I once told myself that I MUST climb Mt. Fuji before leaving Japan for good. After 4 years since returning back to Japan, it happened. Would that be a precursor that I am leaving Japan anytime soon? One August weekend, I found myself buying hiking gears and stuff for a scheduled climb on August 31. It wasn’t a one-year old plan. The preparation was too short as it was decided right away after a suggestion was casually made on what event the group needs to do after Hanabi and Badminton activities.
The day came and there was no turning back. The group decided to take the easiest route to the summit – the Yoshida Trail, based on some research and Mt.Fuji-climb related blogs. And since all of us, except one, were first timers, we thought that it was the best way to heaven. Everyone was all smiles at the start of trek. But that changes with each step towards the peak of Fuji-san which is at 3,776 m above sea level. The trails also change from time to time, it must due to climatic revolution
Our pace wasn't as fast compared to the other climbers but glad we did it slowly as we were able to enjoy and appreciate nature's masterpieces flashing before our eyes. Mother Nature can be a show-off at times. I always told them to do it slowly but surely until I fell down on my knees even with that motto in mind. This is one of my favorite shots during our climb taken at station 7, around 1800H.
echoes of silence
whispering winds, dancing clouds
I can’t imagine lots were crazy enough to hike for more than 11 hours just to wait and see the sunrise? Believe me though that it was one hell of an experience. And I am using hell here in a positive way. The sunrise was so stunning that I forgot to click my camera. I was there just to seize the moment. I even forgot that I was freezing. As the sun appeared, applause and gasps filled the air. Japanese are really that appreciative.
Few more steps would bring us to heaven already. Fare would be approximately free especially if you take a wrong step. As much as we wanted to stay at the top, we need to go down to avoid the predicted downpour. Going down seems easy but it’s not. I stumbled for a few times and hoped that I the next time I open my eyes I am already inside of the bus.
One of my friends asked me if I feel like an accomplished mountaineer after reaching the peak of Japan’s tallest mountain. I replied that mountaineer, no. Photographer, yes. I kept on protecting my gadgets more than myself.
It was definitely a great experience. But am I tempted to climb Mt. Fuji again? NO.