Saturday, October 29, 2016

Conquering Mount Fuji On A Budget -- 2 Economical Ways

What comes to your mind when you see the word "JAPAN"?
For me, Mount FUJI is definitely at the top of the list. Standing at the mighty height of 3776m, Mount Fuji is a national icon of Japan and has always been a must-do in every traveler’s bucket list. 
Do bear in mind that the Mount Fuji is only open to public in Summer (mid-July – mid-September). Now you probably can imagine the crowd-- People from all around the world have their scheduled visit squeezed into this two month's window. Therefore, early reservation is highly recommended.  
In this article, I am going to talk about how to conquer Mount Fuji with an affordable price, including how to plan and reserve.

The preparation and reservation

 Clothing and equipment
To climb this mountain, you will need suitable equipment to ensure safety and security. If you have your own hiking equipment, sweet! You will be able to save up quite a lot. But if you don’t, you don’t have to buy them. Rental is available. 
This is where I got my equipment; the set of 7 items cost me JPY9, 000
These 7 items are the basics. And I'm glad I decided to get all of them. The backpack is ultra-light weighted and easy to carry around. My friend once went with her own backpack and she suffered a lot at her back. A wrong backpack drags and slows you down. 
However, if you already have some of these 7 items and just want to rent what you are lacking, the company provides single item rental too. 

Transportation to Mt. Fuji from Tokyo Shinjuku
You can choose to take trains or reserve the buses.
    •   On round trip to Mt. Fuji 5th station = JPY6, 000
    •   Round trip trains to Kawaguchi station, and bus to the Mt. Fuji 5th station =JPY4, 000
The bus is easy and direct while train travel includes transits. 

We stayed in the hut Fujisan Edoya at the top of 8th station. Staying a night cost JPY8000, dinner and breakfast included. 
It was quite exhausted when I reached the 8th station. If you prefer to take your time, I recommend staying at the 7th station instead of 8th. The reason why we choose 8th instead was: it takes a shorter time to reach the peak (psychologically made us felt better by imposing an illusion of an easier task).
All these are basically what you'll need to do and pay. If you follow all the points above, the basic cost to climb Mount Fuji is around JPY25, 000


Bring more money in case you need to buy anything on the way up to the mountain. There are stalls at every station. Just remember, the higher you go, the more expensive things get. Therefore, I suggest everyone to prepare the following necessities for the adventure:
    •    Water. 
H2O is much better than any other energy drink. You'll need at least 2 1.5ml bottles. 
    •    Energy bar.
    •    Onigiri. (Rice balls) 
Ideal carbs intake to restore energy consumption.
    •     Coins. 
100 yen required for toilet each time. Bring more.
    •    Mask/ scarf
    •    GLOVES. 
This is NOT included in the rental. A pretty necessary item, I'd say.
    •    Warm outfit but it should keep you mobile. 
It’s really cold and windy at the peak.
    •    Socks. 
Thick wool socks are the best choice.  

My Personal Experience

Once we reached the 5th station, we proceeded to get our equipment and get changed. Soon enough at 10am, we departed from the 5th Station. The weather was not as predicted! The forecast told us that it was gonna be rainy, but lucky us, the sun was shining brightly. The view was amazing.  
Right on the volcano! Into the clouds!
After about 7 hours, we reached the 8th station, checked into the hut we reserved and had our dinner.
We had a short much-needed rest (for a few hours), then departed from the hut at 1am (takes about 2 hours). 
Finally, We reached the peak before 4am. This was the view at the peak, few minutes before sunrise
And, the sunrise was magical....
After watching the spectacular sunrise, don't forget to visit the temple on the top of Mt. Fuji.
The journey back down to the 5th Station takes 4 hours.

Viola! Here is exactly how we climbed up to Mount Fuji!

If you think it is still expensive and you are a little bit out of budget? Worry not, there is actually an alternative way of doing this. By following Method 2, you will be able to waive off accommodation fee.  

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Method 2: The NIGHT hike 

Get your equipment at the 5th station and start off at 5:30pm right after dinner.
You will reach the peak after 8~9 hours. Slow down and rest if you gets there too early for the sunrise at 4 something. And then, the same 4 hours journey back to the 5th station.
Total cost will be cut down to about JPY16, 000 only 

However, this method comes with some disadvantages.  
1. You are unable to see the beautiful scenery on the way up to the peak. 
2. It is way colder at night 
3. You should be Extra cautious when hiking in the dark. 

There are certainly pros and cons for both methods, but let me reassure you: the sunrise definitely worths everything. Memory to last a lifetime for sure! 
Now that you know about the 2 different methods to conquer Japan's Most Visited Mountain, choose the one suits you the most and say Hi to Mount Fuji for me

Visiting Japan? 
Read about the Hidden Gem in Japan Here

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This beautiful blogpost is written by MHF Contributor, Choco Yinns
An ordinary girl who loves the beautiful world like everyone else. The only difference that set her apart from the others might be this-- She is willing to put everything down but her luggage, stepping out to experience the world she loves.

Feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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