Hi, I am Michael and I teach English at Smith’s School of English Sakai Higashi.
Perhaps many will agree that one, “must do” thing in Japan is to climb Mt Fuji and I wanted to do it. This challenge is even mentioned in “1000 Places To See Before You Die” written by Patricia Schultz which is one of my favourite travel books.
I had been using my intended Mt Fuji climb as a topic in some of my classes when one eager student said that he would join me. Next another student decided to join and then that student’s husband. We had a climbing team!
My Fuji is a tough climb and so we practised and prepared ourselves by climbing Mt Kongo and then Mt Katsuragi. These were both very enjoyable climbs.
The big day arrived and we met at the Namba bus terminal. After taking the overnight bus from Namba we arrived at the base of Mt Fuji and I promise you it is bigger than you can imagine. We started our climb on the Fujinomiya-guchi trail. Within 2 hours it became difficult to breath, my muscles ached and a high altitude headache started. After about 6 hours we arrived at Station 9 where we stayed the night. From this level we could see the top of Fuji as the weather was still fine.
The next morning at 3 o’clock we headed for the top with our head torches lighting the way. Unfortunately, the weather had turned nasty, it was raining, windy and very cold. It was a slow, painful and very tiring climb. My headache was unbearable and I had slept only 2 hours. We pushed down our headaches and muscle aches none of that mattered. We were only a 30 minute climb from reaching the top.
When we reached the Kusushi-jinga Shrine we all felt so amazingly good. We all had huge smiles and it felt great. Our English school climbing team had done it. We had reached the top of highest peak in Japan. We stood on the top of Fuji-san.
I thank my student friends for their help, encouragement and support. Would I do it again?