I haven't been able to see Mt. Fuji in weeks. That happens in summer. I wanted to try to climb Mt. Fuji last summer during my summer vacation, but instead had to spend the time with medical tests followed by surgery after my cancer diagnosis.
The climbing season is only two months, July 10th - September 10th, but I hoped to be able to go to the top this summer. I didn't want to go on a weekend or during the obon holiday week, but thought I had plenty of time. Originally, I set aside August 7 - 10 (the 11th was a national holiday followed by the weekend, then the obon holiday week). I thought one of those days would be good weather. I was wrong.
I continued to watch the weather forecast, thinking I could go on a weekend or during obon week, it would just be more crowded. Finally, I decided I could go in the rain, as long as it wasn't a thunderstorm. Wednesday was to be the day.
I packed my raincoat, a fleece jacket, a nylon vest, a long sleeved shirt, an extra pair of socks, sunscreen, sunglasses, my camera, two liters of water and a bottle of coke zero, a PBJ sandwich, carrot sticks, a couple of granola bars, a mini first aid kit, and some toilet paper.
I woke up at 4 am, left home at 4:30 am and walked to the train station to catch the 5:39 am train. I had to change trains in Fuji City, arriving in Fujinomiya at 6:27 am. I quickly found the bus stop and was the last person to get on the crowded 6:30 am bus to the Fujinomiya trail.
It was raining, but I was okay with that.
The trail start area was pretty sad and disappointing. I expected something nicer and newer. I used the toilet (all toilets on the mountain cost 200 yen to use and they smell awful!). After looking around a bit and paying my 1000 yen to enter the trail, I headed out.
From the fifth to the sixth stage, it was pretty easy, not too steep. The rain got harder and the view wasn't much and so I continued.
The trail got rockier and steeper. The rocks were slippery and sometimes I was off balance, but I was careful not to fall down. I don't need another broken bone.
I heard some rumbling in the distance, but I wasn't sure if it was thunder. I passed by the original seventh stage and was almost to the new seventh stage when the thunder shook the air around me.
I thought about wanting to go to the top and weighed that against the chance of getting hit by lightning. I decided to turn around and go down. The thunder continued all around me all the way down. Going down was difficult and kind of scary. I had a bad case of sewing machine legs (You know, when your legs shake uncontrollably).
This wasn't a once in a lifetime chance. I live in Shizuoka and could come back another time. I was disappointed, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Now that I have the logistics figured out and know where to change trains, which platform to get train #2, where the bus stop is, etc., it won't be difficult to come again.
This was my view from the bus on the ride back to the train station.