Ochudo Uplift Guided Hiking Tour

Border between heaven and earth. Explore the unique tree line zone of Mt. Fuji.

 

Tour Description

This 6-hour private guided tour hikes on the Ochudo trail which transverses the flank of Mt. Fuji through the unique tree line zone and eventually leads to Osawa Kuzure, a geologically significant collapsing valley on the western slope of Mt. Fuji.

The bare summit of Mt. Fuji reaches to the skies, the iconic image of the great mountaintop, often cloaked in snow, has familiarity across the world. The well-known lower slopes of Mt. Fuji stretch away, a blanket of green. But what of the thin strip of land in-between? The place where trees and shrubs manage to eke out a living, on the very edge of where they are able to grow.  
The tree-line zone, known locally as "Tenchinosakai" - the border between heaven and earth, has an altitude of approximately 2,300m.
 
This path which in the past circled Mt. Fuji and today only partially remains holds considerable spiritual significance for the faithful. In fact, the act of circling Mt.Fuji was an important ascetic practice. Both the trail and the practice hold the name Ochudo. In the not so distant past, only people who had reached the summit of Mt. Fuji at least three times could walk this trail.

Once on the trail, you can quickly appreciate why the physical journey circling Mt. Fuji has spiritual significance, as the landscapes take on beautiful and ancient characteristics.   
Along the way, dynamic Mt. Fuji dominates the view above. At the same time, breathtaking views across the landscape can include sightings of Lake Kawaguchiko, Lake Saiko, Lake Shojiko, Lake Motosuko, the Southern Alps, and Mt. Yatsugatake. On a very clear day, it is possible to see as far as the Northern Alps, making this trail one for legendary views. Depending on the weather, a sea of clouds may spread out before you instead.

The route also features excellent opportunities to see a variety of Mt. Fuji’s alpine flora and enjoy many clusters of flowers in early summer and autumn colors of leaves. Some of the Japanese larch trees in the tree-line zone are as old as 100 years. They are all stunted specimens and have grown in strange gnarly shapes as the wind buffeted them relentlessly.

When you reach the halfway point of the hike, you can witness firsthand the Osawa Kuzure from a safe distance. It was the most difficult part of Ochudo to pass through and once called "Rock Waterfall". This geological feature of Mt. Fuji slowly collapses a fraction every day. The huge valley starts just below the Kengamine peak of Mt. Fuji, and has thus far reached around 2,200 meters. The collapse started more than a thousand years ago and forms part of the evidence that Mt. Fuji is still transforming.

 

Highlights

  • Tree-line zone on Mt. Fuji’s slopes: a fascinating habitat at the edge of where flora can grow

  • Views across the landscape as well as up towards the summit of Mt. Fuji

  • Osawa Kuzure, the eroding valley: you can sometimes observe falling rocks and smoke rising

  • Historical path filled with Mt. Fuji religious faith: stone monuments with inscriptions, small shrine

 

Photos

 

Tour Information

Private tour (single booking) for up to 6 persons

Season: April through November

Price: From JPY 50,000/tour

Duration: 6 hours

Starts/Ends: Fujisan (Mt. Fuji) Station in Fujiyoshida city, Yamanashi

Included:

  • Guiding

  • Round trip private transportation between tour start/end location and start/end point of the hike

Not Included:

  • Miscellaneous personal expenses such as food, drink and souvenirs

Suitable for those who:

  • Enjoy outdoor activities

  • Have a good level of fitness and some hiking/climbing experience to manage the uneven terrain and occasional ascent/descent

Additional note:

  • Climbing equipment is required as you negotiate scree slopes and obstacles such as fallen trees, rocks along the trail

 

Meeting Place