CLIMBING MT. FUJI pt. 2
October 20, 2016
I had imagined, based off the experiences I read about online, and a few pictures I had seen,
that the trip up Mt Fuji would be a bit of a task.
I saw in my head winding paths that sometimes possibly narrowed, switched back and forth,
and would at times incline so as to make the journey "a bit of a hike". This is in no way accurate what so ever.
As we began our journey, I saw that you could rent a horse to take you part way along your way,
an idea that I thought was pretty cool until I saw the price... 15,000 yen ($150US) one way.
I openly scoffed at the notion, and we all had a good laugh, wondering aloud at what kind of fool would spend that amount of cash on a pony ride.
The air was just right, not to warm, not to cool, and the path was wide and accommodating. A little bit of an effort, but not too bad.
It was actually what I expected. This, however, was to change. Soon enough the path became more rocky.
The trees started to give way to open land, which made for a stunning view from the side of the mountain (volcano), but nothing much else.
One thing Mt. Fuji is not, is beautiful. It's a pretty thing to look at from a distance, sure, especially when the top is capped with snow...
so very iconic... but up close and personal it looks like a giant mole hill that's been made into a mountain. Just rock, rock, and more rock.
And not the stunning cliffs and potentially dazzling waterfalls that you might think of when you imagine mountain climbing.
Just rock. Volcanic rock.
The little red kind that's pocked with holes that people use to create Southwestern-stle gardens.
We were on the Yoshida Trail, the "easiest" of all routes to the top, and the most travelled.
There were people there from all walks of life, young and old, and not just Japanese folks.
They say that 45% of the people who climb Mt. Fuji every year are foreigners, and that seems about right.
There were Europeans and Americans, Middle Easterners, and Chinese, too. Lots and lots of Chinese.
All marching up the same path to the same destination.
From the point we were at now, the place where the tress give way to the volcano-ness of the mountain (volcano),
a sign informed us that we were roughly 4.7km (2.92 miles) away from our goal, and that, on average,
it would take us 333 minutes to walk that distance. That did not seem encouraging.