Ultimate mt. fuji
Climb from Sea to Summit on the Murayama Trail
June & September
Starts in: Fuji Area*
Ends in: Fuji Area*
Mt. Fuji is not only Japan's tallest mountain (by a long shot), but it's fear-inspiring power and breathtaking symmetry have made it a spiritual and cultural icon synonymous with Japan itself. At 3,776m (12,388 ft.) Fuji towers majestically over the surrounding landscape, and it is impossible not to be awed by its enormous scale and raw beauty. In ancient times it was the inspiration for countless legends, poems and paintings, and nowadays climbing to the top ranks as a must-do bucket-list item for most Japanese and international tourists alike.
In-Season vs. Off-Season
The official climbing season begins in early July and ends in mid-September, which corresponds to the period of warmest summer temperatures and ensures snow-free trails. It is also when the mountain huts, toilets and shops are open for business. Each year during that small 10-week window of time, upwards of 250,000 people scale Fuji's barren volcanic slopes for a chance to stand atop the iconic pinnacle of Japan. That amounts to an astounding daily average of no less than 3,500 people. Though this has become the standard period to summit Fuji, in our opinion it is not necessarily the most rewarding. Climbing during this time can feel like a mindless, touristic exercise when you're battling the crowds up the narrow trails, then sharing the summit with thousands and thousands of others. Of course you still earn an amazing feeling of accomplishment, can check the Mt. Fuji box and post about it all on instagram, but the experience itself may be less than ideal.
Though more challenging, we feel that the most enjoyable and impactful climbs of Mt. Fuji can be had in the off-season, specifically during the months of June and September. Though slightly colder than July or August, average temperatures in the shoulder season still fall within a manageable range. The most significant and satisfying difference however is the total lack of crowds; there are far fewer climbers, meaning that the mountain feels more like an actual mountain than an amusement park. This relative quiet does come with a big trade-off, as no facilities on the mountain are open and upper portions of the trail in June will likely still be covered in snow - requiring the use of crampons. Climbers must be entirely self-sufficient, and carry all necessary food, water and gear from start to finish.
From the Sea vs. From the 5th Station
Nearly every one who sets out to climb Mt. Fuji does so in-season, and travels by bus two-thirds of the way up the mountain to what is known as the "5th Station" (between 2,000m and 2,500m of elevation, depending on which trail is used), beginning their hike from there. This is a demanding climb from start to finish that steepens the further you ascend, and one that takes place entirely on rocky, red volcanic slopes with little vegetation or other distractions. It gives you the chance to experience the mountain above tree-line, but bypasses a lot of the other unique and beautiful features of Fuji.
Though it is far more physically demanding and time consuming, starting at the ocean is an incredibly rewarding, once-in-a-lifetime achievement that takes hikers on a multi-layered journey from the ocean to the barren volcanic summit crater of Mt. Fuji, passing through cities, picturesque tea fields, and lush mossy forests along the way. It is definitely the route less traveled, and a rare chance to see a completely different side of one of the world's most climbed peaks.
Japan has numerous ancient footpaths, trade and pilgrimage routes crisscrossing the country, some of which have exploded in popularity in recent years amongst both domestic and international tourists. Most notably the Nakasendo and the Kumano Kodo are now a part of many tourist's Japan itineraries. These wonderful trails combine the perfect mix of hiking through both splendid scenery and culture, and it is easy to see why they have gained such prominence and recognition. The Murayama Trail is basically Mt. Fuji's version, but is almost completely unused by even the Japanese, and wholly unknown to those outside of Japan. In the last few years, Fuji city has began promoting a sea-to-summit route called the "Mt. Fuji Tourism Climbing Route 3776", but it uses a different trail. In fact, little information or maps are available in Japanese for the Murayama Trail, and no information is available in English as far as we can tell. Furthermore, the trail can be confusing through the populated areas at lower elevations and completely unmarked and very hard to follow through the forested section. Combine that with the remoteness, challenging terrain, and lack of facilities - and this is one of those routes where going with an experienced guide is a must.
This is the hardest trip Hike + Bike Japan currently offers, and the level of physical fitness to complete this this one-of-a-kind challenge should not be underestimated. On this hike, we will cover a distance of roughly 47km, with approximately 4,000 meters of total elevation gain, and we should expect to be on the trail for around 8 hours on day one, and as many as 13 hours on day two. This intense level of activity is best suited to runners, hikers or trail runners who train regularly and have experience completing long distances with large elevation gains in a single day. Please contact us for the full itinerary, or to see whether this trip is right for you.
IMAGE GALLERY (June, 2018)
Ground transportation, by taxi and/or private car during the tour is included in the price.
*Please note that the tour is listed as starting and ending in the "Fuji Area". Specifically, we can arrange to meet you at either Fuji Station (local train hub) or Shin-Fuji Station (bullet train hub), whichever is most convenient for you.
Basic hiking insurance covering personal injury, liability and search and rescue is included in the price.
Lodging during the tour near the mid-way point on day one, in a quaint wooden cabin or cottage, is included in the price. All bedding will also be provided, eliminating the need to carry a tent, sleeping bag or other bulky gear.
DINNER & LUNCHES
Lunches for both days, and a hearty BBQ dinner outside our private cabin, perfect for fueling our final push to the summit on day two, are included in the price. Lunch on day one will be had at a local soba noodle shop along the way, and for day two we will arrange a packed lunch consisting of a BLT panini sandwich. It is possible to order additional sandwiches to bring with you on day two if you so desire, but you will need to purchase those directly for an extra fee of ¥900 each.
*Please let us know if you have any food allergies or other dietary restrictions before the commencement of the tour. If necessary, we will do our best to arrange foods that suit your dietary needs.
ONSEN (HOT SPRING)
Once we have successfully completed our extreme adventure up and down Mt. Fuji, we will treat our bodies to a much-needed shower and a relaxing soak in an onsen on the way back to either Fuji or Shin-Fuji Stations. The bathing fee is included in the price, and we can also provide complimentary towels and toiletries.
We provide a comprehensive list of required/recommended gear and clothing below, but customers are responsible for packing and preparing those items on their own. In the event that you need to rent some or all of the necessary gear, you might consider using a service such as the one provided by Sora-no-shita ( ), or other similar online companies.
*If you are planning on renting, please contact us ahead of time, and we can help you choose the proper items, and even take care of the pickup and drop-off for you.
BREAKFASTS, DRINKS & SNACKS
This is a long, demanding hike and you will need to carry plenty of snacks and drinks to fuel your body on the trail, however, these are out-of-pocket costs to be covered by each individual customer. We will be able to stop at convenience stores once or twice along the way on day one where you can pick up the snacks you need for both days. Ideally customers will arrive at the meeting point after eating a balanced, healthy breakfast before the start of the tour on day one, but on day two we will set out in the middle of the night, so you will need to purchase something to eat for that day's breakfast sometime on the first day.
*This tour is offered only in June and September, which depending on the exact departure date, likely means that all shops and huts on Mt. Fuji will be closed since it is outside of the main summer hiking season. As a result, you will need to carry enough food for the entire second day. However, we will drop-off a supply of water at the 6th station (2,500m of elevation) in advance, so you will only need to carry enough liquid to last you for the first 5km and 1,300m of elevation gain on day two.
For this tour to operate at the listed price, we require a minimum of 2 persons.
Group size will be limited to a maximum of 4 persons.
WHAT TO BRING
If you would like to contact us to ask questions, receive more information, or inquire about booking this trip, please either mail us directly using our email address, or submit an inquiry through the contact form below. We are looking forward to hearing from you!