We chose to forgo the sunrise and climb up and down in one day. We took the first bus from Fujisan Station to the fifth station and arrived about 7:30 am. The station was kind of chaotic and we didn’t start hiking until about 8 am. We reached the sixth station in about 35 minutes. We found the times listed on the trail markers to be accurate, maybe a little generous. After the seventh station, there is a section that’s very rocky. We were glad we had hiking poles for this especially (and the decent). Most of the trail is loose lava rock on wide paths.

We arrived at the top about 1:45 pm and only stayed long enough for a few photos and a bathroom break before we started down.

Going down for us was much harder than going up. Its almost the same kind of trail as going up but it’s so steep and the rocks are so loose that everyone is sliding around trying to stay up. Everyone fell at least once. Japanese people were mostly running down which seemed to work well if you have the energy/nerve. We got to the bottom before 5 pm.

Overall, I recommend doing it all in one day, but I wish we could have started earlier. We had amazing views on the way up that were nonexistent on the way down. We had fewer people hiking with us and most of them seemed to be Japanese. The weather was great. We didn’t have any rain and it was barely chilly at the top. Finally there were sections that were scary enough with full sunlight; I wouldn’t want to be trying to do it in the dark.