6 Tips Before Going to Mount Fuji

4:22 AM

Mount Fuji is probably the most iconic destination in Japan. This Sacred Mountain has been an inspiration to many artists and poets around the world because of its beauty and its fascinating stories. You can easily see this majestic beauty given that it’s just a 3-hour car ride from Tokyo. You can also visit it via Shinkansen or Bullet Train.

But before you pack your bags and head to Japan to see this stunning mountain, here are some tips:

1. Check the weather

Accuweather may not be always accurate but it’s one of the best options out there.

A month before our trip to Japan, we checked the weather to see when is the best time to see Mt. Fuji during spring time. Since spring season in Japan comes with a lot of drizzle, our options were very limited – we either go to Mt. Fuji on Wednesday (a day after our arrival) or on Thursday. We’ve decided to have our trip there on Thursday because I was saving Wednesday to go to Tokyo Disney Sea.

But then, a week before our trip, I checked again and it indicated that the day will be very cloudy and there’s 51% chance that it will rain. So yeah, weather really is unpredictable.

Accuweather also specified that the temperature will drop down to 9 degrees Celsius. But when we arrived at the 4th station (1766 meters near the summit), it was freezing cold! I don’t think it was just 9 degrees. I’ve experienced a negative temperature before; this one is definitely NOT 9 degrees. 

Mount Fuji Summit. From afar, we cannot see the tip of the mountain since it was very cloudy that day.

2. Book your trip months before

If you’re planning to go to Mt. Fuji for a day, it is best to book your daytrip at ­viator.com. The package includes:
a.      One way bus ride to Mt. Fuji with tour guide
b.      One way bullet train ride (Shinkansen) to Tokyo
c.      Wi-Fi access on the bus
d.      Lake Ashi Boat Cruise
e.      Mt. Komagatake Ropeway
f.       Lunch (Optional)
g.      Audio guide (Optional)

The basic package costs around $142 and the one with Japanese lunch set is at $158. 

We only reached the 4th station (2010 meters above sea level), instead of the 5th station (2305 meters above sea level) due to icy roads. And since the weather was not ideal, our Mt. Komagatake cable car ride also got cancelled because the fog is starting to blur the horizon. I can barely see anything while we were on a boat cruise on Lake Ashi. 

The fog thickened as we reached the other side Hakone.

Our tour guide decided to take us in a popular museum in Hakone, since the Mt. Komagatake ropeway got cancelled. I was very disappointed because I really wanted to see Mt. Fuji from a distance. Our tour guide and the driver were very friendly and informative, but the trip was very devastating. It could’ve been better if the original itinerary was followed.

So, again, be very careful when choosing a date on when to go to Mt. Fuji; choose a date that is very sunny. There should not have a single sign of being foggy or cloudy.

3. Dress up accordingly

Because Accuweather said that the temperature will drop down to just 9 degrees, I thought that it was okay to have at least 2 layers of clothing. Little did I know that it would be too windy.

When visiting Mt. Fuji on cold seasons, make sure to bring gloves and scarves with you because it can get really cold and windy. You can tell by my hair that it was really windy up there. 

4. Arrive at the bus station early

Be sure to arrive at the bus station 30 minutes before departure. In our case, we were supposed to leave at 9:00 AM at the Hamamatsucho Bus Station, and we arrived a little too early so we just stayed around the vicinity. But then, 10 minutes before boarding, our gate number changed. So be ready for these kinds of scenarios. 

5. Buy souvenirs in Tokyo

I’ve been a victim of an over-priced souvenir shop up in the 4th station. There are few souvenir shops on the way so visitors are left with limited options. My mom usually collects ref magnets from the places she’s been to, so she bought one while we were at the 4th station. But after a few days, I saw the same Mt. Fuji ref magnet in some gift shops in Tokyo at half the price!

But I still suggest to go visit the souvenir shops in Mt. Fuji because you can see weird products like ‘canned air from Mt. Fuji’. Weird. I almost bought one.

6. Take good photos and enjoy the trip

Lastly, take instagram-worthy photos and enjoy the tour. Listen to the tour guide’s story about Mount Fuji; this mountain is indeed a scenic beauty.

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