Mount Fuji, towering over 12 thousand feet, is both a symbol of Japan and a UNESCO World Heritage site, making a visit almost obligatory if you are in the neighborhood. It’s worth the trip.
Only about 60 miles from Tokyo, getting there will still take about 2 hours in traffic. According to my Japanese tour guide, Fuji is the fourth highest peak not in a range. There are 10 “stations,” or stopping points, to the top. Usually the 5th station is always open, except in typhoons. Beyond that, you have to check with the park ranger. You can only drive to the 5th station. Further up is accessible only by trekking, about 6 hours to the top from station 5. Depending on the season, there can be up to 2000 people climbing the mountain. The paths are well-groomed, but the climb is challenging. There are actually four 5th stations on different sides of the mountain. Altitude sickness is the most common ailment among climbers as the oxygen level gets very low as you ascend.