Climbing Mt. Fuji (Down)
5 August 2007
We were not alone at the top... These are some people close to us, but all around us the view was more or less the same (considering the number of people). As I wrote earlier, there must have been thousands of people there at the time of sunrise.
We were lucky to have a clear view, with only a few clouds to the right
Finally, sunrise! Seeing the sunrise (goraikou) from the top of Mt. Fuji, the highest point in "the land of the rising sun" is considered a very special experience (Nihon/nippon, japanese for Japan, means "sun-origin").
Although the real top of the mountain is at the weather station on the other side of the crater (it is said to take about an hour to walk all around) we found this top interesting enough.
On the way down the gotemba trail, we stopped at the 8th station to rest and make some cup-noodles. This trail has only a few huts and quite some collapsed ones.
at the new 8th station hut we also rested a bit. In the back you can see the summit again.
On the gotemba trail there is a long, long, long slope covered with volcanic ashes, from the 7th station down to the 5th. Some people run here and get down this part in less than 2 hours! It is nice because the sand makes every step soft, which is very pleasant for tired knees :-) If you take large steps, you slide almost as far as you step! (The peak you see is another volcano).
The view was getting a bit boring, with just black sand everywhere. Some thin clouds were blown up the mountain, which made it a little bit cooler.
A japanese saying goes: "A wise man climbs Mt. Fuji once, but only a fool does it twice". It was quite an experience, seeing so many people climbing, fighting the thin air and tiredness, and seeing the sunrise. However, the volcano is quite ugly and it is quite a climb, so now I have experienced it, I can really see the reason for this statement, and as for now, I prefer to remain "wise" ;-)