Mount Fuji and Iidabashi

Monkey rock?



Climbing back down Fujisan and visiting Iidabashi.
Regarding the walking sticks. Each stamp cost 200 yen but you could also buy the station stamp which was extra. These were branded onto the stake/stick.

As you go up the mountain, greet or reply to people coming down, unless you're short of breath.

Toilets are free at station 5 and cost 100 Yen at station 6 then 200 yen thereafter. There are no secluded or safe places to do your business on the mountain so make sure you go or hold on for 14 hours like I did!

There was the option of taking a different route down but we were both anxious to get to the bottom.

We briefly stopped at station 6 on the way down and had mushroom tea and a drink. According to the timetable it suggested that there would be a bus at 9:30 and one at 10:30. Because we were so tired we didn't realise that we were looking at the wrong timetable. (The fact that it was all in kanji might have something to do with it too) But we discovered after walking in the deep fog trying to find the bus stop that there were no buses until 12:30 and that the earlier one was actually 9am. If we'd known that we still wouldn't have been able to get down the mountain in time, though we might have walked slower to get the 12:30pm one.

I was ok walking down for most of the trip until my right knee started playing up and I had to take frequent stops to be able to keep going. So, unless we had left station 9 to go up at 2:30am we couldn't have made it.

I cancelled and changed a couple of appointments by phone as soon as I had got there but with money running low we were hoping for a miracle.

The minor miracle happened when I went to pay the bus fare back and the bus driver gave us a return ticket discount because we had gone up the day before. So an extra 1000 was in the wallet. Still not enough to get back to Tokyo for both of us but if we were desperate, one of us could go.

After taking our time we caught the bus back to Mishima station then spent time trying the ATMS that were in the city. Our cards wouldn't work anywhere. We even asked at a Lawson and a cute Japanese girl switched from trying to understand Alan's Japanese to speaking fluent American English which was a nice surprise. The bank she recommended was the same as the ATMS that didn't recognise our cards.

We then went and asked at the JR ticket office where my credit card was able to buy two tickets back to Tokyo. In summary, even though I'd spent six months planning this trip to Mt Fuji before I got to Japan, due to last minute changes and exhaustion, an estimated $120 trip blew out to be $300, ultimately wrecking my budget for my final week in Japan. Not happy.

I later found out that all the misdirection we'd been given by online timetables, train attendants and bus drivers had led us to the far side of Mount Fuji. The side that not many foreigners use. So the positive aspect of this is that we were climbing the route that was less crowded and with more Japanese, making it the more interesting route.

The other, more crowded route, only 2 hours by bus from Shinjuku station, was probably full of backpackers from all around the world. Maybe, sometime in the future, I'll climb Mt Fuji again using the more popular route.

After getting back to Asakusa I quickly showered, changed and headed out to Iidabashi to meet Tamon and friends. 

What a great evening.

Tamon and his friend met me at Iidabashi station on bikes and took me to Tamon's apartment not far away. The train station entrance was near a number of shops and offices and looked like an interesting place to visit even though I'd never heard of it before.

Thanks to Tamon and his wife Miyogo, I got to see the inside of a real Japanese apartment, practice my Japanese and meet some interesting and fun people.

They put on a spread of sushi and we drank beer and soju and asked questions of each other. It was a great night and I really enjoyed it. A great ending to the week.

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Travelogues | Japan