Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
16.00 km (9.94 mi)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

There is an old Japanese saying: "He who climbs Mount Fuji is a wise man, he who climbs twice is a fool."

Fuji-san's official climbing season lasts only about three months from early July to mid-September. Being one of the top activities for foreigners and locals alike, expect serious crowds hoping to reach its summit. One of the more popular approaches, the Subashiri Trail ascends to the highest station overnight and finishes the last hour of the hike in the dark to catch the sunrise at the top of Mount Fuji.

Subashiri Trail fifth station marks the start of the trail near Kofuji (Mount Little Fuji). The total distance to the summit is just under 8 kilometers and over 1,800 meters feet of elevation gain. It is a challenging yet very approachable hike, as there are many stations that offer breaks along the way. You can even stay overnight at any of these stations to break up the journey. The average time it takes to get to the top is about six to eight hours. Since the only way to access the trailhead is with buses, it's best to start the hike by noon. That way you can hit the highest station relatively early to get a good sleeping spot (reservations highly suggested), have dinner, and nap a few hours before the summit push.

The first mile traverses a forested area, and once you pass tree line the view of the summit will be visible, weather permitting. Along the way you'll pass sixth, seventh, eighth, and 8.5 stations. For a great souvenir, buy a wooden walking stick at the base and stamp it along the way at a cost of about 200 yen per stamp.

At the eighth station the Subashiri Trail meets the more crowded Yoshida Trail. Many hikers choose to stay here, but the other option is to climb another 15 minutes to 8.5 station, which is the highest hut.

All the stations provide plenty of warm food and drinks, just don't expect peace and quiet during the night, when hordes of hikers come in and out of the huts. Overnight, the dining room turns into makeshift sleeping quarter, and hikers who get turned away sleep outside the hut. Even with a reservation, you will share blankets and sleep shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers. Typically, women and men sleep separately. Those uncomfortable with this arrangement have the option to hike to the summit in one push to avoid the crowded hut.

The summit ascent will be packed with hikers ascending at various speeds. The summit is also surprisingly busy. Find an empty spot and your patience will be rewarded with an unrivaled sunrise.

On the way down, retrace the route. Signs are very clear at the junction of the Subashiri and Yoshida trails. You can also fast-track the downclimb by taking the scree and sand route to the right, which is more direct, steeper, and eventually merges back with Subashiri Trail. Reward yourself with a quick snack and drinks while waiting for the shuttle to take you back to town!

Buses operate between Gotemba Station and the Subashiri Trail fith station daily during the climbing season and on weekends and holidays during the off-season from mid-May through October. The one-way ride takes about an hour and costs 1,540 yen. Round-trip tickets are available for 2,060 yen. More information, including a bus schedule, is available via Japan-Guide.com.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Sunrise view. Less crowded than other routes.

Cons

Crowded. Bus schedule is limited.

Trailhead Elevation

1,950.00 ft (594.36 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,776.00 ft (1,150.92 m)

Features

Historically significant
Lodging
Shelters

Location

Field Guide

Comments

In my last trip, I also joined the Niseko Sightseeing experience with Japango. I really recommended this 6 hours tour, it was amazing.
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