PRICE

$3,750

SCHEDULE

Summer
July 15 – July 22, 2020
August 26 – September 2, 2020
Lead Guide: Dennis Broadwell
Tour Guide: Akie Watanabe

DETAILS

8 days in Japan
Trekking Grade: Intermediate

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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OVERVIEW

Our Mount Fuji climb is a specialty trip hosted by Dennis Broadwell, lead alpine guide and director of Mountain Gurus, and Akie Watanabe a local tour guide from Kobe, Japan. Known as Fujisan, or 富士山, by the Japanese, Mount Fuji (12,389 ft.) is the highest mountain in Japan and is well known around the world for its picturesque symmetrical cone. The mountain is snow-capped for about five months of the year, but during the summer offers a moderate snow-free hike to its large crater and iconic summit. Mount Fuji is located about 100 kilometers (60 mi) southwest of Tokyo and is an active stratovolcano that last erupted in the 1700s.

Mount Fuji • 8 Days

We begin our adventure in the historic city of Kyoto, which was once the capital of Japan. Over the course of two full days, we immerse ourselves in its rich culture, exploring world heritage sites, visiting ancient temples and sampling exquisite local cuisine. We also explore the city’s natural areas, including Inari Mountain, which offers our team a chance to stretch our legs with a day of light hiking before we leave for Mount Fuji via the high-speed bullet train known as Shinkansen.

Our ascent of Mount Fuji takes two days. We follow the Fujinomiya–Gotemba Trail variation to a high mountain hut just below the summit crater, where we spend the night. The following morning we awake early to watch the sunrise, known in Japanese as 御来光 or goraikō, the “arrival of light,” stand on the summit and then descend via the Prince Route for its more exciting views. We then travel to Hakone by van. The following day we conclude our adventure in modern Tokyo.

During the trek and tour, you will have the chance to overnight in a traditional Japanese style home known as Machiya, learn about Japan’s rich cultural heritage, hike through Mount Fuji’s incredible scenery, enjoy a traditional Japanese welcome dinner, sample a variety of Japanese cuisine, watch a Geisha (Maiko) dance, bathe in an Onsen Hot Spring, visit the ancient temples of historical Kyoto and take in the brilliant sights and activity of Tokyo.

What can I expect on my Japanese adventure?

Your adventure will take you from the historic city of Kyoto to the top of Japan’s highest mountain, and then to fast-paced, contemporary Tokyo. Mountain Gurus’ Japanese Explorer offers a seamless, eight-day adventure through the diverse landscapes, cultures and communities of the Land of the Rising Sun.

“You’ll absolutely adore Japan, this trip is packed with so many unforgettable memories!”

During our three nights In Kyoto, we stay in a Machiya, 町家, a kind of traditional, wooden townhouse found throughout Japan. These accommodations are simply and elegantly restored, the living spaces, kitchen and bathrooms offering a blend of historic style and modern conveniences. When sleeping in the Machiya homes, you may choose between traditional futon bedding or western-style beds.

After taking in the rich history of Kyoto, which served as the capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years, we travel to Mount Fuji by high speed rail. The trek to the summit of Mount Fuji is snow-free and non-technical, requiring only good fitness and the ability to hike for 5 to 6 hours per day. Our experienced guides will accompany you throughout your climb to ensure your comfort and safety. We enjoy a sunset and a sunrise high on the mountain, and stay in a hut just below the summit, which offers a rice curry meal and basic bunk style accommodations with clean bedding. While on Mt. Fuji, you will need to carry a light pack with all your gear for our one night on the mountain.

After descending, we travel to nearby Hakone or to Lake Kawaguchi, where we relax at a traditional Japanese Inn with a warm Onsen bath. The next morning, we transfer by train to Tokyo and check into a modern hotel centrally located near the city’s main rail station. We spend the rest of the day touring the Tokyo’s iconic sites and sampling Japanese cuisine.

Trek Highlights

  • 8 days exploring Japan 
  • Led by an American mountain guide and/or Japanese tour guide 
  • Guided city tours in Kyoto and Tokyo 
  • Welcome dinner in Kyoto 
  • 3 nights in a traditional Japanese home in Kyoto 
  • 2 day ascent of Mount Fuji 
  • Comfortable mountain hut during the climb 
  • 1 night in Ryokan Inn with Onsen Bath 
  • 2 nights hotels in Tokyo and Mishima 
  • 6 Breakfast, 2 Lunch, 3 Dinner 
  • Japanese Rail and land transportation 
  • Friendly MG office staff will help prepare you for the adventure

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Arrive Kyoto
Day 2 • Hike Inari in Kyoto
Day 3 • Tour Kyoto
Day 4 • Transfer to Mount Fuji via Shinkansen
Day 5 • Hike Fujinomiya to mid-station
Day 6 • Summit Fuji and transfer to Hakone
Day 7 • Tour Tokyo
Day 8 • Depart Tokyo

“The trip was beyond my wildest dreams! Japan was absolutely incredible. Climbing Mount Fuji was an exciting adventure. I would recommend this trip to anyone who would like to experience Japan, hike one of the world’s most iconic peaks and have a wonderful time doing so.” 2017 Jennifer

ITINERARY

Mount Fuji

Begins in Kyoto and ends in Toyko, Japan

Day 1 • Arrive Kyoto

Arrive Tokyo at Haneda International Airport (HND), Narita International Airport (NRT), Kansai International Airport (KIX), or Osaka International Itami Airport (ITM) and transfer to Kyoto via train and taxi to the Machiya house on your own.

Accommodations: Japanese Machiya House in Kyoto

Day 2 • Hike in Kyoto

Following breakfast, we visit the Shinto wonderland of Fushimi Inari Taisha (Red Gate Shrine) and hike two hours to the top of Inari mountain (765 feet / 233 meters) at the far southern end of the Higashiyama Mountains. We return by rail to Maiko Theater where we delight in a traditional lunch and cultural dance performed by a Maiko, or Geisha (Geiko) in training. We then visit Kennin-ji Temple Hojo with its relaxing Zen gardens, and the Ninen-zakaSannen-zaka preserved tourist districts. Afterwards, we have time to explore and shop on your own.

Accommodations: Japanese Machiya House in Kyoto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Maiko Theater Course Lunch (B, L)

Day 3 • Tour Kyoto

Today we enjoy a walking and public transportation tour of historic Kyoto, visiting famous parks and temples such as Arashiyama (bamboo forest), Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion), and the Philosopher’s Walk. In the evening, we share a traditional Japanese welcome dinner in one of the many fine restaurants or one of the Ryokan, traditional Japanese inns, that line the narrow streets along the Shirakawa “White River” Canal on the outskirts of downtown.

Accommodations: Japanese Machiya House in Kyoto
Meals Included: Breakfast, Sushi Lunch, Welcome Sukiyaki Course Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Transfer to Mount Fuji via bullet train

As time allows, we visit the Nishiki Market, Kyoto’s largest traditional food and souvenir market before departing for Mount Fuji. We travel by the famous high-speed Shinkansen bullet train reaching speeds of 150-200 miles per hour. Once near the mountain we prepare for the next day’s climb and enjoy dinner in a local Japanese restaurant.

Accommodations: Hotel in Mishima
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Day 5 • Hike to mid-station on Mount Fuji

After breakfast we transfer by van to the Fujinomiya Fifth Station (trailhead) at 7,874 feet and begin our trek up Mount Fuji to a high hut located between 10,800 and 11,400 feet where we spend the night. Four main routes lead to Mount Fuji’s summit crater. We summit the mountain via the Fujinomiya – Gotemba trail variation. Tokyo lies about 60 miles northeast of mount Fuji and can be seen from the summit on a clear day.

Fujinomiya 5th Station Trailhead • 7874 feet
Gotemba 5th Station Trailhead • 4700 feet

Altitude ascent: 2,950 feet
Hiking times: 4-5 hour ascent hike

Accommodations: Mountainside Hut on Fujisan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Route notes: We begin hiking from the Fujinomiya 5th Station Trailhead (7,874 feet) and ascend to the 8th Station (10,600 feet), where we then traverse to the Gotemba Route and ascend to the 7.9 Station, overnighting at the Akaiwa Hut (10,824 feet). Early the next morning we ascend the Gotemba Route to the summit (12,389 ft), watching sunrise from the hut or from the summit if the weather is clear and we choose to wake early. If the group is strong and weather good, we will hike around the crater rim via the Ohachimeguri trail. We then descend the Gotemba Route; and return to the Akaiwa Hut to collect our gear. We have the option of either descending the Gotemba route to Fujinomiya 5th Station, connecting via the Prince trail, or to Gotemba 5th Station Trailhead (4,700 feet) via the “Osunabashiri” (the great sand run).

Another variation is overnighting at Fujinomiya 9th hut at 11,351 ft (3,460m) and ascending directly to the crater, then descend via the Gotemba and Prince route trail.

The Fujinomiya 5th trailhead is much higher elevation, allowing for less vertical gain during the climb. Although the final section to the summit is steep and rocky and the descent can be slow and difficult. The trail ascending and descending from the Gotemba to the summit is easier and less crowded, but begins from the much lower Gotemba 5th trailhead, making for a longer descent despite the easier terrain. Our itinerary allows for flexibility in choosing our route.

Day 6 • Summit Fujisan and descend, transfer to Hakone • 12,389 feet

We wake early and begin our summit hike, reaching Mt. Fuji’s crater rim as the sun crests the eastern horizon, a moment known by the Japanese as 御来光, or goraikō, “arrival of light.” Eight peaks rise from the rim of the summit crater. The highest of them, and the highest point in Japan, is Ken-ga-mine near the Mount Fuji Radar Station. After enjoying the summit, we descend an ash-covered path to the Fifth Station trailhead and then transfer to Hakone by van. We overnight at a Ryokan, a type of traditional Japanese Inn with Onsen bath. Instead of Hakone, we may also transfer to lodging at Lake Kawaguchi, which offers a classic view of Mount Fuji.

Altitude ascent: 1,565 feet
Altitude descent: 4,515 feet
Hiking times: 2.5 hour morning ascent hike, 3-4 hour descent hike

Accommodations: Japanese Ryokan Inn in Hakone
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 7 • Transfer to Tokyo, and tour

Following a delicious breakfast, we explore downtown Hakone and transfer to Tokyo to check into our hotel centrally located near Tokyo Main Station. We conclude our adventure with an evening in the famous shopping district of Ginza and a journey on the futuristic Yurikamome train to Odaiba with a view of the Tokyo skyline and the Rainbow Bridge. Alternately, we may visit the historic Tokyo Tower Top Deck or Roppongi Hills Sky Deck.

Or extend your visit in Japan with an extra day in Tokyo. Popular attractions in Tokyo include Tsukiji Fish Market, Kabuki-za Theatre, Hamarikyu Gardens, Harajuku, Shibuya Crossing, Sensō-ji Temple as well as Asakusa, Ueno Park, Tokyo Skytree.

Accommodations: Hotel in Tokyo
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Day 8 • Depart Tokyo

Tour ends in Tokyo at hotel checkout. Transport to Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) or Narita International Airport (NRT) for flights home on your own.

Itinerary Notes
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Price

$3,750

Rates are quoted based on double sharing hotel accommodations while in Mishima, Hakone and Toyko. Single room or Twin room fees apply. An American co-guide is based on 5 or more trekkers.

Deposit and Payments

  • $1000.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application
  • Balance due 120 days prior to departure

The balance can be paid by check, wire transfer, or by credit card with a surcharge of 4%

Price Includes

  • Scheduled land transportation in Japan
  • Scheduled Kyoto – Fuji – Tokyo Shinkansen rail transfers
  • Traditional Japanese style home (Machiya) in Kyoto
  • Japanese Inn (Ryokan) in Hakone
  • Hotels in Mishima and Toyko
  • Mountain hut on Fujisan
  • Kyoto, Hakone, Tokyo guided sightseeing tours
  • Tour entrance fees in Kyoto
  • Scheduled meals based on the itinerary
  • Professional mountain guide

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare and meals during travel
  • Airport transfers
  • Non-scheduled Japanese Rail transfers
  • Non-scheduled meals
  • Snack/lunch food during the trek
  • Forwarding of luggage on 1 occasion ($20)
  • Tour entrance fees in Toyko (Toyko Tower, etc.)
  • Personal gear
  • Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • Single room supplement (hotels only) $500
  • Twin room supplement (hotels only) $50
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Early departure fees
  • Tips and gratuities

GEAR LIST

A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool or synthetic, must cover the ears
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic short-sleeve shirt.
  • Softshell Jacket: A breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: GORE-TEX© or fully waterproof shell. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Light Insulated Jacket: Light synthetic insulated or down jacket
  • Poncho: Quick and handy protection for body and daypack

Handwear

  • Lightweight Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)

Lower Body

  • Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: One pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations in the mountains.
  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Trekking Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated
  • Hardshell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants.

Footwear

  • Trekking Socks: Two pair wool or synthetic medium weight
  • Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots, or hiking shoes with adequate ankle support, large enough to be comfortable with your warm socks

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 30-liter pack with good support and adequate space for personal, trekking gear
  • Liner Bags:  One large plastic contractor bags to keep gear dry

Travel Luggage

  • Lightweight travel luggage that can easily navigate airports and train stations. A good combination is your trekking backpack w/ a wheeled type travel duffle bag.

Trekking Gear

  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible.

Hydration

  • Water Bottle: Two, 1-liter wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE© or purchase bottled water on the mountain.

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications

TRAVEL & FITNESS

Travel

Program Location:
Begins in Kyoto and ends in Toyko, Japan

Visa/Entry Information:
A valid passport is required for American citizens to enter Japan. American citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for tourism.

Health & Immunizations:
Immunizations are not required for entry into Japan

Flight Travel Information:
Haneda International Airport (HND), Narita International Airport (NRT), Kansai International Airport (KIX) or Osaka International Itami Airport (ITM)

International Departures:
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in-country in the destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.

Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.

Gear:
A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in a pre-departure information packet upon booking. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Mount Fuji Fitness & Training

Trekking Grade: Intermediate

Most of our itinerary consists of exploring cultural sites in Japan. On our summit day expect to carry a 20 lbs. pack with extra clothes, food, and water. Good physical conditioning is ideal.

Prior to the expedition we recommend running, hiking local peaks, backpacking and trekking to build strength and stamina for the climb.

Here’s a suggested progression of treks before attempting Mount Fuji.

  • Morocco High Atlas, Mustang Explorer, Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Northwest Climb (Mount Baker), optional

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the weather be during the summer?

In July, August and early September, the weather on Mount Fuji is typically hot, but cold temperatures can prevail at higher elevations in the early morning hours. Our route up the mountain is free of snow, following a well-maintained trail. We will ascend with trekking poles and a day pack. Ice axe, crampons, and other special equipment are not needed.

What are the accommodations like?

During our three nights in Kyoto we stay in traditional, wooden Japanese homes known as Machiya. These homes are simply and elegantly restored. They operate like private hotels, with housekeeping staff, and offer a choice between Japanese futon bedding or western-style beds. Single accommodations are not available in the Machiya as this is a shared living environment. We spend one night on Mount Fuji in bunks in a mountainside hut with sleeping blankets provided by the caretakers. After our climb, we spend one night at a Ryokan, a type of traditional Japanese Inn with Onsen hot spring bath. On the final two nights of our tour we stay in comfortable hotels in Mishima and Tokyo.

Do I need mountaineering experience?

Mountaineering experience is not required. We weclome anyone with strong physical fitness to join the trek. The trail is snow free during the summer hiking season and only requires trekking poles.

How much will my pack weigh?

For your comfort, we trek to the summit of Mount Fuji with a 26- to 30-liter day pack, ideally weighing no more than 20 to 25 pounds. Clean bedding is provided by the mountain hut where we spend one night before summitting. During our climb, we leave our wheeled travel duffel, extra travel clothes and other items at our hotel or in storage lockers.