A guide to hiking Mount Fuji, Japan

Japan Mount Fuji Pagoda

Ranked as one of the most popular activities in the Shizuoka Prefecture, the season for hiking Mt. Fuji has officially begun. From the 10th of July to the 10th of September, the trails to the summit are open to climbers. Both locals and tourists flock to this iconic natural landmark, standing tall at 3,776 meters. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Japanese and is a bucket list item for travellers worldwide.

Starting Point

Shizuoka Prefecture is the prime starting location for the ascent. It offers access to three of the four Mt. Fuji trails: the Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya Trails. Each one showcases unique landscapes, from lush forests and stunning tree-lined pathways to panoramic views of surrounding rice fields. Depending on your preference and physical capacity, you can choose from challenging paths or more leisurely ascents.

Subashiri Trail

The Subashiri Trail is a favourite among morning hikers aiming to catch the sunrise, offering a variety of landscapes and many amenities along the way. Famous for its long stretches of volcanic sand, it takes approximately 6 hours to traverse this trail.

Gotemba Trail

For a less crowded, more leisurely hike, the Gotemba Trail is ideal. It has a much gentler slope and takes longer to complete, around 8 hours. The slower pace offers ample time to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding rice fields.

Fujinomiya Trail

The Fujinomiya Trail offers the shortest ascent, taking around 5 hours. As the busiest trail during peak periods, it has many mountain huts and facilities, ensuring a safe and comfortable ascent.

Climbing Mt. Fuji doesn’t require advanced hiking skills, as the trails are well-marked and fairly straight forward. However, it is by no means an easy mountain to climb, and hikers should be well-informed and well-prepared. Inexperienced climbers may find it helpful to have an experienced guide.

Beyond the Hike

Shizuoka Prefecture offers more than just a route to hike Mt. Fuji. With its rich history, vibrant festivals, and delectable local cuisine, it’s a destination in itself. Visit stunning beaches along the Izu Peninsula, enjoy the local green tea, and unwind in onsen (hot springs). Shizuoka provides a memorable experience that combines nature, culture, and gastronomy in a truly authentic Japanese setting.