“Nana korobi, ya oki” (Fall down seven times, stand up eight.) - Japanese Proverb
If you want to head up Mount Fuji, you should know that it’s tough. You should also know that it’s worth heading up the biggest mountain in Honshu and the Land of the Rising Sun. You could join the other 300,000 people who climb the mountain every year whilst it’s open from July to September.
Mt. Fuji, also known as Fuji-san, is an active volcano and the highest mountain in Japan and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While it's been a long time since it's erupted, the activity is closely monitored just in case of an eruption.
You need to plan a trip to Japan and that means you need to think about how much you’re going to spend.
Here’s how much you can expect to spend on a trip to Mount Fuji.
How Much Does a Trip to Mount Fuji Cost?
Before going to Mount Fuji, you need to get to Japan. The best way to get there from the UK is by plane. Get your flights as early as possible to save money.
The Cost of Flights from London to Tokyo
July and August are the busiest months in Japan. Similarly, these are during the summer holidays in the UK and when Mount Fuji is open. Try to get your flights at least three months in advance. If you can, try looking six months in advance.
For example, you can get flights starting at £500 return per person for the start of July. Flights are around 12 hours. You can find cheaper flights if you’re willing to stop somewhere on your way to Tokyo.
Here’s our advice for getting the best rates:
- Be flexible on your dates. There are regular flights to Tokyo. Choose the dates with the cheapest flights.
- Use flight comparison sites like Skyscanner or Google Flight.
- Check different airlines.
Find out more about the history of Mount Fuji.
Getting to Mount Fuji from Tokyo
There are two main ways to get to Mount Fuji from Tokyo. While the mountain is located across the Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures and surrounded by the towns of Gotemba, Fujiyoshida, Fujinomiya, and Fuji, heading to Lake Kawaguchi is your best bet from Tokyo.
Buses (2 and a half hours). Returns cost around £40 and buses leave every 40 minutes between 6:00 and 21:00 from the Shinjuku Station to the Keio bus terminal. You can also leave from Tokyo Station with the JR Kanto Bus company. The terminus is Kawaguchiko.
The train takes around 2 hours but you will have to change trains. You’ll depart from the Shinjuku station to Otsuki before changing to the train to Kawaguchiko. At around £60 return, this is slightly more expensive than the bus.
You can reserve the bus up to a month in advance. If you’re planning on going to Mount Fuji for a weekend, you should book ahead to ensure you have a place. Similarly, you should also ensure that when taking the bullet train (Shinkansen), that you get your seats on the right side to be able to see some fantastic views of Mount Fuji as you go past.
However, you’ll probably want to spend a few days there. It would be a shame to get there and find out that it’s cloudy, foggy, or rainy, especially since the weather can be unpredictable in Japan.
Once you’re at Kawaguchiko station, you can walk to the 5th station 2,300m up. However, the walk isn’t particularly interesting and is very long. It’s better to go to the bus stop and take the 55-minute bus trip, which leaves every half an hour. You can find timetables on the site Japan Guide. A single trip costs around £10 and a return trip costs around £18.
You can also get to Mount Fuji from Kyoto.
If you’ve got a Japan Rail Pass, you’ll probably want to go by train. Otherwise, the bus will be the best option financially.
How Much Does Accommodation Cost in Mount Fuji?
Once you get there, you’ll need somewhere to stay. Accommodation in the Land of the Rising Sun can be quite costly but it depends where you stay. A stay in a ryokan will be costlier than in a youth hostel.
You won’t find beds like in the West in Japan since a traditional Japanese bed is a futon. You can also sleep in capsules.
Have a look at Booking.com for hotels near the volcanic mountain. In summer, try and book ahead. You can also stay near the Kawaguchiko station in the town of Fujiyoshida at the foot of Mount Fuji. You’ll find hotels for as little as £40 a night up to £130 a night for a room in the Mystays Fuji Onsen. Of course, you can pay even more if your budget allows it and you fancy a private villa.
Don’t hesitate to have a look at Airbnb. If you are on a budget, you might want to consider Couchsurfing near Mount Fuji.
If you want to head up Mount Fuji, you should know that it’s tough. There are several stops on the way up to the summit. In some cases, you can stay in a small hut in bunk beds. Climbers make their way up all throughout the day and night, after all.
It’s recommended to stop if you begin to feel tired. You can pay between 6,000 and 8,000 yen a night and some of these huts charge by the hour if you only want to stop for a bit. Generally, these cost around 1,000 yen an hour. You can find lists of these huts online.
Generally, you’ll have to pay to use the toilets in these huts, which costs around 200 yen.
How Much Does Food at Mount Fuji Cost?
There’s food in Japan for all budgets depending on what you get. There are cheap dishes between £3 and £5 and you can get these from fast-food restaurants.
If you’re staying in a youth hostel, Airbnb, or Couchsurfing, you can always cook for yourself. Around Mount Fuji, you can find teppanyaki restaurants where you can pay around £50 per person.
On Mount Fuji, you should probably plan to bring some food yourself. Meals are expensive and aren’t particularly good on the way up. Expect to pay 1,000 yen for a simple curry and rice.
When it’s busy, you’ll find there’s not much good stuff left to eat. Soup or noodles will cost you around 400 yen and an energy bar will cost around 250 yen.
Find out what else you can do at Mount Fuji.
The Cost of a Three-day Trip to Mount Fuji
The total cost of your trip to Japan and Mount Fuji will vary from person to person. Here’s a sample budget for spending three days there:
- Flights London-Tokyo: £500 return.
- Transport from Tokyo: £50.
- Hotel: £400 for a double room with a bathroom.
- Food: £100 per person per day.
- Total: £1,050.
You can pay less if you opt for youth hostels and cook for yourself.
Find out more about planning a trip to Mount Fuji.
Extra Costs when Visiting Mount Fuji
There are other costs that you may need to think about.
Hiking equipment: warm clothes and waterproofs. Even in summer, it can be cold and there’s snow on the summit. A headlamp is also a good idea if you’re planning on climbing Mount Fuji at night. Opt for a decent pair of hiking boots.
Before you head off, make sure you pick up some water. You should bring 2 to 3 litres per person and take the descent into account, too. Depending on your physical fitness, it can take between 5 and 10 hours on the way up and between 4 and 6 hours on the way down. Once you reach the summit, you might want to buy a certificate or a postcard.
When climbing Mt. Fuji and visiting the Five lakes region, you should be aware that at 3,776.24 metres above sea level, altitude sickness is a real possibility so take the utmost care when climbing and always be prepared.
Now you know the costs, it’s time to plan your trip to Mount Fuji.
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