In the forest
Be aware that there might be animals and insects while you are in the forest, especially during the summer hot & humid days the mosquitoes are there in the bush waiting for you. Have a repellent with you. (Product tip on my packing list)
Traffic traffic traffic
Although I've been to Japan more than 10 times, this was my first driving experience near Tokyo. It turned out that we picked a holiday weekend for our Fuji adventure and we ended up spending a huge amount of time in traffic. It took 30 minutes longer than expected to make it out to the Mt. Fuji visitor center (1.5 hours was the expected time) but going home was even worse. I saw the signes that said it would take two hours to drive the 20 kilometers t the next exit, but I didn't believe I was reading the kanji right. Sadly, I was. We crawled at 10 km/hour with no chance at exiting. At that point, we decided to try our luck with the side roads, but they were choked even worse -- our detour was to no avail. Four hours later we straggled home, bleary-eyed and looking at only 5 hours of sleep before starting the next workday. Ugh!!
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Even though it maybe hot and humid in Tokyo. It will get cold when you are climbing up Fuji. Even at the 5th camp it may only be a bit chilly by the time you get to the top you will be extremely cold. Make sure your jacket is waterproof. It rained when I was going up and I was very thankful for it. We went up during Obon so expect a long slow climb because you are going at snails pace. Oh and was it worth it. Yip
Traffic jams at Hakone region
The roads at the Hakone region are only one lane per direction so this is a bit of the problem, especially when there are some road constructions or during peak hours of the day such as when tourists are going back to Hakone-yumoto town to take the trains back to Tokyo. Be prepared for traffic jams and factor this into your schedule to avoid disappointment. In order to avoid this, take other forms of transportation such as the Hakone Tozan Train but this is also very packed when the tourists are going back to Tokyo e.g. around 4pm.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Beware of Train Split
If you are taking the normal express train from Shinjuku station at Tokyo to either Odawara or Hakone-yumoto, please make sure you do not take the first four train cars because there is a train split along the journey and the first four train cars will go elsewhere and the rest of the train cars will go to Odawara and Hakone-yumoto. If you are not sure, check with the staff at the Odakyu Electric Railway counter at Shinjuku station where you buy the Hakone Freepass. As for the Romancecar, it is OK because the entire train goes from Shinjuku to Odawara and Hakone-yumoto.
- Family Travel
Mt. Fuji is an Active Volcano!
Seeing Mt. Fuji up close is a breathtaking experience, especially since it is still an active volcano and will probably erupt sometime in the next century. As there is no snow on the top, this only added to my adrenaline rush the closer I got to the peak of Mt. Fuji. I asked a local and he said that there has been no snow on the top of Mt. Fuji for years and that the ground at the top was too hot. In my mind I have always known of a snow-topped Mt. Fuji from the famous Japanese painter Hokusai in his 36 views of Mt. Fuji. But he was from the nineteenth century and I guess things have changed since then. I tried to go to the very top, but I was advised against climbing the face. Fortunately I wasn't too worried about getting hurt because modern science can 'usually' predict a volcanic eruption within a matter of weeks. If Mt. Fuji were to explode, tourism to the mountain would probably be stopped well before the event happened.
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
MT. FUJI CLIMBING INFO: City.FujiYoshida.Yamanashi.jp.
JAPAN TRAVEL BUREAU:
JAPAN RAIL PASS:
JAPAN GUIDEBOOK IN ENGLISH:
The steam in the...
The steam in the boiling-valley can be horrific stench, because of the sulfer in the soil. So people that are sensitive for bad smells should be aware of this fact.