It’s a common misconception that the mountain to climb in Japan is Mount Fuji. While it is both the most striking and tallest mountain in the Japanese archipelago, I would argue it’s infinitely better to climb a nearby mountain to marvel at the snow-capped beauty, rather than to climb Fuji itself. Luckily, there are several nearby peaks that provide a spectacular vista with Mount Fuji center stage, which I’ll cover below.
Every summer (from July to September), the promise of climbing Mount Fuji to see the sunrise attracts bus load after bus load of visitors. The usual format is to hike up during the evening, optionally staying for a few hours in a cramped 6,500 yen/person hut and doing the final leg in the early hours just in time to catch the iconic first rays of the sun rising over the eastern edge of Japan.