Climbing Mount Fuji (3776 meters), Japan's highest and most prominent mountain, can make for lifelong memories. The mountain itself may look more attractive from afar than from close up, but the views on clear days and the experience of climbing through the early morning hours among hundreds of equally minded hikers from across the world are very rewarding.

What is new in 2024?

Starting in 2024, the four trailheads to the summit of Mount Fuji will be closed during the late afternoon and evening (from 4pm to 3am), except for hikers staying at huts. The aim is to prevent people from climbing through the night, which is blamed by the local authorities to cause an increased number of troubles on the mountain.

Furthermore, a daily limit of 4000 hikers and a 2000 yen entry fee will be introduced along the most popular Yoshida Trail on the north side of Mount Fuji (in addition to the existing 1000 yen fee). An online reservation system allows 3000 slots per day to be reserved and paid online in advance. The remaining 1000 slots will be allocated to same-day entries at the trailhead.

No limits and mandatory entry fees will be introduced along the other three trails. Instead, hikers along the other trails are asked to submit an online application and watch a preparatory video about the climb in advance. They will then receive a QR code to be shown at the trailhead, while those without QR codes will be asked to register themselves and watch the video at the trailhead before starting their climb.

When to climb?

Official climbing season

Early July to mid September is the official climbing season when the trails and mountain facilities are open. During this period the mountain is usually free of snow, the weather is relatively mild, access by public transportation is easy, and the mountain huts are open. In recent years the official season has been set as follows:

  • Yoshida Trail: July 1 to September 10
  • Subashiri, Gotemba and Fujinomiya Trails: July 10 to September 10

The crowds

Climbing Mount Fuji is very popular not only among Japanese but also foreign tourists, who make up a significant minority of hikers. The peak season for climbing Mount Fuji is during the school vacations, which last from around July 20 to the end of August. The peak of the peak is reached during the Obon Week in mid August and on weekends (especially Saturdays), when climbers literally have to stand in queues at some passages.

Starting in 2024, a daily limit of 4000 hikers will be introduced along the Yoshida Trail, the most popular of the four trails leading up to the summit, and an online system allows for advance reservations of hiking slots. Note that in past years, this number has been exceeded only on a few particularly busy days. No limits are set along the other three trails.

While we recommend to avoid the super busy days, we believe that by avoiding the crowds in general, you would miss out one of the most interesting aspects of climbing Mount Fuji, which is the camaraderie and unique experience of ascending the mountain among hundreds of equally minded people from across the world.

In order to encounter neither too large nor too small crowds, we recommend to climb Mount Fuji on a weekday in the first half of July before the start of the school vacations. The downside of a climb in early July is the weather, which tends to be more unstable than later in the season.

Off-season

Some mountain huts open a few days before the start of the official climbing season and/or remain open until around mid September. Public transportation, is considerably less frequent or non-existent outside of the official climbing season.

While there is usually no snow on Mount Fuji from late June until October, temperatures at the summit can drop to far below zero in the shoulder seasons. Only experienced hikers should consider the ascent in late June or September. If there is snow on the mountain, appropriate mountaineering equipment and experience is required.

From October to around mid June, climbing to the summit is highly perilous due to extreme wind and weather conditions, snow, ice and a risk of avalanches.

The trails

Mount Fuji is divided into ten stations with the first station at the foot of the mountain and the tenth station being the summit. Paved roads go as far as the fifth station halfway up the mountain. There are four 5th stations on different sides of the mountain, from where most people start their ascent:

  • Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (Yamanashi Prefecture)
    Yoshida Trail
    Altitude: about 2300 meters
    Ascent: 5-7 hours
    Descent: 3-5 hours
    Daily limit: 4000 hikers
    Mandatory fee: 2000 yen
    This is the most popular base for the climb to the summit, and the most easily accessible 5th station from the Fuji Five Lake region and central Tokyo. Lots of mountain huts line the trail around the 7th and 8th stations, and there are separate trails for the ascent and descent. The sunrise takes place on this side of the mountain. Daily limits on hikers and a mandatory admission fee were introduced in 2024 along this route. More details...
  • Subashiri 5th Station (Shizuoka Prefecture)
    Subashiri Trail
    Altitude: about 2000 meters
    Ascent: 5-8 hours
    Descent: 3-5 hours
    No daily limit and mandatory fee
    This 5th station at only 2000 meters above sea is the base of the Subashiri Trail, which meets the Yoshida Trail around the 8th station. More details...
  • Gotemba 5th Station (Shizuoka Prefecture)
    Gotemba Trail
    Altitude: about 1400 meters
    Ascent: 7-10 hours
    Descent: 3-6 hours
    No daily limit and mandatory fee
    This is by far the lowest 5th station, and the ascent to the summit is accordingly much longer than from the other 5th stations. There are about four huts around the 7th and 8th stations. More details...
  • Fujinomiya 5th Station (Shizuoka Prefecture)
    Fujinomiya Trail
    Altitude: about 2400 meters
    Ascent: 4-7 hours
    Descent: 2-4 hours
    No daily limit and mandatory fee
    The closest 5th station to the summit, the Fujinomiya 5th Station is the base for the southern approach via the Fujinomiya Trail. It is easily accessible from stations along the Tokaido Shinkansen. There are half a dozen mountain huts along this trail. More details...

How to climb?

Is it difficult?

The ascent to the summit does not pose any major difficulties regarding climbing skills. Only at some points the terrain is rather steep and rocky. Abundant signs along the trail warn the hikers of other minor problems such as sudden wind gusts and falling rocks. However, the main challenge of the climb is the fact that it is very long and strenuous and the air gets notably thinner as you gain altitude.

Is it recommended to hire a guide?

Because the hike is not technically difficult, and there are many other hikers during the climbing season, the average person will not need a guide. However, inexperienced hikers or people who prefer to leave all the planning to somebody else may want to consider hiring a guide. There are several companies offering group or private tours, such as Klook and Willer.

Timing

Most people try to time their ascent in order to witness the sunrise from the summit. Also, the chances of the mountain being free of clouds are highest during the early morning hours.

The recommended way of doing this, is to climb to a mountain hut around the 7th or 8th station on the first day and spend some hours sleeping there before continuing to the summit early on the second day. Sunrise in summer is as early as 4:30am to 5:00am.

In the past, many hikers started climbing the mountain in the late evening from the 5th Station and hiked through the night to reach the summit around sunrise. Known as "bullet climbing", this way of climbing Mount Fuji, however, is blamed by local authorities for an increased number of troubles on the mountain because it is more tiring and brings an increased risk of altitude sickness and injury. For this reason, the trailheads will be closed between 4pm and 3am to prevent people from hiking overnight, starting in 2024. Only hikers with a hut reservation are allowed to start their ascent between 4pm and 3am.

Ascending and descending the mountain in a single day during daytime is also possible, but again it is not recommended for the same reasons as above. Furthermore, the mountain provides very little shelter, leaving climbers fully exposed to the sun. Visibility also tends to be worse during daytime when the mountain is frequently wrapped in clouds.

A walk around the crater of Mount Fuji takes about one hour. The mountain's and Japan's highest point is located immediately next to the weather station on the opposite side from where the Yoshida Trail reaches the peak.

Mountain huts

The Yoshida Trail is lined by more than a dozen mountain huts between the 7th and 8th stations. Other trails have fewer mountain huts. An overnight stay costs typically around 13,000 to 15,000 yen per person with two meals. Expect the huts to be extremely crowded during the peak. Reservations should be made in advance; however, a considerable number of huts don't accept reservations online or in English or sell out quickly. Check the external links below for lists of mountain huts.

Most mountain huts offer paid toilets (typically 200-300 yen for non-staying guests) and sell food, water and other climbing provisions such as canned oxygen. In addition, most of the huts have special branding irons they use to brand the wooden hiking sticks (for a small fee) that many hikers purchase when climbing the mountain.

Climbing equipment

In order to enjoy a safe hike to the summit of Mount Fuji, it is crucial to bring the proper equipment. Some of the most important things to bring are listed below:

  • Proper shoes
    The rocky, steep terrain in some sections and the potential of sudden, strong wind gusts are reasons to bring proper hiking shoes which protect your ankles.
  • Proper clothes
    Bring proper protection against low temperatures and strong winds. It can be below zero at the summit, and strong winds often make it even colder. Bring rain gear, as weather conditions can change very quickly on the mountain. Gloves are recommended both against the coldness and for hiking the steep, rocky passages.
  • Flashlight
    If you hike at night, a flash light is highly recommended in any season and essential outside of the peak season when the trail is not illuminated by other hikers. Most people choose head lamps, as they leave both of your hands free.
  • Food
    It is important to bring enough water and food, particularly on the trails where there are few mountain huts along the way. Mountain huts offer various meals and drinks; however, note that prices increase with the altitude. Also, be prepared to carry home all your garbage as there are no public garbage bins on the mountain.
  • Money
    Cash is necessary to buy provisions on the mountain like water or canned oxygen and to use the toilets along the way. It is also important to carry should you need to seek emergency shelter in one of the mountain huts.
  • Hiking stick (optional)
    While not crucial, many hikers purchase wooden hiking sticks at the 5th Station to aid in their climb up the mountain. Hiking sticks cost about 1500-2000 yen and are sold at the 5th stations. In addition, for a few hundred yen you can get your hiking stick branded at the mountain huts along the way, turning it into a much cherished souvenir of your journey.

Manners

  • Do not pick plants!
  • Do not bring home any stones!
  • Do not camp on the mountain!

Admission fee

During the climbing season, climbers of Mount Fuji are asked to contribute 1000 yen per person at collection stations at each trailhead. The money is used to cover some of the expenses arising from the huge number of climbers visiting the mountain each summer, especially regarding the protection of the environment and safety of climbers.

In addition, a mandatory fee of 2000 yen was introduced along the most popular Yoshida Trail in 2024. An online reservation system allows for advance reservations and online payments. Same-day purchases are possible at the trailhead, but note that there is a daily limit of 4000 hikers, which can be surpassed on particularly busy days.

Altitude sickness

The human body requires some time to adjust to a sudden increase of altitude, otherwise there is a risk of headache, dizziness and nausea. Quite a few people who climb Mount Fuji, suffer from altitude sickness.

To avoid altitude sickness, you are advised to tackle the mountain at a slow pace, stay hydrated and make frequent breaks. An overnight stay at a hut around the 7th or 8th station is recommended as opposed to a straight climb to the top. Small bottles of oxygen, available at the 5th stations and mountain huts, can be an effective tool in preventing and fighting altitude sickness; however, the only reliable treatment is to descend the mountain.

Getting there and around

Buses to Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station

From Fujisan/Kawaguchiko Station:
1780 yen (one way), 2800 yen (round trip), 50 minutes
Hourly buses during the 2024 climbing season.
5 round trips per day during the 2024 off-season.
Bus Timetable (climbing season)
Bus Timetable (off-season)
How to get to Kawaguchiko Station
More about the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station

From Shinjuku Station (Tokyo):
3800 yen (one way), 150 minutes
Hourly buses during the 2024 climbing season.
2 round trips per day during the 2024 off-season.
Bus Timetable (climbing season)
Bus Timetable (off-season)

Buses to Subashiri 5th Station

From Gotemba Station:
1780 yen (one way), 2400 yen (round trip), 60 minutes
Every 1-2 hours during the 2024 climbing season.
No off-season service in 2024.
Bus Timetable (climbing season)
More about the Subashiri 5th Station

Buses to Gotemba 5th Station

From Gotemba Station:
1280 yen (one way), 2000 yen (round trip), 30 minutes
Every 2-3 hours during the 2024 climbing season.
No off-season service in 2024.
Bus Timetable (climbing season)
More about the Gotemba 5th Station

Buses to Fujinomiya 5th Station

From Shin-Fuji and Fujinomiya Stations:
2740 yen (one way), 3700 yen (round trip), 150 minutes from Shin-Fuji Station
2330 yen (one way), 3700 yen (round trip), 110 minutes from Fujinomiya Station
6 round trips per day during the 2024 climbing season.
No off-season service in 2024.
Bus Timetable (climbing season)
How to get to Fujinomiya
More about the Fujinomiya 5th Station

Access by car

The access roads to the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station, the Subashiri 5th Station and the Fujinomiya 5th Station are closed to regular cars during the climbing season, and access is possible only by bus, taxi or shuttle buses from designated large parking lots near the base of the mountain. Please see the respective pages for more details.

Hotels around Mount Fuji

Top rated around the Fuji Five Lakes
Budget:
    • Private Hotel Rei
      Mid-range
      Boasting mountain views, Private Hotel Rei features accommodation with terrace, around 7.1 km from Lake Kawaguchi. Each accommodation at the 3-star ryokan has lake views, and guests can enjoy access to free bikes and to a garden. The ryokan offers rooms with air conditioning, free private parking and free WiFi. All units come with a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with slippers, walk-in shower, hot tub and bidet. A fridge and kettle are also offered. At the ryokan, units are equipped with bed linen and towels. The ryokan is located in a geothermal area, with a number of hot springs nearby for guests to relax in. Fuji-Q Highland is 10 km from the ryokan, while Mount Fuji is 31 km from the property. The nearest airport is Matsumoto Airport, 123 km from Private Hotel Rei.
      View on Booking.com
      9.6Booking.com
    • Fufu Kawaguchiko
      Luxury
      Set in Fujikawaguchiko, 4.8 km from Lake Kawaguchi, Fufu Kawaguchiko offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking, a shared lounge and a terrace. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, room service and a 24-hour front desk, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Guests can use the sauna and the hot spring bath, or enjoy mountain views. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a minibar, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV, a balcony and a private bathroom with a bidet. Fufu Kawaguchiko features certain units with lake views, and rooms include a patio. At the accommodation all rooms are fitted with bed linen and towels. Guests at Fufu Kawaguchiko will be able to enjoy activities in and around Fujikawaguchiko, like cycling. Fuji-Q Highland is 7.1 km from the hotel, while Mount Fuji is 28 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda Airport, 124 km from Fufu Kawaguchiko.
      View on Booking.com
      9.5Booking.com
    • Hotel Asafuji
      Mid-range
      Boasting views of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi for all rooms and hot-spring baths, Hotel Asafuji provides air-conditioned Japanese-style rooms with a green tea set. Free WiFi available throughout the hotel and free on-site parking is available. Free pick-up service is available from Kawaguchiko Station upon request. The air-conditioned rooms at Hotel Asafuji have Shoji paper screens and a low table with floor chairs and cushions. Each room includes a fridge, private toilet, and guests bathe at the hot-spring baths. Japanese-style futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor is provided. Yukata robes are offered for guests. Massages are available, and the reception can store luggage. The public hot-spring baths are open from 06:00-09:30 and from 15:00-23:30 daily. A Japanese set breakfast and kaiseki multi-course dinner are available at the on-site restaurant for an extra fee with an advance reservation. Kawaguchiko Station is a 10-minute drive, while Kawaguchiko Ropeway and Lake Kawaguchi's boat dock is a 3-minute drive away from the hotel. Kawaguchiko Music Forest and Kawaguchiko Museum Of Art is a 7-minute drive. Oishi Parkand is a 10-minute drive away, while Fuji-Q Highland amusement park is a 15-minute drive away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • HOSTEL MICHIKUSA-YA
      Mid-range
      Set in Fujikawaguchiko, less than 1 km from Lake Kawaguchi, HOSTEL MICHIKUSA-YA offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking and a shared lounge. This 3-star hostel offers a shared kitchen and free shuttle service. The property is non-smoking and is located 4.6 km from Fuji-Q Highland. Featuring a shared bathroom with a bidet and a hairdryer, rooms at the hostel also have free WiFi, while selected rooms here will provide you with a mountain view. Mount Fuji is 25 km from HOSTEL MICHIKUSA-YA, while Fujiomuro Sengen Shrine is 700 metres away. The nearest airport is Shizuoka Airport, 121 km from the accommodation.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • Guesthouse Honobono
      Budget-friendly
      Renovated in September 2018, Guesthouseほのぼの offers an accommodation with free WiFi in Fujikawaguchiko, 1.3 km from Lake Kawaguchi. Free private parking is available on site on a first-come, first-serve basis as well as prior reservation. Free shuttle service is available upon prior request from the property to Kawaguchiko Station. There is a shared kitchen and lounge at the property. Guests can make some coffee and tea free of charge. Bath amenities including towels, toiletries and toothbrushes are available at the front desk for a fee. Mount Fuji is 16 km from Guesthouseほのぼの, while Shimobe Hot Spring is 26 km away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • Fuji Guest House Ao
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Fujikawaguchiko, 1.7 km from Fuji-Q Highland, Fuji Guest House Ao provides accommodation with a shared lounge, private parking and a terrace. Featuring free bikes, the 1-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The property is non-smoking and is set 3.7 km from Lake Kawaguchi. Guest rooms include bed linen. Mount Fuji is 22 km from the hostel, while Mount Kachi Kachi Ropeway is 1.8 km away. The nearest airport is Shizuoka Airport, 122 km from Fuji Guest House Ao.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • JINYA Fujikawaguchiko
      Mid-range
      Just a 5-minute walk from Kawaguchiko Station, JINYA Fujikawaguchiko is located in Fujikawaguchiko. Free WiFi, private parking, a washing and drying machine are provided. All units in the hotel are equipped with a kitchenette with a fridge, microwave and an electric kettle. Guest rooms feature air conditioning, a private bathroom and a toilet. Bed linen, towels and a hairdryer are provided. Selected rooms feature a dining table and a sofa. Mount Fuji is 16 km away from the hotel, while Mount Fuji 5th Station is a 65-minute bus ride away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • Hananoyado Yumefuji
      Luxury
      Situated in Fujikawaguchiko, 2.9 km from Lake Kawaguchi, Hananoyado Yumefuji features each room with a private garden with a terrace. Kawaguchiko Station is just a 5-minute walk away from the villa. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. At the hotel, all air-conditioned rooms are fitted with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom including free amenities. All rooms also boast a kitchenette with a fridge. Breakfast is served as morning basket (bento) daily at the property. A variety of popular activities are available in the area around the property, including skiing, cycling and hiking. Free public parking is available, while bicycle rentals are available upon additional charge. On-site concierge service is available. Lake Kawaguchi Ohashi Bridge is 1.8 km from the accommodation. Fujikyu Highland is 1.17 km away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • Fujikawaguchiko Onsen Konanso
      Luxury
      Featuring great views of Mount Fuji and Lake Kawaguchi, Konanso boasts natural hot spring baths and large Japanese-style rooms with traditional tatami (woven-straw) flooring. It is only a 2-minute walk from a ferry stop, where guests can board sightseeing cruises. Free WiFi is offered in all areas. Konanso offers indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, a private-use bath (charges apply), and a foot bath on the rooftop. Relaxing massage services can be arranged. Other facilities include karaoke rooms and a lounge bar. A souvenir shop can be found on the ground floor. Guest rooms at Konanso are fitted with futon bedding, a seating area and a flat-screen TV. A Fridge and an electric kettle are also provided. Guests can try on Yukata robes or enjoy free green tea in their room. Some rooms feature an open-air hot spring bath. The property is a 10-minute drive from Kawaguchiko Train Station. A free pick-up service from the station is available upon request. Mount Fuji 5th Station for climbing is a 1-hour bus ride from Kawaguchiko Station. Popular Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park is a 5-minute drive away, while Gotemba Outlet Shopping Mall can be reached within a 40-minute drive. Seasonal Japanese multi-course meals are served either in a private dining room or in the guestroom. Breakfast can be enjoyed at the dining room.
      View on Booking.com
      9.3Booking.com
    • Mizno Hotel
      Luxury
      Offering beautiful Mount Fuji views from all rooms, public baths, and restaurants, Mizno Hotel is a 5-minute drive from Kawaguchiko Train Station. Located on a hilltop and overlooking Lake Kawaguchi, the hotel serves French dinner with an advance reservation. Guests at Mizno Hotel can sleep in Western-style beds, or experience traditional futon bedding on a tatami (woven-straw) floor in one of the Japanese-style rooms. All rooms are air-conditioned and have an LCD TV and Yukata robes. The shore of Lake Kawaguchi is a 2-minute walk. Fuji-Q Highland amusement park and Fuji-Omuro Sengen Shrine are less than a 15-minute drive from the hotel. On-site parking is free, and free pick-up from Kawaguchiko Station is offered from 14:00-18:00. Mount Fuji 5th Station for climbing is a 1-hour bus ride from Kawaguchiko Station. Guests can relax in the sauna or in the private open-air bath. The hotel has English-speaking staff. The bar, which also has a library, offers a variety of drinks. The sophisticated atmosphere is popular with couples.
      View on Booking.com
      9.3Booking.com

Experiences around Mount Fuji

Top rated in Mount Fuji