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[On the main trail, all signage is in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean]
[2 kilometers and 3 hours to the top!]
My group and I finally made it up to the Eighth Station (3,020 meters). Both the hotel that I had booked at the hotel they they had booked were at the Eighth Station, but at different points along the trail. Their hotel was at 3,200 meters, but mine was up at 3,400 meters. That meant I would climb the last 200 meters that day alone and, unfortunately, in the dark. My flashlight was so old that, even with fresh batteries, the bulb only offered a dim, yellow light. I wished I had a bright headlamp like most of the Japanese hikers had. Hiking Mt. Fuji, you definitely need SOME sort of light if you’ll be doing any portion of your hike in the dark. My flashlight was sufficient, but only just. I threw it away when I got back to my Kawaguchiko hostel.
[The view from Eighth Station after I finally emerge from the cloud ring]
[Myself at Eighth Station after about ten hours of hiking - not too bad!!]
My group and I took a number of pictures in front of their hotel, and agreed to meet on top the next morning. Unfortunately, I never found them up there, even though I walked in circles looking for them. I was so bundled up that it would have been hard to spot me, and perhaps the same could be said of them. Nonetheless, I was happy to have met them and grateful to be able to share the experience with some other people.
[Myself, 3rd from the right, with the Japanese hiking group I joined]