Student Newsletter -November 2014- By Irfan Muhammad, School of Engineering

3rd Year, Automotive Engineering Program

Hi there! I am Irfan and I came from Indonesia. I am currently busying myself with laboratory experiment reports, homework, and co-organizing a soccer circle. It’s getting cold recently so I hope my story can warm you up.
This summer break I didn’t go back to Indonesia. Instead, I climbed Mount Fuji. I was invited by my Japanese friend from my soccer circle. We were about 20 people, and all of them are Japanese except two gaijin including me. Among those people, I only knew two of them, who also belong to my soccer circle. It was a good decision for me since I could make new Japanese friends.

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The trip itself took two days. We departed from Nagoya in the morning and then after roughly 6 hours on the way, we geared up at the mountain foot in Shizuoka. On the climbing route there are 9 stations where people can take rests, buy foods/drinks and use toilet as well. We actually started climbing the mountain from the 5th station, which is 2.3km above sea level, not from the mountain foot though. By the way, the height of Mt. Fuji is 3776 m. So it was around 1.4 km vertically upward to the mountain summit. But as you know the climbing route can’t possibly be vertical, so we had to hike much more than that.
In the afternoon, there were not that many hikers at the start line. The climbing trail was also quite wide. As we hiked more, although the trail became narrower and steeper, we were able to see more beautiful sceneries. But suddenly rain was starting to pour down when we got to 6th station. Briefly, after an exhausting trek we arrived at the 8th station in the evening. We had dinner and everyone was so glad that we could grab a few hours of sleep, which was like a cure for headache due to altitude sickness.

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After a good nap we continued to hike again at midnight. The sky was so clear and thanks to that, we could see wonderful star constellations and nagareboshi (falling stars). The night view of towns at the mountain foot was also indescribable. Unfortunately our good moment was ruined again by the rain. The trail became very slippery then. It was also really crowded as the trail got narrower again. This was the hardest trek, since it was dark and the path was all rocky. Moreover, there was no rest allowed at the 9th station. Finally, we finished the trek just 15 minutes before the sunrise.
On the mountain peak, we felt like our entire fatigue vanished in an instant. I remember seeing many warm smiles that were fighting against the cold temperature up there. It was regrettable that the rain clouds blocked the awaited sunrise stage. Apart from that, everyFeatured imageFeatured image

body had a meal in the mountain hut. It was like the best meal I’ve ever had in my life.
The way down was not as hard as the way up and we finished the down trek in time. Everybody got on the bus just before noon. Then we stopped by an onsen place. Afterwards almost everybody slept in the bus on the way back to Nagoya.
Undisputedly this Mt. Fuji trip is my best travel experience in Japan. I strongly recommend you to climb that mountain and stand on the highest point in Japan!

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