Mount Fuji: How to Weather the Hike to Watch the Amazing Sunrise

Mount Fuji: How to Weather the Hike to Watch the Amazing Sunrise

REVEALED: The easiest route to the top of Mount Fuji.
There are four trails to the summit, only one is the best trail for climbing Mount Fuji to watch the amazing sunrise in the Land Of The Rising Sun.

The chance to climb this symbolic mountain only opens from early July to middle of September. Which is approximately for 2.5 months. If you miss this window, you will need to come back next year. 

On other months, it will be too dangerous to climb up. At 3776m, it is the highest mountain in Japan. Ice and snow accumulates at the slopes, making it unsafe for climbers.

How to use your Japan Rail Pass to Mount Fuji

Option 1: Take the local train

Shinjuku Station –> JR Limited Express –> Otsuki –> transfer → Fujikyu Railway –> Kawaguchiko. 
Time: 2.5 hours. 
Costs between JPY 3290 one way.

Extra Cost for Fujikyu Railway

The Fujikyu Railway is a private-owned railway.
The Japan Rail Pass does not cover it.
You need to pay an extra JPY 400 to reach Kawaguchiko.

Furthermore, you need to make a transfer. More waiting, and hassle. 

Option 2: Take the local train

Take the JR Chuo Special Rapid Service. Follows the same route as Option 1. 
Time: It takes 10-20 minutes longer.
Cost: Cheaper at JPY 2460

Takes 20 Minutes Longer

This option bypass the Fujikyu Railway, and it is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
You need to pay an extra JPY 400 to reach Kawaguchiko.

Downside: It takes an extra 10-20 minutes !!

Option 3: Fastest

Shinjuku Station→ Fuji Excursion Limited Express→ Kawaguchiko Station.
Time: This takes 1 hour 52 minutes
Cost: JPY 4060 one way.

Fastest and Cheapest Option

The Limited Express FUJI EXCURSION is now included in the Japan Rail Pass.
No extra charge.
Goes directly from Shinjuku Station to Kawaguchiko Station

Mount Fuji Trails: Why You Should Take the Yoshida Trail

 Yoshida routeFujinomiya routeSusu routeGotenba route
Round trip distance14km8.5km13km17.5 km
Elevation difference1450 m1350 m1800 m2300 m
Ascending time6 hours 10 minutes5 hours 30 minutes6 hours 50 minutes8 hours 10 minutes
Descending time3 hours 30 minutes3 hours 50 minutes3 hours 20 minutes4 hours 20 minutes
Round trip to Kengamine peak+1 hour 30 minutes+35 minutes+1 hour 30 minutes+35 minutes
Congestion★★★★★★★★★ ★
Degree of fatigue★★★★ ★★★★★★★★★
Number of facilities★★★★★★★★★★★★ ★
Mountain Sickness★★★★★★★★★ ★


  • It is the shortest trail to the summit.

  • The trail is too steep and elevates at fast pace. It makes it easy to get mountain sickness.

  • Pebbles and rocks on the steep slopes makes it easy to fall and hurt yourself.

  • To make things worse, the ascending and descending path shares the same route.

  • The route sharing makes it difficult to maintain your pace as you need to make way for each other.



  • It is the 2nd shortest trail to the summit.

  • It has separate ascending and descending route.

  • The trail is considerably steep and elevates at fast pace. It makes it easy to get mountain sickness.

  • Pebbles and rocks on the steep slopes makes it easy to fall and hurt yourself.

  • During the descend, there is a junction to the Yoshida descending route. You may be misled when you see most hikers descend to the popular Yoshida route.

  • If you are not careful, you may lose your way ending up at the Fuji Subaru 5th Station.



  • It is the longest route amongst all the trails.

  • It takes a longer time for the longer distance, making it very exhaustive and boring.

  • It the least popular route, thus it has very few huts for resting. You need to bring sufficient food, water and equipments.

  • Help is minimal on this trail.



  • It is most popular route. There are many huts along the way, and it is easy to get help.

  • Starts at Fuji Subaru Fifth Station, which is the main entrance to the Yoshida trail.

  • Fuji Subaru 5th Station, is a well established tourist destination with restaurants, souvenirs shops and climbing equipment shops

  • You can prep up at the Fuji Subaru 5th Station. Fill up your stomach, rent climbing equipments before begin your journey uphill.

  • It can be crowded.


Recommended Mount Fuji Hiking Itinerary from TripAdvisor

  • Day 1: 11am

    Travel to Kawaguchiko. Go up to Fuji Subaru Fifth Station. Lunch. Prep up equipment. Start climbing.

  • 3pm

    Arrive at a mountain hut. Check in. All cottages must be reserved in advance to stay. Click on ICON to BOOK NOW via TripAdvisor.

  • 4pm ~ 8pm

    Rest. Enjoy the sunset. Dinner.

  • 8pm ~ 12pm

    Sleep. Charge Up!

  • Day 2: 12am

    Wake up. Heads towards the top of the mountain.

  • 5am

    Enjoy the sunrise! The most beautiful scene. Sun slowly rises out from the clouds.

  • 6am

    Go around the crater

  • 10am

    Return to cottage. Check out. Descend.

Best Time to Hike: Mount Fuji Climbing Season


    Snow on Mount Fuji


    Spring. Flowers blossoming with life


    Raining season


    Mount Fuji Climbing season


    Autumn. Canvas with Red Leaves

Mount Fuji climbing season starts from early July to early September. On other times, it all routes are not opened.

During the climbing season, different hiking routes opens at different dates.
Yoshida route opens from July 1st to September 10th .
The Gotemba and Fujinomiya routes opens from July 10th to September 10th.

Japan Gazetteer Tips

Do not rush it. Going in early July, you may still catch the raining seasons. The schedule opening time might be shifted.
Mostly after the 10th, all the routes are opened.
To avoid disappointment, plan it between the 17th to 31st July.
Avoid August. Stay away from weekends. Evade holidays.
Take the weekdays. Do not insert yourself in the crowded weekends.

Editor's Review Score
  • View
  • Easy to Climb
  • Access


Perfect scores as it has great access routes with Japan Rail Pass, and it is easy to climb up with numerous mountain huts along the recommended Yoshida trail. The view from the top of Mount Fuji at the early dawn, watching the sunrise (from The Land Of The Rising Sun) is the most satisfying experience ever. If you choose not to climb, or due to the climbing season has closed, there are plenty of alternative to take a picture with the grand mountain from various view points. You can also have fun with the surrounding tourist spots like the Fuji-Q Highlands and the Mount Fuji Five Lakes. The only downside is that it can be quite crowded, but that can easily be avoided by planning your trip on weekdays.

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