On the top of Mount Fuji

I climbed Mount Fuji.

I still can’t believe I did it. It was the most horrible thing I’ve done to myself. And it’s all because internet is such a dark place full of lies! I climbed Mount Fuji because people in the internet says it’s not difficult, that grandparents and kindergarteners climb Mount Fuji. So I decided to write this post and give you the truth; like I always do.

First of all, kindergarteners did not climb mount Fuji. They hiked from 5th Station to 6th Station and then they went back. I met a lot of kindergerteners along my hike from 5th Station to 6th Station. It was a breezy long walk with amazing views.

Some grandparents do hike Mt Fuji, but only those super crazy fit grandparents who train daily. During my hike, I met some ‘older’ people, probably those with teenager kids, but no individual grandparents. The only old people I met were those who led the group of hikers (so it’s probably his professional job). So here’s a flash news: normal grandparents do not climb mount Fuji.

So, who climb mount Fuji?

Fools.

Only fools like me climb mount Fuji.

I’m trying here guys… to make you really really understand that it’s no joke. Do not climb mount Fuji expecting it’s gonna be an easy climb. It’s freaking horrible… grovels and rocks and rain and hail and fog and the cold…. oh the cold…

It’s not gonna be pleasant, it’s not gonna be rainbow and unicorn, the weather might change so fast just like teenager’s mood and the wind will tear your soul apart.

If you read this post and plan to climb Mount Fuji, I want you to be prepared. And even after you accept these ugly truths you still want to go, then go. Go conquer that beautiful mountain!

I’m not a hiker and my ECG test result came out abnormal (inherited from my Dad), even though I do yoga I know I am not generally fit person. But I decided to climb Mount Fuji with 2 persons who are so close to me, my hubby and my bestfriend. I know they would understand my weakness and will not shame me if in any case I couldn’t make it.

If you’re still interested with the story and want to know technicality on “how-to”, go ahead and read, but if you have lazy eyes, just grab the pop corn and watch the vlog instead:

So here’s a story of Bandi, Tannia and May conquering Fuji-San:

Storing our other luggage at Shinjuku Station

I tried to find in the internet on where should I store my stuffs which I didn’t want to bring to Fuji but there is no exact clear answer. I know there are a lot of coin lockers in every train station in Tokyo, but I knew that it’s only for 24 hours. What happen if I want to leave it there for 36 hours? You can do that. You just need to pay the penalty when you take out your luggage. You can leave your bags up tp 72 hours. So don’t worry about luggage!

Arriving at 5th Station – 2,305 Meters

We took the Fuji highway bus on 14th July 9:45 am from Shinjuku Express Bus Station. It’s located in the 4th Floor of Shinjuku JR Station. The bus ticket can be booked online only if your IP address is in Japan, if you’re from overseas then you can call them. We booked our outbound tickets through phone and inbound tickets through internet once we reached Tokyo one day before the hike. The price for one way ticket is 2,700 yen.

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We then exchange the booking code with the actual tickets in the bus station. It’s Japan, so everything is well planned.

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The bus ride took about 2 hours and 15 minutes, so we reached Fuji 5th Station on noon. We ate our lunch and bought the walking stick made of wood, which is a perfect souvenir from your Fuji adventure. You will know why later on!

5th Station to 6th Station – 2,390 Meters

We took Yoshida Trail (the most common trail people take) so all the stations I’m mentioning is in Yoshida Trail. The walk between 5th Station to 6th Station is nice and breezy. From the altitude you can see it’s only 85 Meters difference in altitude, so with the long walk, you don’t really realize you’re climbing a mountain.

At the end of 6th Station, you can take a selfie like us coz this is gonna be your last happy selfie.

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6th Station to 7th Station – 2,700 Meters

Most of the terrain during this climb is grovels and sands, in a long zig-zag inclined road. Just right before reaching 7th Station you will have your first spiderman climb on the rocks. It was fun!

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7th Station to 8th Station – 3,020 Meters

I think this is the most exhausting and difficult part of the climb. It’s all big rocks with sands so you have to use both your hands and your legs to climb. I stopped in every corner and I started to have difficulty yo breath properly because the thin air. The original 8th Station supposed to be on 3,360 Meters but somehow they moved here… I think it’s probably because it’s just too difficult so people won’t quit if the distance between 7th and 8th are too far from each other. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it rained! We took out our gears and wore our raincoats… and kept walking.

8th Station to Original 8th Station – 3,360 Meters

Still the same… grovels and rocks and then it stopped raining coz… it hailed! On this moment my soul has already been torn apart… I kept imagining laying down in my bed with warm tea on my hand…  but the reality is I was cold, my hands are frozen til I thought my fingers needed to be chopped off (I’m a drama queen whaaat). We started to be panic because it was already 7 pm, the sky was getting darker and darker and we haven’t reached our Mountain Hut… I knew nothing to book Goraiko-kan Hut which is located in the highest of all huts!!! Good job, May!

Original 8th Station to Goraiko-kan (8.5 Station) – 3,450 Meters

I remember it was only the 3 of us and the other 2 persons climbing up from 8th Station. Soon, the 2 persons stopped at a mountain hut before us… and there were only the three of us left, climbing slowly…

When we finally reached Goraiko-kan on 8 pm, I was so happy…. I just wanted to sit in a warm room and rest. I had better… I ate a bowl of ramen. It was the best ramen I’ve ever eaten in my life.

We were given shoe bag where we put our dirty shoes in and then shown into our sleeping bag. We were sleeping in the attic and because I drank too much water before sleeping, I had to go to the toilet in the middle of midnight and the toilet is outside the hut! Noooo!!! I had to walk out alone in the cold! brrr….

Anyway, I had about 3-4 hours sleep until one person started to turn on a torch light and made noise when he packed his stuffs. He was then followed by other people and in minutes, everyone were awake, including us. We ate breakfast in the small attic (imagine it was only 1 meters attic so you have to sit or crawl when you move), which we got from the staffs the night before. It was rice with salmon and tamago. After breakfast, we packed our stuffs and made a move. I was so scared with the cold I almost wanted to give up.

To be honest, even though I groaned a lot, I’ve been very sure I would reach the summit all along… until that morning… when I saw darkness and felt cold. I couldn’t imagine I had to climb in the cold! But of course Tannia and Bandi cheered me up and made sure it’s gonna be alright.

Goraiko-kan to Summit (3,776 Meters)

The distance between Goraiko-kan to the summit was techincally very near, but with the elevation and the cold with little rain, it took us 1 hour to reach the summit. Bad news, there were no sunrise because of the fog. But to be honest, I didn’t really care about the sunrise anymore. I JUST WANTED TO GO BACK TO A WARM PLACE AND SLEEP.

We bought a 500 yen canned drinks that were boiled in the water. Yes they put cans into this boiling water so the canned drinks were boiling hot. Great idea! We held into this small hot can and felt the instant relief of warmth… Oh…. finally… after such a wet cold climb…

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We sat inside a crowded mountain hut and everyone felt so proud of themselves, exchanging stories. I was just so sad because now I had to descend back to where we started, which seemed so horrible for me because I didn’t have any energy left and I had no appetite to eat anything; I was just so tired.

Summit to 5th Station (Descending Trail)

The descending trail is different from the ascending trail. The descend trail is longer but easier. It’s just a small zig-zag road full of rocks and grovels. We descend for 4-5hours I couldn’t remember just because I sat down to rest for every 10 minutes. LOL.

Like I told you, I was in low batter mode already.

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Aftermath

I was definitely proud of myself, no doubt. Climbing Mt. Fuji is by far the greatest physical challenge I’ve ever encountered; and completed. However if you asked me whether I will ever do it again, the answer is very easy: NO WAY in a million gazillion years.

I was left sore and beaten up and I slept the whole evening til the next noon. Bandi insisted to wake up earlier so he could go to Tsukiji Market. Crap.

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Cheers,

May, loving Japan even more.

The life we will remember

I went to Japan, three weeks ago.
It changed my life. :)

Yeah yeah yeah I always said that everytime I came back from a trip. Every trips change my life. True. I’m a drama queen. A drop of water could change my life. Lol.

But this trip is different! Bandi has always been my travel buddy since….. Forever. And this time I didn’t travel with him. I travel with my three best friends.

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You might know them from this post and this post and so many of other posts.
They’re my partners in crime, my soul sisters, my annoying friends.

For the sake of travel blog information, I would talk about the trip itself and the highlight.

1. Fuji-san
I went to Fuji on summer and it was climbing season! We met soon many people dressed in climbing gears about to conquer Fuji-san. It was exciting just to see them excited.

Angel and Renny were at Fuji-Q-Highland about to conquer their own version of Fuji, called Fujiyama – the king of roller coaster.

I’m not a daredevil so I chose to cycle around Lake Kawaguchiko. (Newsflash: I don’t enjoy going onto Roller Coasters or any daredevil things. Whatever has happened in the past were either stupidity or curiosity. XD)

Isn't it pretty?

Isn’t it pretty?

I cycled for about 2.5 hours until I hurt my bum, then I stopped in a park to watch people. Couples snuggling, kids playing baseball with their parents, dogs running around, tourist exhausted and needs a break (that’s me!)

Pretty Katsuyama

Pretty Katsuyama

And then I dozed off for about 15 minutes. Power nap! And continued with selfie sessions!

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Fun time, beautiful place. :)

Well, what about Renny and Angel? After queuing for 2 hours, they went through this:

Epic face, Renny!!!

Epic face, Renny!!!

2. Tokyo
Omg!!! I fell in love with Tokyoooooo!!! Did I tell you that London had an amazing personality as city? Well… Tokyo is her bff. In my imagination, London and Tokyo are two bff with amazing personality, Paris is also their friend, the bitchy one. Lol

Asakusa

Asakusa

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Asakusa

Epic Tsukemen!

Epic Tsukemen!

We went to Tsukiji Fish Market and met this cute uncle!

We went to Tsukiji Fish Market and met this cute uncle!

Fujiko F Fujio Musem at Kawasaki CIty

Fujiko F Fujio Musem at Kawasaki CIty

3. Shirakawa-Go
I LEFT MY HEART THERE.
Just beautiful. Just beautiful! When I travel, my favorite part is to go somewhere far away from city buzz, and Shirakawa-Go is just beautiful… beautiful… I lost words….

Photos incoming!

Get ready!

Get ready!

I loveee this photo! Himawari and Green tea ice cream! My list of favorite things!

I loveee this photo! Himawari and Green tea ice cream! My list of favorite things!

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On an island in the sun.

On an island in the sun.

We hiked all the way up to see this!!!

We hiked all the way up to see this!!!

Another angle

Another angle

I made a simple video for our Shirakawa-Go Trip!

P.S. for my three girls: Never forget our epic moment in the cafe with the guitar and a girl asked for our photo! 10 years from now we will laugh our asses off again remembering this!

4. Kyoto
Well, as I already hooked up with Tokyo, no other city could amaze me more. But Kyoto has this feeling, especially when you’re in Gion and we saw a real Geisha!!!!
It felt like we were “kena pelet” by the Geisha inside the car!

It was raining when we went to Arashiyama, but it didn't stop us! :D

It was raining when we went to Arashiyama, but it didn’t stop us! :D

And then we spent 2 hours to do purikura (photo box) with costumes! Sailor moon and High School Project.

And then we spent 2 hours to do purikura (photo box) with costumes! Sailor moon and High School Project.

The next day we went to Fushimi Inari wearing Yukata!

The next day we went to Fushimi Inari wearing Yukata!

<3

<3

Tadaimaaaaa!!

Tadaimaaaaa!!

Our last lunch together in Osaka before one by one heading home. :(

Our last lunch together in Osaka before one by one heading home. :(

I guess those 4 is the highlight.

I didn’t mention technical part of the trip because things might always change. My suggestion is to google! :)

And here’s another cute video to close the trip!

Fun facts about Japan:

  1. They broadcast different sounds in train station, for example in Tokyo we heard birds singing in the station, for Takayama we heard some kind of fun fair themed sound in the train.
  2. JR Pass is very useful
  3. Kids playing OUT in the park on weekends. A kind of thing I rarely see. :”)
  4. There is actually people who will steal your underwear. My host told me not to dry your underwear outside.
  5. We know Japanese toilet is awesome, but there is one button that amazed me. “Privacy” button that will create sounds to cover your poop sounds. Lololol
  6. Japanese people take a bow to each cars in the train and when the bus is leaving the bus stop.
  7. There is no place like Japan…. Look how grateful they are, how they always strive for perfection. I think we all should learn to be more like Japanese people. :)

Soo…. When people asked me “how was Japan?” it’s really hard to answer…

We saw two Maikos! Seeing Maiko is considered good luck, we met two! We hiked in Shirakawa-go for the best beef we’ve ever tasted. We sang and danced like no one was watching. We were mistakenly thought as celebrities, this was super epic! We were asked to take photos many times when we were on our yukata which was fun to have such attention! #attentionhooker We jumped into Onsen, we met so many nice people, we missed trains, we got lost, we were soaked wet in the rain, but in the end… what we only remember is… WE HAD FUN. :)
And for closing, please enjoy our video clip of Avicii Song: The Nights.
I’m so proud of my video editing skill! :D go watch! (This video might be unavailable on mobile phone due to copyright issue, so if you have time watch it on laptop – with sounds!)
Cheers,
Meitori <3