Benjamin Mark Aston
From afar Mt. Fuji is absolutely magical in appearance. My favorite time to see
this volcano has to be in winter. You know when it is covered in snow, but the weather is absolutely clear, with none of that summer haze getting in the way. Just when the sun is setting, you can see the most amazing colours glinting off its surface. It's breath taking, but unfortunately that's the way it should be left.
Up close Fuji is pretty damn ugly. It's pretty much just a load of ash, rock and scree piled up in an interesting shape. Climbing it is difficult and goes on for what seems like forever, while coming down is harder and seems to last even longer. The view at the top is admittedly spectacular, but when its price is an 11 hour round trip with 2 hours of frigid windswept pain thrown in for good measure, you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it.
I think it's probably just about worth doing it once, but only to say you've done it. That famous Japanese proverb is very accurate in that respect, but sadly I am indeed the fool who climbed twice.
The first time was just one week after my initial arrival in Japan back in July 2000 and I guess I just got swept up in it all. Somehow, I forgot all the bad and when this summer's trip was announced I didn't want to be left out.
I'll not be making that mistake again though. From now on, I'll be enjoying Fuji from
afar. To be frank it requires less effort, takes less time and in any case the view of Fuji tops the view from Fuji by a country mile.