Located near the Pacific coast of central Honshu, roughly 100 kilometers west of Tokyo, Mt. Fuji towers over Japan at 12,388 feet and is the tallest mountain in the country. Mt. Fuji has become the most popular tourist destination in Japan and is arguably the most climbed mountain on Earth, with some 300,000 adventurers visiting every year from all over the world to meet the clouds over Japan. Mt. Fuji is one of the three holy mountains in Japan, named after the Buddhist goddess of fire, Fuchi. Mt. Fuji is also an active volcano, though it’s last eruption was December 6, 1707. The Fuji Five Lakes surround the peak, adding to the incredible view from the top, as well 474 square miles of Hakone Izu National Park. An anonymous Japanese monk first conquered the mountain in 1663 A.D. Since then, Mt. Fuji has become a beacon for wanderlust, with a third of climbers venturing from other countries each year. The mountain now has many facilities, including its own post office. Souvenir shops sell the basics—food, drinks, supplies, and even “canned summit air.” Climbing season is only permitted during summer months—early July through mid-September, as temperatures at Fuji’s peak hover around a chilly five degrees Fahrenheit, throughout the warmest season. Mt. Fuji consists of ten stations, with roads leading only as far as the fifth stations. Ascent and decent depends on which station climbers start from. Most choose to begin at station five. There are four stations at level five, each on different sides of the mountain. Ascent from a fifth station is generally around six hours and descent a couple of hours shorter. Stations offer facilities, snacks and sleeping huts, but sleeping huts need to be booked in advance and paid for through the Fujiyoshida City website. Climbers who purchase walking sticks can pay to have them stamped at each station as a token of their journey. Though Mt. Fuji does not require advanced climbing skills, the air is noticeably thinner when reaching higher altitudes and some of the terrain can be dangerous—steep in places, with large or loose rocks and other obstacles. Wind gusts and lingering snow patches are also a factor to be weary of. In Japanese fashion, the summit provides vending machines, food and beverages to quench climbers’ appetites while on top of the world.