Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and is open to climbers for only a couple of months of the year. The climbing season starts on July 1 and opens with an official ceremony at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja, a shrine in Yamanashi prefecture at the base of the mountain on the north side.
The shrine is 1,900 years old and was historically the starting point for climbing Mount Fuji. Climbers would stop at the shrine to pray and purify themselves before starting out on their journey. At the entrance of the Yoshida Trail is a large 60-foot (18 meter) tall torii gate.
The day before the opening of the trail, Shinto priests walk through the gate and pray for the safety of the climbers in a ceremony called Omichi-biraki.
Then, the season begins on July 1 with an opening ceremony, Yama-biraki, at five o’clock in the morning at Komitake Jinja, a shrine at the 5th Station on the Yoshida Trail.
The Yoshida Trail takes around 6 hours to reach the summit from the 5th Station and 3-4 hours to descend. The temperature at the summit in July and August is in the low 40’s with winds below freezing.
Date: June 30, 2017
Place: Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Jinja
Schedule of Events:
- 3:00 pm – Shinto rites
- 3:50 pm – Omichi-biraki
Website: Tourism Fujiyoshida (in Japanese)
Transportation: Train to Fujisan Station (Fuji-Kyuko Line). Walk 20 minutes to shrine.
Date: July 1, 2017
Place: Komitake Jinja
Time: 5:00 am
Transportation: Train to Fujisan Station or Kawaguchiko Station (Fuji-Kyuko Line). Bus 1 hour to Gogome – 2,100 yen roundtrip
Photo credit: ©JNTO