When we mapped out getting to Fuji on our own, we realized we would spend a lot of precious time trying to transfer from train to bus to bus etc. just to get to where we wanted and would have to spend a night there due to the time it would take to travel there on our own taking into account the high possibility of getting lost and all that. So we had a travel agent book us a day trip to Fuji that would be bang for buck in terms of how many experiences we could pack in one day.
The first thing we were incredibly pleased with was the absolutely crystal clear skies that met us when we arrived at Fuji on our tour bus. I had read in multiple guide books and sites that often a trip to Fuji could end up being a bit disappointing if there was an overcast that blocked the view of the mountain, and in fact, it was quite common for that to happen. So I was mentally preparing myself for a disappointing view. It was so clear that day that we could see it from far away on the bus already.
Here’s a video of the stream of cloud billowing breathtakingly off the mountain top. It gives the eerie effect of Fuji being active. It was seriously surreal. There was however, a price to pay for the clear view.
The cold weather of early winter afforded us this gorgeous view, a view that even our tour guide who comes out to Fuji 30-40 times a year said was the best view he had seen of it all year long. However, the cold also meant a lot of snow, and thus we weren’t able to go very far up Fuji itself. There are supposed to be three stations to stop at a good ways up the mountain, but due to snow, the top two were closed off, and we had to stop at the first.
However, we did enjoy the view we did get immensely, and the visitors center was very educational and had a cool little gift shop with all kinds of goodies.
Also, we found out that there were a lot of options we could return for in the future, such as hiking up Fuji on foot, which is apparently not that difficult or dangerous though still a bit physically taxing. Our guide there recommended that we hike up and spend the night up at the peak so that we could enjoy the sunrise and a stunning view from the top of the mountain. We didn’t get to do that on this trip, but I saw some pictures of people who did just that, and I can already tell the otherworldly experience is a huge return on a little physical strain to get up to the top. It’s no K2, but still gives you a great experience of a lifetime. Just check out this Youtube time lapse video I found of it:
On top of climbing Fuji, spending the night on the peak, and watching the sunrise, and possibly throwing in a onsen, I’m also interested in bicycle riding through the Hakone region thanks to watching the anime Yowamushi Pedal Grande Road, which is about a high school cycling team from Chiba competing in the inter high race at Hakone, the area around Fuji.
Next up, our visit to the “Suicide Forest” Aokigahara Forest at the base of Fuji.