When I planed to go to Japan, I immediately knew that I wanted to hike Mount Fuji – a 3776 high volcano and Japans highest Mountain – to watch the sunrise in the morning. I watched plenty of youtube videos and read a few blogposts while I was preparing my traveling, so I kind of knew what expected me.
When I arrived in Tokyo, I checked the weather information almost every day for the mountain. As I traveled to Tokyo during rain season, I had to be careful for when to hike up the mountain. Unfortunately, the weather was super bad the first couple of weekends in July, but on my last weekend in Tokyo, the weather seem to be good, so I decided to go despite of hiking by myself and the fact that I would start my travel around Japan the next day! I rented some equipment (a headlight and some walking sticks), bought some Onigiris, sweets, chocolate, and about 3 liters of water and green tea and took the bus from Shinjuku to travel to Mount Fuji.
I arrived at the fifth station on the mountain at around 6 pm. I calculated everything and decided to start hiking at around 8pm to watch the sunrise at 4:50 am. I wandered around the souvenir shops, had a big bowl of Udon for dinner, texted my friends and family (sounds a bit more dramatic then I intended haha) and finally, started hiking in the pitch black, supper foggy night.
Unfortunately, my camera couldn’t take decent pictures during the night, so I basically don’t have any footage of my hiking up process. I was very, very lucky with the weather! I had a clear sky where I could see the stars the way I never have seen them before – it was magical and I even spotted a shooting star! Everything was calm and quiet and dark. It began to rain a bit, but it wasn’t that bad and the temperature was alright.
Arriving at the 8th station, I took a semi longer break then the ones before. The stations provide snacks, hot food and drinks as well as Oxygen, something I didn’t buy and regretted a lot.
It was around 2 am when I started to feel nauseous. I had a headache before, but I knew that that could happen because of the altitude, so I tried to drink a lot, eat up and rest. But the nauseous feeling didn’t go away and at 3:30 am, around one and a half hours until the sunrise, I got ill. While I was resting somewhere, there was a boy sitting next to me with a bottle of oxygen who shared the same symptoms and in the end his oxygen with me. We decided to hike up together the last hour in case one of us gets serious sick. Funny enough, he was a medical student as well, traveling from Marokko to Osaka to attend an internship. We motivated each other while hiking up and took a lot of breaks and finally, the clear dark sky turned into beautiful colours, announcing the sunrise. We almost made it!
Being on top of Fuji San, we sat down and watched the most beautiful sunrise I have ever seen in my entire life and every pain, nausea and fear was not present any more. I was speechless and proud.
And here we have the summit of the volcano! At around 6 am I decided to hike back to the bus station because I had to take the bus at 10 am! Unfortunately we took the wrong trail down which meant that we had to hike about 5 hours down. So I had to hurry up and almost run the entire trail to the bus station and I don’t know how, but I made it to take the 10 o’clock bus to Tokyo.
Hiking Mount Fuji was one of the best experiences for me in my entire life, although it was pretty hard and sometimes scary, I managed it and got rewarded by the most beautiful landscapes and sunrise which I will never ever forget!