if you are in japan for a while, as i was, you have to climb mt fuji [3,776 m, 12,388 ft] – the window is from july through end august for optimal weather conditions. the mountain is easily accessible from tokyo by several public transportation systems, and tour operators. we took a bus from shinjuku. my colleagues and i postponed the climb until the last weekend of the season when the forecast was for beautiful clear skies. but as we started the climb, we encountered one of the worst storms of the season, that required the park rangers to close the mountain, and urge all climbers to seek refuge in the lodges along the ascent path. the climb, as with almost any activity in japan, was packed with japanese hikers of all age groups, along the route from the popular starting point at the fifth station to the top. due to the storm, we crashed in one of the lodges in our wet clothes until the morning, a very cold and cloudy one. we marched on to the peak, we were not going to leave without making it to the top. it was unfortunately disappointing: no sunrise due to the cloudy weather, it was raining, and all we saw at the top were a couple of shops and vending machines – they have vending machines everywhere in japan! i am told that the view is spectacular from the top of this majestic looking mountain, which has been an inspiration for many ukiyo-e artists over the years – my only consolation is the view of mt fuji from the shinkansen on my many trips between tokyo and kyoto. if you spent any time in japan, you also know that “you have to climb mt fuji once, but to climb it twice you have to be stupid”. so, would i go back for a clear sunrise?
google earth coordinates
35° 21′ 28.8″ N, 138° 43′ 51.6″ E