"Go-raiko" or the ridiculous tradition of climbing Japan’s highest mountain in the dead of night in order to see the sunrise

I’ve been up for about 36 hours now so I’m just going to give you the bullet points:

  • jumped on a bus to mount Fuji last night intending to do the climb overnight in order to see the sunrise.
  • on the bus I start talking to a bunch of Japanese college students and we all decide to do the climb together.
  • leave the “base camp” that’s about halfway up the mountain (right at the treeline) at about 9:00
  • made it top at 4:00am, perfect timing to see the sunrise. And talk about a sunrise, it was amazing, words can’t do it justice.
  • lo and behold the guys who I was hiking with had brought beer all the way up. So… Beers were drunk… On the top of mt fuji
  • somehow I got myself interviewed on the summit by a japanese news team
  • afterwards, I was planning on heading to Kyoto but due to a slight public transportation mix up I’m now in a town called Mishima with the option of paying for a $100+ bullet train ticket to Kyoto or going to a nearby beach town for a day or two and waiting for the overnight bus. 
  • Yep, beach it is.


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