I stayed one night at the foot of the mountain in Fujiyoshida, and in the evening I walked around to find a place for dinner. I got into this Japanese restaurant with no English menu and nobody speaking a word in English. Nonetheless, I had a fantastic dinner and a good time with the chef and owner of the restaurant.
The morning before the climb. Mount Fuji is divided into ten stations with the first station at the foot of the mountain and the tenth station being the summit. Paved roads go halfway up the mountain and most people go by bus to the fifth station (2300 meters / 7500 feet) to start the ascent. I did this as well.
It is "just" 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to the summit, but I have to gain almost 1500 meters (5000 feet) in elevation.
Meeting many other climbers along the way. This is part of the experience of climbing Mount Fuji.
I met at the mountain hut a great group of people, and we stayed together for the rest of the time climbing the mountain. Harris from Taiwan, Mike from Canada, and Jeff (in the background) and Mike from the US. We are all travelling by ourselves, and it was very inspiring to listen to each one's individual life story. Thanks guys!
The shadow of Mount Fuji during the sunset. It is in general a spectacular view at this altitude.
Climbing at night and reaching finally the gate to the summit.
We were quite early and got therefore prime spots to watch the sunrise. On the photo you can't see, but it was freezing cold and we were shivering. However, we will get soon the reward for all the efforts.
I leave the photos of the sunrise uncommented. It is incredible, and pictures can't really convey the feeling of seeing the sunrise from the summit of Mount Fuji.
We also walked around the crater before starting the descent. Mount Fuji is an active volcano that last erupted in 1707. Earthquakes can have a major impact on a volcano's activity and its potential of eruption. Therefore, there is given much attention to Mount Fuji's reaction to Japan's earthquake in 2011. Mathematical models suggest that the pressure in its magma chamber could be now higher than it was in 1707, and that the probability of an eruption within the next few years is quite high.