Climbing the Mt. Fuji; Things to do in Japan??

2024-07-09 Climbing the Mt. Fuji; Things to do in Japan??

Japan has a unique culture, and after the COVID-19, the number of foreign visitors is getting larger and larger.

What do people like to do in Japan…?
The answer might vary. How about...climbing Mt. Fuji??

Mt. Fuji, as you know, is the tallest mountain in Japan (3,776 m: 12,388 ft). It was recognized as a World Heritage Site in 2013 because it has had a great influence on the Japanese culture and people’s natural views. It is also popular to climb during the summer season.

Actually, climbing Mt. Fuji has been on my to-do list for about 4 years. I don’t remember since when, but Mt. Fuji has become not just a highest mountain, but more like a spiritual symbol. I get excited whenever I see Mt. Fuji. I wish to climb Mt. Fuji at least once in my life, and finally, I was able to climb up to the summit.

Before you read this article, you have to be prepared, because unfortunately, it might not be something that encourages you to plan to climb Mt. Fuji.

Frankly speaking, it was waaaaaay harder than I imagined.
Even though we (me and my friend) are relatively young exercisers (sometimes), it was so hard that almost broke our relationship.

The day was perfect. We were planning to stay at the lodge on the 7th station of the Yoshida trail to see the sunrise from the top.
Along the sunny and hot weather, the trail has started.
3 and a half hours of climbing to the lodge. Chatting and laughing as usual. “Oh, maybe it’s easier than I thought!” Nothing to worry about, until the midnight hike…

We woke up at 12 am and started to aim for the summit. Can’t see anything, Advance slowly, relying on the headlight. The wind is getting stronger. The road is no longer gentle and flat, but the bumpy cliff. Advance little by little, checking our footing.

Climbing 20-min, take a rest at the lodge, and start to climb again. Look up the sky, and the stars were so close. We caught 2-stripes of shooting stars. Ok, let’s do this.

Stepping forward made it difficult to breathe. Don’t have any pain or exhaustion, but feel the lack of oxygen. My own feet weigh so much. My body doesn’t follow my order. Still, we move forward.

The sky is turning white. No need for headlights anymore. Looking down, we see the two big lakes covered by the clouds. Can’t believe that we came up this far. It’s almost sunrise, and still can’t see the top.

Other climbers had the same faces. Wish to advance, but the body doesn’t move. Courage soaked a little. Whatever happens, we have to make it.

The last 30 minutes was the hardest time. Each time I lift my leg, I gasp for air. The sun has risen. The light gives us strength. One step at a time. Don’t want to give up.

The last few steps were half a throw-away. I want it to end as quickly as possible. Reach the top. Relief rather than achievement.
Yes!! We don’t have to climb anymore!

Eating Obento at the top was less exciting than I thought. Still nice. The wind was so strong that we couldn’t enjoy the sight that much. Or maybe we were just too tired to enjoy it.

The down way was great. Don’t have to worry about the path anymore. It’s just going down. Nice chatting, just like the beginning.

After 2 hours of descending, something was wrong. The road was filled with limestones and sand that slipped and made it difficult to walk. Getting hot. Feet hurts. Steady descent for a while, but no sign of reaching the ground. Endless descend. Can’t remember why we decided to climb Mt. Fuji. I literally hated the descending path. My friend started to go down faster which I couldn’t reach. Went to the bathroom without saying anything. Hey…stop being selfish. We’re doing this together. Unvoiced words hanging in the air. Finally, she went down alone, saying that she needed to buy some souvenirs. Souvenirs over me?? Whatever. I just want to finish all this suffering and pain.

I arrived at the 5th station an hour and a half later than we planned. It’s over. All I wanted to do was take a nice bath and get some rest.
Our bus took us all the way to Shinjuku Station. When it's over, it seems like all this time was a fleeting moment. Back to reality. I’ll be working tomorrow.

Suddenly, my friend who was next to me, started to cry. “Oh my god, it’s over. What a relief. It was f-ing hard terrible. Ohhh it’s over.”
She was like a small kid coming out from a haunted house. I realized an obvious fact; it was tough for her, too.
At the last minute she went ahead of me but it doesn't change the fact that we took the same path. I was whining and complaining, but she quietly endured. We got through the same difficulties. Lived the same moment. The way of dealing with things was different, but still, she was who she was.

As a result, Mt. Fuji is much better looking up from the ground.
But still, there is something you can’t understand by just looking from the ground.

I’m glad I made it with her.
Sincerely yours…