Hiking Mt. Fuji With Kids, NPB Olympic Break
When Adam got 7 days off in the middle of the season due to the Olympic break, he gave me the green light to plan whatever I want to do. As you can imagine, theres only so much you can do when you only have one day off at a time...So my wheels got churning to figure out something I wanted to do that would take longer than one day..
Lucky for me, his last game before the break was in Tokyo, so I figured we could start off the break with a few nights at our favorite Tokyo hotel, Four Seasons Hotel at Otemach. This time it was extra special to just sleep in and order room service, because Adam didn't have to worry about rushing into work. We have an Amazon Firestick that we use to watch Youtube Tv and Netflix. A lot of time was spent just lounging around since we had such a nice room. It felt like we were locals living in Tokyo, and boy did we enjoy that!!
From there, I decided we would hike Mt. Fuji, which is a 2 hour car drive from Tokyo. From Kobe, getting to the Mt. Fuji area is super inconvenient, involving a 5-6 hour car ride or multiple train changes. In true Jones fashion, of course we did it in the most luxurious way possible. This way we could be the most efficient and I didn't have to worry about hearing (too much) complaining from the kids, and most of all Adam, who doesn't want to exert any energy on his day off! So this is how we did it:
-Got a car service to pick us up from the Four Seasons in Tokyo at 11am, and drive the two hours straight to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji Yoshida trail. (Side note: the 5th station is 1/2 way up the mountain and is the starting point for most hikers. Most people drive there but during hiking season, you may have to park you car at a certain place and ride a bike to the top, but since we had a driver to bring us ((AND WAIT FOR US!)) we were able to avoid all the parking logistics).
-Started at the 5th station at around 1pm and hiked up to the 6th station. We took a few little breaks but overall it took us just under 2 hours to get up and back. Originally I was worried that it would be too hot to hike at 1pm, however, it was actually a bit chilly since it was in the cloud and we had to buy souvenir sweatshirts for the kids
-After that we ate lunch at the restaurant at the 5th station. Simple Japanese foods like curry or ramen.
-Then we met our driver to head to our ryokan, Ubuya, which was still 40 minutes away (its a long windy dissent!).
My overall takeaways from the hike:
I'm glad we did it, Mt. Fuji is legendary, and it felt amazing to be back connected with nature after living in the city for so long.
The hike was different than say, camelback mountain in AZ, because its not desert climate. So the ground was made up of black lava rock gravel. That made some parts a bit more difficult to hike just b/c you feel like your feet are sinking in at every step.
The incline was pretty steady, no really big steps or parts that are super challenging, however they say after the 6th station it starts to get much steeper as you can see once you arrive there.
This wouldn't be the most exciting hike because as most locals know, Fuji is covered by clouds most of the time, so its likely that you will be hiking in a cloud, and wont even have views to the bottom. Check out the video to see that I mean.
Over all it was definitely a once in a lifetime, bucket list kind of experience. I would have liked to hike to the top, but hey what can you do! Message me to include a trip to Mt. Fuji to your trip!