Mt. Fuji Peak, Japan

 

This photo was taken after a 7 hour hike to the very peak of Mt. Fuji, Japan.

We started our hike at 10pm. It was freezing, and the altitude made all of us nauseous. We got there early to get acclimated to it, playing cards and eating curry.

The hike up was rough. It’s not for the out of shape or faint-hearted. I exercise regularly, play soccer once a week and I would say it was definitely a challenge but never too much. I never felt like I wanted to give up. The terrain is volcanic material, so it’s a similar feel to hard sand.

There are six stations or so as you hike to the peak. So about an hours climb in between each. The first couple hours are purely walking uphill, back and forth along the trail. The third and fourth was hoisting yourself over rocks. Boulders. I clung vertically to a sheet of rock at one point in the blistering wind, not a soul around me. A very physically exhilarating feeling.

Many people choose to start the hike early in the day, sleep in one of the stations for a few hours, then begin the climb again at night to catch the sunrise. So if you don’t reserve a spot in one of the stations (like us) you are not allowed in. I didn’t realize how strict they’d be. I bought soup from one of the stations only to have the man tell me to eat outside on a bench.

There are no first aid stations either. To climb Mt. Fuji, you must be prepared.

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5am and we finally reached the top. It was here that I saw something I never even knew was possible- it began to rain from a cloud below us. If you’ve ever seen The Truman Show, the rain was reminiscent of the scene when it rains on Truman on the beach. Just one straight, narrow column of rain coming down from one cloud. Speechless.

Night turned to day, and we watched as the rest of Japan awoke from its slumber.

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