Altitude: 1,450 meters
Ascent time: 7 hours
Descent Time: 3 hours
The Gotemba Trail starts at a lower elevation than the other trails, making it the longest route to Mt. Fuji’s summit. As not many people use this trail, it has fewer mountain huts than the other trails, and you’ll only start seeing them when you reach the 7th station. It has a gentle slope, but it’s better to use this trail if you’ve had experience mountain climbing, as the route is long, and you may become exhausted. There is also the risk of losing your way due to the dense fog and fewer landmarks.
The Gotemba 5th Station is the least developed among the four 5th Mt. Fuji Stations. It consists of just a small shop, toilets, and parking. While the trail up is pretty much featureless (just lava rocks and a few mountain huts along the way), the descent has a thrilling portion called the Osunabashiri, the “great sand run,” a broad, straight road covered with loose gravel. It makes up a third of the trail, and you are free to run down it, which makes up for the long hours it takes to hike up this.
How to get to the Gotemba Trail from Narita International Airport: From Narita International Airport, take the Skyliner to Shinagawa Station. Switch to the Ueno-Tokyo line until Kozu Station. Ride the Gotemba Line until Gotemba Station, then take the bus to Gotemba 5th Station.
How to get to the Gotemba Trail Tokyo Haneda Airport: From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Line to Shinagawa Station. Transfer to the JR Tokaido Line and travel to Kozu Station. At Kozu, switch to the JR Gotemba Line to reach Gotemba Station. From there, catch a bus to the Gotemba 5th Station, the starting point for the Gotemba Trail on Mount Fuji. The journey may take several hours; check the latest schedules and note that bus services to the 5th Station are seasonal, usually available during the summer months.