areas, so be prepared and wear easily removable footwear.
  • Pack Out Your Trash: Keep Mount Fuji clean by packing out all your trash and disposing of it in designated areas. Avoid littering or leaving any waste behind. It is common to carry a small bag to collect and carry out any trash you come across.
  • Respect Privacy and Personal Space: Be mindful of personal space and avoid intrusive behaviors. When taking photographs, be considerate of others and ask for permission if taking pictures of individuals, especially local residents or religious ceremonies.
  • Follow Onsen Etiquette: If you plan to soak in an onsen (hot spring) after your climb, familiarize yourself with onsen etiquette. Follow the rules regarding washing before entering the bath, avoid wearing swimsuits, and be mindful of others’ comfort and privacy.
  • Learn Basic Phrases: Learn a few basic Japanese phrases to communicate with locals and show respect for the local language. Simple greetings and thank you expressions can go a long way in establishing goodwill.
  • Respect Protected Areas: Mount Fuji is home to protected flora and fauna. Avoid picking flowers or damaging vegetation, and avoid disturbing any wildlife you encounter. Enjoy observing them from a distance without causing harm or disruption.

By following local customs and practicing respectful behavior, you not only show your appreciation for Japanese culture but also contribute to a positive and harmonious climbing experience for yourself and others.



Climbing Mount Fuji is a remarkable adventure that offers stunning views, physical challenges, and a deep connection to Japanese culture. By following the tips and guidelines outlined in this comprehensive travel guide, you can ensure a safe and rewarding experience on this majestic volcano.


From planning your trip and choosing the right season to understanding the climbing routes, packing essentials, and staying hydrated, each aspect plays a crucial role in making your climb successful. It is important to prioritize safety, respect the environment, and show appreciation for local customs and etiquette throughout your journey.


Remember that climbing Mount Fuji requires physical preparation, careful planning, and respect for nature. It is crucial to be aware of your own limits and adjust your pace accordingly. Listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and be prepared to make sound decisions when it comes to inclement weather or potential altitude sickness.


As you make your way up the mountain, take the time to appreciate the breathtaking views, the serenity of the surroundings, and the rich cultural significance of Mount Fuji. This iconic symbol of Japan holds a special place in the hearts of the Japanese people, and it offers an experience that is both challenging and rewarding.


By embracing the spirit of adventure, respecting the mountain, and following the advice provided in this guide, you can embark on an unforgettable journey up Mount Fuji. Cherish the memories, leave only footprints, and carry the essence of this incredible experience with you forever.