Fuji-san 2018

by kenji SAITO on July 18, 2018

Hiking Fuji-no-Takane 2018

We returned to Japan’s iconic symbol after a year’s hiatus due to Mari’s recent development of rheumatoid arthritis which had derailed our annual pilgrimage to Fuji-san. But thanks to medication, physical therapy and sporadic hikes to Makapu’u Lighthouse; Mari was ready to climb Fuji again this year. Monitoring the weather score cards for Fuji before our hike date, they fluctuated daily from A to C to A. Just throw a lava rock and get the same results. Guy Hagi is alive and well in Japan.

5th Station

5th Station

Japan was experiencing her hottest summer ever when we boarded the hour long Shinkansen bullet train that took us away from sweltering Shinjuku to hot and humid Fuji City, where the ear-piercing racket of the semis aka cicadas aka the sounds of summer as it is more affectionately known, greeted us at the train station. We caught the 90-minute bus ride that brought us to the highest of the 5th stations that make up the Fuji trail system, as there are four different trails to get to the top. A marked contrast from our last visit in 2016, where we started from the lowest 5th station. After acclimating to the mountain air for the recommended 45 minutes by drinking soda and paying 1000 yen apiece to support the Fuji conservation efforts, we made our way to the trailhead.

Trailhead

Trailhead

Pushing off at 11:36am at an elevation of 7,874′. We were already pretty high up on the mountain. One day I would like to do a sea to summit hike to Fuji. Mari said she will pass.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Starting at the higher elevation meant we had less miles of volcanic terrain to hike up to the summit.

6th Station

6th Station

Mari approaching the first of seven huts or stations on this particular trail.

Unkai-so and Hoei-sanso

Unkai-so and Hoei-sanso

Two huts for the price of one. Just like a BOGO sale! Well, maybe not quite.

Money pit

Money pit

Dropping 200 yen or roughly two bucks for one of seven stamps on my hiking stick. Can I get two stamps for the price of one? The mark(s) of a tourist hiker.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Leaving the huts and continuing our rocky climb on the third trail in the system.

Volcanic flora

Volcanic flora

Stopping to admire the colorful Japanese knotweed plant growing at the lower elevations.

First Aid

First Aid

Mari being niele (nosy) while passing paramedics administering care to a Chinese hiker that hurt her arm and who were still looking for an Australian hiker that fell off the trail.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Climbing carefully on the trail to avoid injuring an arm or falling off.

Volcanic flora

Volcanic flora

Life always finds way to exist in even the most seemingly inhospitable environments.

Goraiko-sanso

Goraiko-sanso

Arriving at the 7th station. The old station that is. I like to think of these huts as similar to Starbucks coffee shops; a place to sit, grab free wi-fi and pay for overpriced drinks and snacks.

Got views?

Got views?

While the swirling clouds robbed the views from us, at least it kept us from overheating on the trail.

New 7th Station

New 7th Station

Sign posts to guide and keep track of your hike in terms of distance and estimated time. Your mileage may vary.

Closed trail

Closed trail

Excuse me, I think the trail is over on this side. I guess there is no such thing as universal signage.

Tonka Toy Truck

Tonka Toy Truck

This is how supplies, garbage, workers and sick people get on and off the mountain. Hope we don’t fall into any of those categories.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Exchanging greetings of konnichiwa ( hello ) on the trail with other hikers coming and going.

Follow the arrows

Follow the arrows

Workers replacing the ropes on the trail. Constant upkeep. Keep on donating 1,000 yen.

Old 7th Station

Old 7th Station

Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t the old station be before the new station?

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Hiking above the clouds never gets old.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

We were hiking at well over 10,000′ and the air was still comfortably warm enough to do without any jackets, just like our last visit in 2015.

8th Station

8th Station

Every trail has a medical station to assist hikers dealing with the common complaint of altitude sickness. Thanks to canned oxygen and tablets, we were doing fine and continued on the trail.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Passing through heavy duty barricades that protects against frequent rockfalls.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

The trail being on the other side of the mountain, is the only one that offers views of the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. Unfortunately, the only blue we saw today, was that of the sky.

Wishing Pole

Wishing Pole

We left our low denomination coins and took promising wishes with us.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Looking ahead to our hut for the night as we still had plenty of daylight to spare.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Mari was pacing herself on the hike. 20 paces. Rest. 30 paces. Rest. Repeat until you get to your destination.

9th Station

9th Station

We arrived at 4:52pm where the air was calm and the altitude was a little over 11,350′. Just in time for dinner.

Mannenyuki-sanso

Mannenyuki-sanso

Our hut for the night. Reservations for Saito?

Hut Sweet Hut

Hut Sweet Hut

We checked in and were shown our “room” for the night. $65 on the mountain gets you a sleeping bag, curry dinner and two cups of hot green tea. Nothing more. Nothing less. Outside temperature was a comfortable 59 degree Fahrenheit. The winds picked up slightly later on, but not enough to give one a chill.

Sunset

Sunset

Enjoying the pinkish sunset views, until the air temperature finally dropped and forced us back into the hut and our musty sleeping bags.

Sunrise

Sunrise

We decided to sleep in and miss the traditional sunrise hike at 2am to the summit and just catch the sunrise from the hut in the morning. One slight problem with that, as we found the sun rises on the other side of the mountain. Mari was content to sit outside our hut, due to her pounding headache, so I slippered my way around the bend to catch the rising sun at 4:30am.

Ohayo Gozaimasu

Ohayo Gozaimasu

Walking back to the hut in the cool, crisp mountain air. Ohayo Gozaimasu (Good Morning).

Torii

Torii

Mari still had her pounding headache due to the thin air and was thinking of ditching the summit hike and just going back down. Luckily Ibuprofen and persistence paid off, so we were back on the trail at 5:58am.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Descending hikers are supposed to yield to the ascending hikers, but I don’t think everybody got the memo.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

The skies were strikingly blue this morning as we dealt with the traffic jam on the trail. Sunrise hikers have to deal with worse, borderline gridlock traffic on the trail.

Munatsuki-sanso

Munatsuki-sanso

Last hut on the trail before the summit.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

The air was quite thin at this point, so Mari’s pleading to get down didn’t travel well to my ears.

Harlequin Ladybird

Harlequin Ladybird

I guess this brightly colored beetle was making her way down from the summit. Konnichiwa.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Rock by rock, we made our way up the increasingly steep trail.

Fujinomiya Trail

Fujinomiya Trail

Mari started saying “maji?” (seriously?) more frequently, as the trail became even steeper as we approached the top.

Fuji Summit

Fuji Summit

We arrived at the Torii gate at 8:15am, which marks the gateway to the summit of Fuji. Fools five times! Congratulations to Mari for pushing through and making it despite her doubts. Mind over matter.

Cry me a river

Cry me a river

The summit weather at 12,388′ elevation was a marked departure from our first visit in 2013, where we experienced a storm pounding the top. The air was comfortably cool and the wind noticeably absent. The perfect (non) storm to climb to the highest point, Kengamine Peak. Unfortunately, the climb had taken the wind out of Mari’s sails, as she had to save her energy for the hike back down.

Fuji crater

Fuji crater

Trying not to get too close to the 820′ deep crater that still had snow sitting at the bottom, but a lot less as compared to our last visit in 2014.

Okumiya Shrine

Okumiya Shrine

We dropped off postcards at the highest post office in the land and got the final stamp on my hiking stick at the shrine. Mari forgot to add a 10 yen stamp to one of the postcards. Luckily, the postal worker found us and let us know that postage was due.

Fuji Summit

Fuji Summit

After we had corrected our postage due problem, we started to make our way to the Yoshida trailhead.

Fuji Summit

Fuji Summit

Giving the maw of the crater a wide berth, as even though the last eruption occurred in 1707, Fuji is still considered an active volcano. Fuji is actually three volcanos in one; Komitake at the bottom, Kofuji in the middle and Fuji at the top. So we can say we hiked three volcanos for the price of one!

Fuji Summit

Fuji Summit

This section of the trail was quite empty, as we had the clouds to keep us company.

Fuji Summit

Fuji Summit

Descending down to the cluster of huts where hikers gather to watch the sunrise pop up, eat, rest, socialize, and use the bathrooms. Not necessarily in that order.

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

Thanks to the excellent weather we were enjoying; we decided to sit outside, soak in the views and have hot miso soup for breakfast.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

We left the summit at 9:50am going down the cloud soaked Yoshida trail.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

Making our way down the countless switchbacks.

Thumbs down

Thumbs down

I take it that hitchhiking is not big in Japan.

Global Warming

Global Warming

Not enough to make a snowman, just enough for a couple shave ices.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

The rolling clouds seemed to be slowly chasing us down the mountain.

Morning call

Morning call

A small bird, called awahibari, darted through the blue sky and alighted on a rock, chirped and flew off.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

Leaving behind the cluster of huts as we hit another set of switch backs going down.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

Intermittent signage and maps on the trail keeps one on track.

Bathroom break

Bathroom break

Most hikers took this opportunity to “lighten the load.”

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

Puffs of volcanic dust followed the steady stream of hikers going down the switch backs. Just like the Pigpen character in Peanuts.

Bi-lingual

Bi-lingual

Warning signs to use the shelter does not seem to work in the native and foreign tongue.

Walk or ride?

Walk or ride?

I told Mari that she could take the horse ride back down the trail and take a load off her sore feet, but like a trooper, she said she would walk it out the whole way.

Flora

Flora

Stopping and smelling the pink flowers on the trail.

Field trip

Field trip

Yielding to some pint sized hikers. They sure start them young in Japan.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

Mari pining to go back and enjoy Fuji for another day.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

The horse ride going back down was getting cheaper and smaller.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

So many arrows pointing too so many trails. Which one to follow? Just go straight.

Yoshida Trail

Yoshida Trail

The long and boring walk back to the 5th station. Are those horses still available?

5th Station

5th Station

We finished our hike at 1:30pm as we jostled and joined the crushing mass of humanity at the popular Kawaguchiko 5th station.

Post-hike meal

Post-hike meal

After securing our bus ride back to Shinjuku; we ate Japanese spaghetti, pork bowl and lingoberry ice cream to replenish our caloric deficit. Pass on the spaghetti. Keep the Coca-Cola flowing.

All pau

All pau

Our last photo with Mount Fuji in the background before the rolling clouds blotted her out. We soon boarded the two hour bus ride back to our hotel, showered and had some cheap and tasty ramen for dinner.

GPS Tracks

GPS Tracks

We were blessed with excellent weather, albeit cloudy views, on our two day hike that covered 8.2 miles hiking the world’s most climbed mountain. Hats off again to Mari for completing the entire hike.

Postscript

Postscript

Mari filling in the other eye on the Daruma, as the first eye was her wish to be able to summit Fuji-san again. Time to get another Daruma for next years trail. A little background on the Daruma doll. They are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck. When purchased, both eyes are blank white. The user will set a goal and paint in one of the eyes. Once the goal has been completed, the other eye is filled in.

Note: I have been made aware that some hikers have been using my blog as a hiking guide and getting lost on the trails. Please note that this blog was made to document the hike for the crew(s) that did it. That is why some of my comments will seem to have no relevance or meaning to anybody outside of the crew(s) that hiked that trail. My blog was never meant as a hiking guide, so please do not treat it as such. If you find inspiration and entertainment from these hikes, that is more than enough. If you plan on replicating these hikes, do so in the knowledge that you should do your own research accordingly as trail conditions, access, legalities and so forth are constantly in flux. What was current today is most likely yesterdays news. Please be prepared to accept any risks and responsibilities on your own as you should know your own limitations, experience and abilities before you even set foot on a trail, as even the “simplest” or “easiest” of trails can present potential pitfalls for even the most “experienced” hikers.

Leave a Comment

{ 147 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris September 13, 2018 at 8:53 am

Wow! Awesome hike with sunrise and a view!
Nicely done Kenji and Mari

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 9:06 am

Aloha CC,
Thanks dude!
Mahalo

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Emily September 13, 2018 at 9:00 am

This is incredible! Your adventures are always so well documented and funny, informative. Congrats esp. to Mari who pushed through. Mind over matter !!! On my bucket list :)

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 9:07 am

Aloha Emily,
Thanks! You should join us next year.
Mahalo

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Everett Peacock September 13, 2018 at 9:52 am

Looks like fun, and a lot of hard work! What’s your favorite food or snack that you eat at the summit?

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 10:54 am

Aloha EP,
Thanks, yes sweat and tears going up. I like to eat hot miso soup which warms you up at the usually cool summit. Other than that, the ole standby – ice cold Coke. Seems life is treating you well in Maui.
Mahalo

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Nani September 13, 2018 at 9:52 am

Congratulations! That is quite a feat! I hope to summit Nt Fuji one day! Keep on trekking!

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 10:55 am

Aloha Nani,
Thanks, hope to get out to the rockies one day as well!
Mahalo

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Olivier September 13, 2018 at 10:00 am

Awesome adventure Kenji and Mari! Mt Fuji looks amazing, I would love to go one day, I dont know why I like Japanese culture so much, maybe cause since I was a kid I always watched japanese anime on tv, even to this day I still do (my wife laughs at me)! Lol… The Daruma doll is so cool! I didn’t know about it. Wondering if you had one for the KST? Lol…

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 10:57 am

Aloha Olivier,
Thanks. Well, if you like their culture so much, you have to go to the source! That’s funny about the anime, seems there are a lot of fans out there. Yeah maybe I need to get a doll for the KST and WST. LOL.
Mahalo

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Annfai808 September 13, 2018 at 10:12 am

Wow!!!!! Awesome hike, incredible views. And Greatjob mari!! ????????????????????????
Keep on hiking.. ????

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Annfai808 September 13, 2018 at 10:23 am

And 3x higher than kaala mt.. and u guys fast!! Ur amazing Mari..

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 10:58 am

Aloha Anne,
Thanks. No we were going slow due to the thin air and Mari taking it easy, but glad she made it! Too bad didn’t have oxtail soup at the top!
Mahalo

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Jasmin Nepomuceno September 13, 2018 at 10:44 am

Hi Kenji & Mari,
I always love your blog Kenji!. Congratulation to Mari!!! You made it Yay!!! I am so happy to see her doing this hike. I hope one day I can to do it too. Much Mahalo for sharing and enjoyed every moment reading this blog and keep it up Kenji!

Aloha,
Jaz

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 11:00 am

Aloha Jaz,
Thanks! You should come with us next year as that will be the 4th and final trail that we can experience on Fuji.
Mahalo

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Jasmin Nepomuceno September 13, 2018 at 11:48 am

Sure! Let me know ahead so I can take off work.

Aloha,
Jaz

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Kelly September 13, 2018 at 11:55 am

Awesome pics! I hope you get better soon Mari! Junko and I have never hiked Mt. Fuji and you folks make it look like so much fun. Hope you see you folks soon! :-)

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Aloha Kelly,
Thanks. We should make it a fun group hike and do Mount Fuji together next year!
Mahalo

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Dale Yoshizu September 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Wow! Too good! Your wife is a tough hiker like you! I hope to do that hike one day. Is it humid like here where you need a lot of water? Heard Mt. Fujii is in clouds lot of time. When I go I want to take a picture from the distance to get that iconic photo.

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Aloha Dale,
Thanks. You should go climb Fuji or if you want, come with us next year as well! It’s usually a little humid in the beginning but soon starts to cool off as you get higher. Yes, the weather is hit or miss when it comes to viewing the sunrise and conditions in general.
Mahalo

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You September 13, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Awesome job. Keep up the good work !!
Thanks for sharing!!

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Aloha You (Yoly),
Thanks, I had to check the email to figure out who you is? LOL. Take care.
Mahalo

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Kirk September 13, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Congrats Kikaida & Mari on your fifth successful hike up Fuji-san! The closest I think I’ll ever get to Mt. Fuji’s summit is while visiting the Gotemba Premium Outlets!

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 8:28 pm

Aloha Kirk,
Thanks! You might get closer when you find out that Kikaida and gang live at the top of Fuji! :)
Mahalo

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Brandon September 13, 2018 at 7:56 pm

Way to push through, Mari! My wife just recently got out of the hospital after 43 days and a very rough labor and delivery. We had to push her up the Lighthouse trail in a wheel chair so she could be part of my re enlistment. Set your mind to something and you can accomplish anything!

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Aloha Brandon,
Thanks. Wow, hope your wife and new family are feeling much better. Congrats on your kid and re-enlistment.
Mahalo

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Oly Vert September 13, 2018 at 9:10 pm

Loved seeing these pics of you and Mari’s Fuji adventure! It must be tough hiking at that altitude! Good job! Very interesting to see the varying terrain and different elevations. I can only hope to one day experience this hike. Thank you for sharing and Happy Trails!

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kenji SAITO September 13, 2018 at 9:20 pm

Aloha Janell,
Thanks. The air is a little thin but manageable, as there are canned air and oxygen tablets to help you deal with that if you need it. I’m sure you’ll be on this mountain one day!
Mahalo

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Clayton Takemoto, Jr. September 13, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Wow, I truly enjoyed reading this international hiking adventure. Great job to you both and especially to Mari for persevering and conquering Fuji! I really enjoy seeing when you two do hikes. Power couple! ????????

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kenji SAITO September 14, 2018 at 5:53 am

Aloha Clayton,
Thanks. Haha, I don’t know about a power couple, but glad that Mari did get to see it through the end.
Mahalo

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Robin September 14, 2018 at 6:43 am

I’m so jellous I want to climb Fujisan one day too! I’ve only been to Japan once and I loved it! Well Done! ????

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kenji SAITO September 14, 2018 at 8:47 am

Aloha Robin
Thanks. I’m sure you’ll make it back there one day! Just fit it into your world travels :)
Mahalo

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Stuart September 17, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Hey congratulations you two! That hike is no joke. My fiance and I just finished the Yoshida Trail this year and going down that left me with some bruised toenails. I had no idea how many huts there were up there and hope to follow in your footsteps by spending the night, going up and down in one day is no bueno. I didn’t know about the Daruma doll and am sad I missed a chance to grab one, but the wood tag we get as a souvenir was cool.

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kenji SAITO September 18, 2018 at 6:06 am

Aloha Stuart,
Thanks! Yup maybe you and Mitzi can do the summit sunrise for your wedding hike! I must’ve missed the wood tag, got the standard hiking stick as a souvenir.
Mahalo

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Stuart September 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Good idea :)

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Matt Vidaurri September 21, 2018 at 7:58 pm

Great Job you guys! Even more proud of you Mari for persevering despite RA and having altitude sickness. I showed my wife Alma and she wants to do it now. Great Job at summiting and we will be praying for you. The quarters look crammed and hard….but I told Alma thats how it is in Japan

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kenji SAITO September 22, 2018 at 11:42 pm

Aloha Matt,
Thanks, it was a big goal for her to climb Fuji again this year. You guys should do it as well!
Mahalo

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Andy September 22, 2018 at 8:28 am

Awesome job Mari, congrats on dragging Kenji all the way to the top! I wasn’t sure he was going to make this one, but it looks like your constant words of encouragement lit a fire under his derriere.

P.S. Don’t forget to hop on one foot with your eyes closed next time.

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kenji SAITO September 22, 2018 at 11:46 pm

Aloha Andy,
Thanks. Yes it was hard, but after kicking and screaming, she got me to the top. Hopping and closing our eyes are not allowed in Japan. Only in Hawaii.
Mahalo

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Ben September 23, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Can’t wait to go to Fuji! Well done Mari and Kenji!! Stoked to try someday!

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kenji SAITO September 23, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Aloha Ben,
Thanks! I’m sure you ‘ll find yourself up there one day! Ditch the 4 man tent tho!
Mahalo

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Analyn Alcaide September 23, 2018 at 9:50 pm

Whoa that’s an incredible achievement! So happy and proud to you both for your magnificent adventure?????????????????????????????????? Awesomeness!!!

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kenji SAITO September 24, 2018 at 5:18 am

Aloha Analyn,
Thanks! Next time you go there, you should climb Fuji!
Mahalo

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Jayson Fujimoto September 24, 2018 at 11:49 am

I seen MT. Fuji from a distance on a clear day from the Keigo Plaza Hotel in Tokyo. Looking at your pictures, I didn’t realize that you could hike Fuji-San. Maybe one days we’ll visit the base of Fuji-San. I’m not a hiker but would like to say that I did visit there. We were in Kamakura in June, since it was raining we didn’t get to see Mt. Fuji. Thanks for sharing.

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kenji SAITO September 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Aloha Jayson,
Thanks. Yes it’s the most climbed mountain in the world based on visitor stats. When you retire, just take the family up there! You should, heck, your last name says it all. It’s destiny!
Mahalo

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Shirley September 24, 2018 at 6:25 pm

Wow wow wow!!! I really enjoyed looking at all the pics and I loved the background story on the Daruma doll. Kudos to Mari for another successful hike up Fuji-san! wow i would love to do this one day! Where can I buy the Daruma doll??? Thank you for this wonderful blog!

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kenji SAITO September 24, 2018 at 7:29 pm

Aloha Shirley,
Thanks! Do it next year when the climbing season opens which is July – August. I believe you can buy those daruma dolls at most Japanese stores, maybe like Marukai?
Mahalo

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Barry September 24, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Awesome hike and write up. I was hoping to hike Mt. Fuji too and was considering doing it by myself. After reading your blog and seeing the pictures, I’ll probably try and find someone to go with me.

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kenji SAITO September 24, 2018 at 8:06 pm

Aloha Barry,
Thanks. It’s doable solo, but it’s always more fun with company.
Mahalo

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Cynthia Wolarey September 25, 2018 at 9:07 am

How lucky to hike this summit,when I was lil girl I made a puzzle of Mount Fuji,it’s a dream come true if you reach this summit.its in my bucket list.thank you for sharing the beautiful view of japan.they have a good food ramen and nice people that leave there.i wish I can hike there kenji and Mari.??????????

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kenji SAITO September 25, 2018 at 10:33 am

Aloha Cynthia,
Thanks. Yes you can hike there and complete the puzzle so to speak!
Mahalo

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Anites September 25, 2018 at 9:15 am

Way to go guys, especially Mari. Great job and what a trooper! Awesome views especially the sunset and the sunrise!

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kenji SAITO September 25, 2018 at 10:35 am

Aloha Ani,
Thanks. Yes the views were great and the weather was even more kind to us on the hike.
Mahalo

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James crabb September 25, 2018 at 10:26 am

Wow what a awesome accomplishment! That’s great your wife
Did it with you ! I wish my girlfriend could hike with me !
Great Job Mari . Love the photos and commentary , hopefully
I get to do Mt. Fuji one day ! Reading about your adventure
Makes me want to do it even more!

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kenji SAITO September 25, 2018 at 10:36 am

Aloha James,
Thanks. I’m sure persistence and bribes will drag Maureen to Fuji with you!
Mahalo

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cisco September 25, 2018 at 2:27 pm

Nice adventure to the summit, wow great views…hopefully one day i get to go there

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kenji SAITO September 25, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Aloha Cisco,
Thanks. Yup, I’m sure you’ll make it up there one day.
Mahalo

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Mia September 25, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Wow!!!! As I was reading and looking at all the pictures, I feel like I was part of you guys journey going up Mt.Fuji! I hope one day to hike that mountain too! Your wife was amazing! Good job Mari!!!

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kenji SAITO September 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm

Aloha Mia,
Thanks! Take Lee and Agnes with you, I’m sure it’ll be a riot going up Fuji.
Mahalo

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Owen September 25, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Truly amazing! Such great weather and epic photos! Awesome job Mari, we all know how tough it is to keep up with Kenji. This trip of yours is inspiring me and my family to try and do what you did.

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kenji SAITO September 26, 2018 at 12:17 am

Aloha Owen,
Thank you. Yes we were blessed with overall good weather on our hike. You guys can do it!
Mahalo

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Lopaka September 25, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Dang so awesome!!! This is definitely on my bucket list and now even more I wanna go. Awesome pics Kenji!!!

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kenji SAITO September 26, 2018 at 12:20 am

Aloha Lopaka,
Thanks. I’m sure you’ll check it off soon from your list.
Mahalo

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John Garrity September 25, 2018 at 8:37 pm

Amazing pics mon ami! My braddah! It’s been too long since I was in Fuji’s signts. Wish I could have met you there. At least was happy to do a little hiking in Sri Lanka. Now at home in DC trying to prepare laser brain surgery….hiking of the inner mind.

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kenji SAITO September 26, 2018 at 12:23 am

Aloha John,
Arigatou gozaimasu. Yes too bad that we couldn’t have met up in Japan. Good luck on your surgery and hope to meet again soon!
Mahalo

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David Lindenberg September 26, 2018 at 3:24 am

Kenji, please tell her that I think she is ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING!!! What an INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT!!!

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kenji SAITO September 26, 2018 at 5:52 am

Aloha Dave,
Thanks, will do. Hope you are doing well!
Mahalo

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Daryl September 26, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Wow! When hiking is life. She’s a beast hiker just like you kenji. Kudddosss to your wife ????It’s one of my bucket list, hoping to climb that one day.

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 5:20 am

Aloha Daryl,
Thanks and my wife thanks you. I’m sure you’ll find yourself up there one day!
Mahalo

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Lee September 26, 2018 at 7:59 pm

I added Mt. Fuji in my bucketlist eversince I started hiking in Hawaii..this is such an awesome adventure..you guys are so lucky with the sunrise ans clear view..congratulations Mari despite the obstacles,you still pushed through and made it!!such an isnpiration..

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 5:23 am

Aloha Lee,
Thanks and yes we got lucky again with the views, sometimes it a hit or miss, just like the weather on the KST. Yes she was like the little engine that could.
Mahalo

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Jen September 26, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Wow! Awesome job, Mari, for pushing through and accomplishing your goal! I really enjoyed reading this post, Kenji! What an incredible adventure!

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 5:26 am

Aloha Jen,
Thanks, yup kudos to her for pushing through to the finish line.
Mahalo

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Nandor September 27, 2018 at 3:07 pm

That looks awesome! Mt Fuji is on my “to do list”, and hopefully I can take my girlfriend with me. I am wondering how difficult is this hike Mary? Maybe now that she sees that you did it with Kenji I can convince her :)
Nice pictures and write up by the way!

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Aloha Nandor,
Thanks. The hike is not difficult as it switchbacks up most of the way, there are some steep climbing sections but doable, the only factor for some people is altitude sickness. You two should definitely go!
Mahalo

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Frank September 27, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Dude this place looks amazing! Next time I’ll be the third wheel. Looks like tons of fun.

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Aloha Frank,
Thanks, yes you are more than welcome to be the third wheel anytime!
Mahalo

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Ferlino Carinio September 27, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Wow so awesome! It was June when we went and Mt. Fuji was closed due to storm in that area. You are so lucky. Kenji has so much patience and kindness and we’re sure both of you had a great time. So proud of your Mrs. For her toughness and strength. Congratulations for having such beautiful hike. Hopefully my wife and I can also do that hike one day.

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Aloha Ferlino,
Thanks! Yes she was really happy at summiting Fuji for the 5th time despite her misgivings which were unfounded. I’m sure you and Jasmin will do it soon one day!
Mahalo

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JuzzY September 27, 2018 at 6:46 pm

AweMazinG teamwork. Great job Mari & Congratulations on your 5th summit. This is truly an inspirational couples hiking adventure. And Kenji, a true gentleman all the way… demonstrating patience & concern for the well being of your wife & moral support jus awesome. Love reading your blogs….it’s like being there and seeing it all too. Hmmmm maybe das y I “lazy”!!! I get front row seat here & no sore feeetss!!???? But keep on Venturing… ????

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Aloha JuzzY,
Thanks, Haha I don’t know about being a gentleman and all, but glad that she made it to the top. You should try it one day!
Mahalo

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Robert September 27, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Always inspiring to see the beautiful sights that make up Fujiyama. Being in touch with nature is so cleansing for the soul. Mari-chan you did awesome overcoming your own mountains to reach the summit. Also able to knock off your Daruma-san goals along with it. Keep moving and fighting hard. Looking forward to seeing you guys again.

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 7:32 pm

Aloha Robert,
Thanks! Yes she conquered her mountain for another mountain. Good analogy! See you guys soon!
Mahalo

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Andy seigle September 27, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Wow!! Congratulations, I’m sure that was not easy to do. Especially knowing how my last hike with you went????. Looks like you guys broke it up and took in the scenery. You made it look easy but that is not enough to persuade me on another adventure. My wife and I did do the light house this year. Maybe we can go on something light that! Take care you guys God Bless

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 8:14 pm

Aloha Andy,
Thanks. Yes the lighthouse is my wife’s training grounds! Yes let’s do a light hiking day, only 8 hours! Instead of the usual 10-12!
Mahalo

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Dan Eidson September 27, 2018 at 9:12 pm

Loved your blog on Mt. Fuji Mari. Kenji is a great guy. I used to work with him in Honolulu at ARINC. Great photos and informative knowledge about the famous Mt. Fuji. It is good you were able to get through the challenge of the hike. Looked like quite a bit loose rock. So impressive they way they have trails set up. It would be a journey I would sure never forget. Take care and mahalo for sharing it all with me. Aloha…..(me ke aloha pau oli (love and good wishes without end,)

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kenji SAITO September 27, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Aloha Danny,
Thanks. Yes there were sections of loose rock, but the trails for the most part are maintained and quite safe. Hopefully you will find yourself there one day.
Mahalo

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Steve Lin September 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Fun reading! Kenji ???? I’ve never been to Japan, but let me see if I got it right.
Looks like you covered 2 of the 4 routes?
Ascended from ????,???
Stayed at ???, ?????
Descended ????

Too extreme for me! I probably won’t make it! ???? It’s too high! I will get bad headaches like when I was on top of the mauna kea…

You are doing it every year?!
Isn’t there a Japanese saying, “A wise man climbs Fuji once. Only a fool climbs it twice.”??!

Where would that put you?… A romantic?????

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kenji SAITO September 28, 2018 at 5:10 am

Aloha Steve,
Thanks. Let’s see; we ascended from Fujinomiya Trail, stayed at manneyuki-sanso hut and came down the Yoshida trail. Nah you can make it, they sell canned air and oxygen tablets to deal with the thin air. Yes we do it almost every year, that will make us foolish romantics!
Mahalo

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valentin September 28, 2018 at 6:24 am

Awesome hike!.Congrats Kenji and Mari you guys did it again!.Mt.Fuji is surely one of the trail i wanna do one day if I go to Japan.that sunset view and that sunrise is beautiful!awesome blog and awesome adventure you guys!

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kenji SAITO September 28, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Aloha Pip,
Thanks! Yup hiking up that mountain and seeing the sun rise and set makes it all worthwhile.
Mahalo

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Masako September 28, 2018 at 11:11 pm

Awesome!
And congratulations both Kenji-san and especially Mari-san!!
I am so admired that you completed climbing even you got pounding headache because of thin air!!!
Kenji-san, your wife is very strong woman!! :D
Awww…your blog makes me want to climb Mt. Fuji as soon as possible, but have to wait til next summer…
Make sure to let me know when will you two go next year in advance, so I can join!!!
I can’t wait to have hot Sake at the hut and watching spectacular sunrise!!!
Cheers!!!

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kenji SAITO September 29, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Aloha Masako-san,
Arigatou gozaimasu! Yes it would be cool to hike up the mountain together, I don’t know about the hot sake though :).
Mahalo

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Paul September 30, 2018 at 9:33 am

Some really great pictures, another great adventure for you guys. Congratulations Mari, a really great
climb.

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kenji SAITO October 1, 2018 at 5:17 am

Aloha Paul,
Thanks. Hope you are doing well over there!
Mahalo

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Tim Memea October 1, 2018 at 8:37 pm

As usual awesome photos. Thank you both for always taking us with you on your awesome hikes! Beautiful just beautiful!

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kenji SAITO October 3, 2018 at 9:04 am

Aloha Tiny,
Thanks, glad you enjoyed the post. Best to you and your family.
Mahalo

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Glenn October 3, 2018 at 9:23 am

Great job documenting it all! Beautiful pics. You two remind and inspire us that we gotta just get out there and do it.

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kenji SAITO October 3, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Aloha Glenn,
Thank you! Yes, we all have to keep ourselves busy.
Mahalo

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Debbie Freitas October 3, 2018 at 5:19 pm

WOW!!! Kenji I wasn’t aware you recently went on the Mt.Fuji hike again this past summer :) Your blog is excellent as always, very entertaining, funny, informative, and the breathtaking photography is amazing! GREAT JOB MARI and KENJI… your determination and stamina is a declaration of your strength both physically, mentally, and especially your spirit to conquer the mountain (volcano) of success! I’m always excited to hear what other mountain tops both of you stride to conquest. Keep the adventures coming!!! I’ll be tracking you both ;-) Aloha, Debbie

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kenji SAITO October 3, 2018 at 10:29 pm

Aloha Debbie,
Thanks for the kind words. You should come on one of these adventures!
Mahalo

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Lissa October 3, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Good job you guys! Love the pics as well as your quirky commentary, lol … Always making me laugh.
I enjoyed the progressive documentation of your hike. Can’t say it makes me want to do it myself, but can’t wait to read about next years hike!

BTW, you should go up with “spam stamps” next time, in case you come up short on postage again ????

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kenji SAITO October 3, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Aloha Lissa,
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I should bring my spam stamps with us next time.
Mahalo

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