They say that every visitor to Japan must climb Mt Fuji at least once. The climbing season is usually from the end of May to August. It’s considered an easy mountain to climb, many people can climb it multiple times in a day. Due to my ship’s underway schedule, I didn’t get a chance to climb Mt Fuji last year but it is on my bucket list.
Tuesday, I was able to go to Mt Fuji Camp, a US Marine base at the edge of the mountain. It was the closest I’ve been to Mt Fuji. From the Navy base, about two hours away, I can see Mt Fuji’s snow-capped peak on a clear day. Actually, the only time you can really see Mt Fuji is on a clear day, even as you’re standing a breath away from it. I imagine that thousands of years ago before human beings knew about meterology and science, seeing Mt Fuji one day and not the next must have really freaked people out.
It was freaky to stand so close to it though and see it periodically disappear among the clouds of snow passing by. I was there for a gun shoot. Weapons qualifying on the 240mm machine gun. Yet, I was more intrigued by the sight of Mt Fuji than the rat-tat-tat rhythm of bullets firing at a rapid pace, ripping through the falling snow. My eyes were drawn to Mt Fuji’s majesty. A feeling came over me. “I must conquer this mountain,” I thought to myself.