Sitting at Mount Fuji’s summit
Our very slow dark hike from the 9th station hut towards Mount Fuji summit started around 2:30 AM, more than enough time to be there just before sunrise. It was slow-moving because of the long single file of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of hikers going up. A modern pilgrimage of sun-worshippers. The slowness didn’t bother me, in fact it was truly an experience to witness so many Japanese people climbing the mountain they consider sacred, and then to wait patiently in the cold for the sunrise – their goal.
Japan’s rising sun
After the heartfelt rising of the sun moment, one can walk around and see very clearly at daylight the crater of this active volcano, plus the heavenly ‘above the clouds’ view at 3,776 meter altitude. Ha! I’ll never forget Mount Fuji’s altitude number because one shop in Kawaguchiko sells this Mount Fuji t-shirt with 3776 visibly printed in front, though it’s not because of this, the fact that it cost 3,776 yen stamped the number on my mind like the stamping of climbing sticks.
Suspense before the sunrise
Plenty of hikers
Where one can buy hot beverage while waiting for the sunrise
Vending machine at the summit — only in Japan
Shelter at the summit where one can sit to defrost but you must buy hot meal such as curry rice or ramen
Beyond those ropes in the crater of Mount Fuji
Another snapshot of the crater yonder
Torii gate just before entering the temple at the summit
Having my stick (1/3 size of the climbing stick) stamped at the temple in the summit for sentimental purposes