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Planning For Mt. Fuji

Beware of fickle weather around and atop the mountain. Summer days can be unbearably hot and muggy, and the nights can be a shocking contrast of freezing cold (bring numerous warm layers and be prepared to put them all on). Wear strong hiking shoes. The sun really burns at high altitudes, so wear protective clothing and a hat; gloves are a good idea, too. Bring enough food and water for the climb (remember to bring a plastic bag to take your garbage down with you) and bring a flashlight in case it gets dark. Many hikers bring a small, sealed bag of potato chips or other snacks, which inflate as the air pressure drops near the peak—a fun way to keep track of your altitude. Also, keep altitude sickness in mind. To avoid it, begin your ascent at a slow pace and take frequent breaks. Use a backpack to keep your hands free and as a useful tool on the way down: instead of returning to Go-gome, descend to Shin-Go-gome on the volcanic sand slide called the sunabashiri —sit down on your pack, push off, and away you go.

Updated: 2014-01-23

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