Mt Fuji Trail Running and Hiking

Firstly, no we didn’t run up Mt Fuji! We spent 4 days staying in Fujiyoshida exploring the surrounding area on foot.

Our first foray started at Lake Kawaguchiko, which is one of the five lakes surrounding Mt Fuji. The trail we chose heads from the lake to the top of the ropeway and from there we ran along the ridge line towards Mt Mitutouge. The trail was heavily forested but we frequently got epic views of Mt Fuji in between the trees. We did the run in glorious autumn sunshine and accompanying orange and golden foliage. The initial ascent is up steps and tourist paths but after the top of the ropeway things get back to nature and are much more fun. We spent a couple of hours on an out-and-back style run. Once back at the lake shore we picked up a well earned ice cream and took in the glorious views.

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Another notable day was spent trekking from our guest house (Maisan Chi Guest House) to the first station on the traditional Mt Fuji climbing route, the Yoshida climbing path. This is the oldest climbing path used by Fuji pilgrims. After a couple of kilometres walking through town we reached the Fuji Sengen Shrine, which is well worth a visit. We were lucky to arrive as a ceremony was in full swing with music and dancing taking place in front of the main shrine. It certainly seems to be a very fitting place to start the ascent! We followed the Yoshida Hiking Trail all the way to Umagaeshi (the furthest point on the trail that horses could get to in the old days). From there we made a quick dash up the now steeper Climbing Trail to the first station. We were a bit pushed for time so headed back at that point, but in reality we could have got to the 2nd or 3rd station and returned before dark. Best to err on the side of caution when you forget the head touch though! Anyway, we achieved the main objectives of the day which were to take in some of the atmosphere from this ancient path and to get above the snow line.

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After our few days stay we felt that aside from the obvious draw for outdoorsy types the area seems to be chocked full of great trails and terrain which may be worth considering if you ever visit.

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