“It’s 10 degrees mum and you’re wearing a t-shirt!” The boys were a bit concerned even though they themselves were only wearing hoodies.
“Nah it’s okay. It’s a great day to hike!” The chilly air had started to penetrate the two layers of cotton shirts I was wearing that day but I couldn’t be bothered by it. The dense fog had risen, the sky had cleared, and really, there was no better day to go hiking!
(Please check out the short video of our hike at the bottom)
As you know from my previous blogpost, on the first day of our summer holiday in Japan, we drove our rental car from Haneda to Mt Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. Although we had no intention of climbing to the summit, we thought it would still be a great experience to be able to hike somewhere on the mountain. I did a bit of research earlier and found out that there is indeed a walking trail at the 5th Station.
The 5th Station is roughly halfway up Mt Fuji and from there we planned to follow the Ochudo Trail. Instead of going up, this trail circles around the mountain, which makes it a relatively flat walk and ideal for those who want to get to know the mountain but cannot climb to the summit.
The trail is only about 3.7 km and starts from the Subaru Line 5th Station through Oniwa area and finally to Okuniwa Nature Park. I’ve read that along the way, the trail promises great views of the lakes surrounding Mt Fuji, various types of conifers and beautiful mountain flowers. At Okuniwa Nature Park, a bus can be taken back to Kawaguchiko Station for about 60 minutes. But since our car was parked at the start of the trail, we intended to just walk back hence potentially a 7.6 km total walk, which we felt was still doable.
And so after having lunch at the 5th Station, we took the first steps to the much anticipated Ochudo Trail. It was a pleasant and unhurried walk that started through a mature forest. The path was wide and marked by carefully laid out stone slabs. We came across very few people along the way and we often stopped to have a closer look at the fascinating conifers, moss and occasional flowers.
But somewhere between one and two kilometres, it proved to be too cold to continue walking. And so with a sense of regret, we trudged back and ended our short hike.
Once back at the 5th Station, we enjoyed the view of Mt Fuji’s summit once again and checked out the souvenir shops for a fridge magnet.
What we think: We liked this trail a lot. It was easy and beautiful at the same time. But it was cold especially in the shadow of the trees. Bring proper jackets. We would have finished the trail had we anticipated a 10 degree Celsius weather on the mountain.
What we did next: We headed to our campsite at Lake Yamanakako, our accommodation for the night. It was such a memorable place and I’ll try to post about it soon. 🙂
Here’s the video of us hiking. Enjoy watching!
Our inspiration and information for this hike were from the Yamanashi Tourism Organization website:
Yamanashi Tourism Organization
Yamanashi Prefectual Office Annex 2nd Floor,1-6-1 Marunouchi, Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture, JAPAN 400-0031
Tel.: +81-(0)55-231-2722; Fax: +81-(0)55-221-3040