I can’t believe that I blogged about climbing Mt. Fuji and forgot to include the Japanese proverb that says he who climbs Mt. Fuji once is a wise man but he who climbs it twice is a fool! Fuji has been considered a sacred mountain since ancient times and women were actually forbidden to climb it until the Meiji Era, hence the proverb’s somewhat chauvinistic wording.
Two days after the fact, we’re looking back on the experience with a deep sense of satisfaction but we both agree that we wouldn’t be foolish enough to tackle the mountain a second time! We’re also quite proud of the fact that, though we’re still feeling the effects of the climb and a night without sleep, our bodies are recovering remarkably well. I really expected to be much stiffer!
In answer to tokyo5’s question about walking sticks, we decided not to purchase them and I’m actually glad that we didn’t as I much preferred having my hands free for the rocky part of the climb. The octagonal wooden sticks sell for about 1200 yen at the 5th station gift shops. They come adorned with bells and Japanese flags. Most climbers remove the flags to keep them from becoming torn and dirty and the bells because they’re annoying. I do have one of the bells because I found it on the trail on our way down.
At each station along the ascending trail, climbers can pay an additional 200 or 300 yen to have a brand burned into their stick marking their progress toward the top. They make a nice souvenir but we didn’t want to deal with the difficulty of figuring out how to transport them back to Canada. Instead, Richard bought a souvenir T-shirt and I bought a leather and metal keychain/luggage tag to hang on my backpack. Both have pictures of the mountain as well as it’s name and height. There’s space on the back of my tag to put my name and telephone number but I’m also going to record the date of our climb on it.