31.05.2010 25 °C
After a 2 hour bus journey we arrived at Mount Fuji on a grey, wet Wednesday afternoon. We were situated in what initially appeared to be a small mountain town with very little activity and only a selection of stores and restaurants. That evening we got some dinner in and conversed with an older British couple who were working their way through Japan the opposite way to us. Although the trouser wearing wife liked the sound of her own voice, she gave us some quite useful information about our forthcoming locations. Afterwards we planned our assault on the mountain and decided that a prompt 8am start was the best way to concur Mount Fuji, although it is rare to hike up the entire thing in one day as most people get dropped halfway by bus and walk to the summit, we thought we`d give it a go because we`re young lads in our physical prime and we couldn't`t afford the fare.
The guests at the hostel were mainly form English speaking countries, Americans, Aussies and Brits formed the majority of residents. They were all friendly, approachable and willing to exchange travelling stories, back stories etc. The yanks tend to be my left favourable people to chat to or hear talking, everything is `oh my god` and it `it was the most amazingly awesome thing i`i`ve seen in my life.` Yea there are some pretty spectacular sites out here, but it`s not bloody willy wonka's chocolate factory is it? Their verbal diarrhea strung together with their ever popular conjunctive, filler and all together favourite word `like` does make you feel the urge to slip a strong sedative into their juice box, i`ll resist for now. Though that night one of them did make me laugh when I was getting some beers out of my bag and the guy rolled over dreary from just awakening and questioned in a high pitched strong Texan accent, `are those beeeeeeers!?` To which I merely replied `yes` and he rolled back over and back to sleep.
The next morning we set off in much better weather. As soon as we left the hostel you could see why people go out of their way to go from Tokyo to Mount Fuji. What was concealed by the dark skies the night before surrounded us in all it`s snow capped splendor. The Mountain engulfed the small town and revealed itself as a far more daunting, intimidating prospect than it had in the brochure the night before. After getting lost and asking multiple locals where the beginning of the walking route up was, we finally found it a couple of hours after leaving the hostel and began our climb. The track was easy to follow and we walked consistently at a medium-fast pace through the soaring trees. 4 hours later we had reached the 4th station and were feeling exhausted from the steep incline that ensued from the second station onwards. We decided 5 would be a good achievement and trooped on with slight altitude sickness setting in. We clambered to the 5th station, took some photos and i finished my lunch of 5 croissants, chocolate sticks and frog biscuits. Tasty stuff! As we set off back down the mountain the weather began to turn.
A few hours later we completed our back breaking day of exercise with a Big Mac each then headed back to the hostel in the rain. We gathered our things together in a hurry and walked in the dark to the bus station were we boarded the 8 hour night buts to Kyoto. ppppppppppppp