Mt. Fuji

The Great Climb to the Top of Japan - August 14th - 15th, 2000
Narrative by Audrey

We left Yonezawa on Sunday morning, August 13th.  We took the bullet train to Tokyo and then took another train to an area of Tokyo called Shinjuku.  We checked into our hotel and spent the rest of the day walking around Shinjuku and another area called Shibuya.

Monday morning the bus left for Mt. Fuji at 8:45 am from Shinjuku Station.  The bus ride to Mt. Fuji usually takes about 2 hours but because of the Obon Holiday traffic it actually took us a long time to get there.

Tom's note: That's my "Mountain Man" beard.

From the highway, we could see Mt. Fuji.

The top of the mountain was completely clear.  It was breathtaking!  We couldn't believe we were going to do this.

The bus took us up the mountain to the 5th station.  That was our beginning point.  The mountain is divided into stations, station #1 to station #8 and then the top.  To give you an idea, Mt. Fuji is 3776 meters high (12,395 feet).  It's the highest mountain in Japan.  The 5th station is at 2305 meters (7,562 feet).

The weather was very nice that day.  At that altitude, it really felt like autumn.  After lunch (curry and rice), we began our climb about 2:00 pm.

We bought walking sticks to carry with us because as we reached each station, we would be able to get our wooden sticks branded with that station's symbol, altitude, etc.  Our sticks also had the American flag attached to them.  Of the thousands of people there, almost everyone was Asian, only a handful of Westerners.

Did we make it to the top?  Find out on the next Fuji page!