At 3776m Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and most famous symbol, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful conical volcanoes in the world. The base of Mt. Fuji forms an almost perfect circle stretching 35 to 40 km from east to west and the same distance from north to south, and is visible from Tokyo on a clear day.
There are several ways in which to experience Mount Fuji, and if you are lucky with clear weather, experience the breathtaking views of its perfect conical dome. Day trips are available from Tokyo, which take you by coach to the 5th Station at 2400m and includes several other attractions in the area.
A more leisurely way of enjoying the area around Mt Fuji is by spending a night or two in the Hakone National Park, and purchasing a Hakone Free Pass for independent exploration of the National Park. The Hakone Free Pass entitles you to unlimited use of most modes of transport in the area, provides discounts at many outlets, and allows entrance to Hakone’s many and varied attractions including museums, art galleries, gardens, boat rides, cable car, funicular and switch back train.
One of the best views of Fuji can be seen on the excursion to Owakudani, a steaming valley of hot mud springs. A cable car takes passengers over the valley to a viewpoint from where it is possible to explore the area on foot. On clear days there are good views from here of the surrounding mountain ranges and of Mount Fuji. Another popular excursion is taking a cruise on Lake Ashi, a lake created from a volcanic crater, which is surrounded by wooded slopes that are dotted with small shrines.
For the more active, during 2 months of the year in summer time it is possible to take a 3 day hike to the summit of Mount Fuji, staying overnight in simple mountain huts, a tough trek that requires good fitness levels and some training.