Yoshida? Subashiri? In-Depth Guide to Mount Fuji's Routes

Mount Fuji, standing majestically at 3,776 meters, is not just Japan's highest mountain, but also a symbol that has captivated the hearts of artists, poets, and adventurers for centuries. Its near-perfect symmetrical cone, often capped with snow, has become an iconic image of Japan.

However, Mount Fuji is not just for admiring from a distance. Every year, thousands of people, from seasoned mountaineers to enthusiastic novices, embark on the journey to its summit. If you're considering joining their ranks, this comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about the different routes, their unique features, and how to prepare for this unforgettable adventure.

The Routes to Mt.Fuji's Top

There are four main routes to reach the summit of Mount Fuji: Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya. Each route has its own distinct characteristics, challenges, and charm.

The Yoshida Route

The Yoshida route is the most popular among climbers, and for good reason. It offers a well-balanced mix of accessibility, facilities, and natural beauty. Starting from the fifth station on the Fuji Subaru Line, the trail is relatively gentle at the beginning, meandering through low alpine shrubs and volcanic rocks. As you ascend, the path becomes steeper and the air thinner, but the sight of the rising sun from the summit makes every step worth it. The descent follows a different path, allowing you to take in a varied landscape.


Mountain Huts on Yoshida Trail:

Trail Hut Name Altitude (meters) Altitude (feet)
Yoshida Trail Fuji-san Hotel (富士山ホテル) 2305 7562
Yoshida Trail Horaikan (宝来館) 2350 7710
Yoshida Trail Toyokan (東洋館) 2450 8038
Yoshida Trail Fujisan Hotel (富士山ホテル) 2500 8202
Yoshida Trail Tomoekan (友栄館) 2700 8858
Yoshida Trail Gansomuro (岩尊室) 2750 9022

The Subashiri Route

The Subashiri route is known for its scenic beauty. The trail begins in a lush forest, offering a cool respite before the landscape changes to volcanic sands, known as "sunabashiri," which climbers can slide down on their descent. The trail merges with the Yoshida route around the eighth station, so the final ascent and the descent are the same as the Yoshida route. The Subashiri route offers a quieter climbing experience, making it a favorite among nature lovers.

Subashiri Trail photo taken by Love-Trails!

Subashiri Trail photo taken by Love-Trails!

Mountain Huts on Subashiri Trail:

Mountain Hut Altitude (meters) Altitude (feet)
Motoyoshi Hut 2000 6562
Edoya 2400 7874
Nanagome Tomoekan 2700 8858
Hachigome Goraikoukan 3050 10007
Kyugome Tomoekan 3150 10335
Ue-Edoya 3400 11155

The Gotemba Route

The Gotemba route is the longest and least crowded of the four main routes. It's recommended for experienced climbers looking for a challenge or those who prefer solitude. The route starts from the lowest fifth station, which means a longer climb, but it also offers a quieter experience and more diverse scenery. The descent via the Gotemba route is a unique experience, as you slide down a vast field of volcanic sand.

Mountain Huts on Gotemba Trail:

Mountain Hut Altitude (meters) Altitude (feet)
Nanagome Hut 2700 8858
Hachigome Hut 3050 10007

The Fujinomiya Route

The Fujinomiya route is the shortest to the summit but also the steepest. It's the only route that approaches the mountain from the south and offers unique southern views. The fifth station, where the trail starts, is easily accessible by bus from Shin-Fuji Station. Despite its steepness, the Fujinomiya route is well-maintained and has plenty of mountain huts, making it a popular choice among climbers.

Fujinomiya Trail:

Mountain Hut Altitude (meters) Altitude (feet)
Fujisan Hotel 2400 7874
Taishikan 2450 8038
Horaikan 2750 9022
Goraikoukan 3050 10007
Tomoekan 3150 10335
Hoeikan 3250 10663
Mannenyuki 3400 11155

Essential Gear for Climbing Mount Fuji

Regardless of the route you choose, proper gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable climb. This includes sturdy hiking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, a headlamp for the night-time ascent, enough food and water, and a small first-aidkit. Don't forget to bring a camera to capture the breathtaking views!

Best Time to Climb Mount Fuji

The official climbing season for Mount Fuji is from early July to early September. During this time, the mountain huts are open, and the weather is relatively mild. However, the mountain can be crowded, especially during the Obon week in mid-August. Off-season climbing is strongly discouraged due to harsh weather conditions and the absence of support facilities.

Preserving the Environment

Mount Fuji is not only a popular climbing destination but also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Climbers are encouraged to respect the mountain's natural and cultural significance by following the principles of Leave No Trace: carry out all trash, stay on the trail, and avoid making loud noises.

Health and Safety

Climbing Mount Fuji is a physically demanding activity, and altitude sickness can be a concern. It's important to ascend slowly, stay hydrated, and rest when needed. If you feel unwell, don't hesitate to descend or seek help from the staff at the mountain huts.

Enjoy the Journey

Finally, remember that climbing Mount Fuji is about the journey as much as the destination. Take the time to appreciate the unique flora and fauna, the camaraderie among climbers, and the stunning views that change with every step. Whether you reach the summit or not, the experience of climbing Mount Fuji is sure to be a memorable one.


Climbing Mount Fuji is a rewarding experience that requires careful preparation. By understanding the characteristics of each route and equipping yourself properly, you can make the most of this adventure. Whether you reach the summit or not, the journey itself, with its physical challenges and stunning views, is sure to be unforgettable. Happy climbing!