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Hiking Mount Fuji in Japan

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My husband & I are planning to hike Mount Fuji in 2010 (July or August, as we hear that's the best time to climb it). Does anyone have suggestions on lodging on the way up and how far in advance you need to make reservations? Any suggestions on which location to start from? We are both fairly active people, (he'll be 50 at the time and I'll be 46) but I wouldn't say we're both in 'top" shape. Also, my family has a history of altitude sickness, so I'm a little nervous about that.. We were thinking of spending one night going up and coming back down in one day. Any suggestions about planning this hike would be appreciated. Thanks!

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    I did this about 30 years ago so probably I'm out of date. The Japanese organise their Mount Fuji walks with ruthless efficiency. You follow a prescribed route both up and down with all the other hikers. It's not at all difficult but I found it tedious because of the crowds. It's only officially open July and August each year. Most people set out from Station 5 (to where you can catch a bus) in the late afternoon. There are 'mountain huts' where you can spend a few hours before continuing and getting to the top in time to see the sunrise. These huts are very basic and not much fun. You will probably have to book to secure a space. The climb down is more of a 'slide' or scramble on cinders. It's a volcano after all. Altitude sickness? Yes, probably, I felt light-headed but I wasn't actually sick.
    Sorry to sound negative, I personally feel FujiSan is better to look at than climb! If you are young and full of energy (like my son who did it a couple of years ago) you can do it in about two and a half hours up and less down but you have to time it so you miss the crowds.
    Good luck.

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