To the Climbing Mt. Fuji Page.
These photos were taken on our Climbing Mt. Fuji
adventure on 1st and 2nd of August, 2001. Please scroll down the page to view the photos and read the descriptions
of the photos as we progressed on our adventure.
We left Yokota Air Base at about 1:20 AM on 1 August
and headed for the Fifth Station on Mt. Fuji. Last year we went on the Yujo Bus Trip to climb Mt. Fuji, but they
only allow a certain amount of time for the climb, which for us wasn't enough. Therefore this year we drove there
in our own car so we could take as much time as we needed. The road tolls for the round trip totaled 6,100 Yen, or
about US$51, for the approx. 240 Km round trip. At that time of the morning traffic was light and we arrived at the
Fifth Station at 3:30 AM, where we had about an hour's nap before getting organized and started our hike about 5:15,
by which time the sun had risen. Photos 39 and 42 show us in the parking lot getting ready to start.
Please click on any image to view larger photo with description. Using your
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the top of the page after viewing the larger photos!
By this time we were about as far as we had reached
last year, when Linda could proceed no longer due to altitude sickness. This year we were more prepared, by taking
our time and allowing our bodies to adjust to the altitude gradually, and by carrying several cans of Oxygen, which
we used as needed! The next photo is looking up toward the "Fujisan Hotel", where we spent the night, after getting
caught in a thunderstorm as we approached that location. We arrived there about 2:30 PM, where we proceeded to
shed wet clothing and get dried out by the small charcoal fire, which is used to keep the branding irons hot. We
had donned our lightweight parkas, but Linda found that hers was not waterproof, and was pretty well soaked through.
Peter arrived at shelter a bit ahead of Linda, before the rain got so heavy, so fared a little better. After
removing the wet outer clothing and having a hot "cup noodle", we arranged for a bed for the night, plus an evening
meal and breakfast, at a cost of 14,000 plus Yen, or about US$120! Under the circumstances, it was well worth the
the cost. At each hut
along the trail they will add a "stamp" to your wooden climbing stick, which is burned into the wood with a small
"branding iron" similar to the ones used to brand cattle. The charge for this is usually 200 Yen for one, or
sometimes 2 stamps. At a couple of locations near the top the price was 300 Yen for 2 stamps. Last year we
purchased our wooden climbing stick at the 5th Station, complete with bells and 3 flags (Japan, USA, and Mt. Fuji).
This year we removed the flags and jungle bells and left them at home, and took the stick along to get the new
"stamps" applied, on the opposite side of the stick from last years'. We ended up filling up the whole stick, both
sides, with about 38 different stamps from both years, so you know that it's now a pretty expensive stick!
Just a hint -- if you use your browser's "back" button, instead of the link
to return to this page, you won't have to keep scrolling back down to this part of the page!
In the morning we awoke about 4 AM, got dressed,
packed up our gear and went downstairs for our packaged breakfast which had been issued the previous evening.
A warm cup of tea was served with breakfast, and we were ready to continue our climb by 5 AM. The weather was
beautiful and clear, as you can see by the photos, with a solid layer of clouds below. We had the feeling of being
on top of the world!
We arrived at the rim of the crater just before 8 AM
enjoying the fresh clear morning air. We had finally reached the 'top'. However, the highest point is on the other
side, near the white 'ball' building that you can see in photos 98 and 115. After catching our breath and having a refreshing
drink and taking a few photos, we proceeded around the rim trail. Beside the actual crater, there is also a sort of basin to one
side. After a complete loop around the rim we started down about 11:30 AM. It took about 6 hours to get back down to the 5th
Station, arriving about 5:30 PM. Total climbing time was about 12 hours, plus about 3 1/2 hours doing the rim loop.
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