Official Ride Seaside to Summit! (August)

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#1
This is not so much the putting forth of a new idea, as it is a rekindling of an old one.

It all started about 3 years ago with the “Tour de Fuji Tozan” ride we did, from Tokyo to the fifth-station (halfway up) Mt. Fuji – And back again. There was talk back then of doing a complete “seaside to summit” combination ride/hike, that would include riding from a nearby seaside town to the fifth-station, and then changing shoes before hiking up the main trail, right to the very top of Mt. Fuji.

Also, now with the “double-century-overnight-rides” gaining popularity – See Trad’s “Sea to Sea Stupidity”: https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=1813 (By the way, congratulations on that one, Todor. Well done on a great ride and report!) – The possibility of riding all the way out from Tokyo is not out of the question, even though Tokyo is not exactly the “nearest” seaside town.

Having done a little research, in order for us to be at the summit for sunrise, we would need to be at the fifth-station by about 10pm – This is apparently quite a common time for hikers to set out, so we wouldn’t be alone after this point. For more details, see here:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6901.html

There’s also a 24-hour family restaurant near Kawaguchi-ko/Fujiyoshida, where we can sit down and have a BIG meal before we even start the main climb to the fifth-station, we should leave there before 6:30pm, and in order to get there by 5pm, we’d have to leave Tokyo by 10am at the latest (Sorry! I’m just “reverse-engineering” the ride as I type).

Also, we would need to be carrying a fair amount of luggage; hopefully, no-one’s a stranger to backpacks. We’ll need:

Boots, or sturdy sneakers.
Windbreaker, or rain-cape.
Flashlight/head-light.
Long-sleeve jersey.
Rain-pants, or other leg coverings.
A couple of hours’ worth of gels and snacks (for the hike).

O.K! This time in the correct order, here’s a tentative schedule for a possible ride:

10:00 - Set out from Tokyo station.
11:00 - Cross Tamagawa on Rte.246
12:30 - Arrive at the Hashimoto 7-11 for a break [55km].
13:00 - Leave Hashimoto, and set out for Doshi-Michi (50km climb to the tunnel).
16:00 - Regroup at the Yamanaka-ko 7-11 (Same 7-11 as after Mikuni [110km]). Roll around the lake to the Johnathon’s Family restaurant.
17:00 - Dinner at the restaurant [130km] – Relax and/or even take a 30-minute power nap.
18:30 - Leave restaurant, and stock up on gels & snacks for the hike. Begin the climb up the “Subaru-Line” to the fifth-station. In race conditions, it’s an 80-120 minute ride. With backpacks, conservatively, I’d like to give it at least 3 hours.
21:30-22:00 - Put on some warm clothes, change shoes, lock up the bikes, and start hiking.
04:30-05:00 - Watch the sunrise. Get the hell off the mountain!

This is just one option, though. Another way we could do it is to, one evening, catch the train out to a seaside town, Numazu or Yoshiwara, for example, and start riding straight from there. We ride through the night, and arrive at the same family restaurant in the early hours of the morning. We wouldn’t see the sunrise from the top, but as long as we’re back down from the summit during daylight, it wouldn’t really matter.

Any suggestions are most welcome! Also, let us know your willingness to join in.
Oh yeah, last time we did the “Tour de Fuji Tozan” ride, it was the 7th of July, 2007. But it was STILL very cold – Right, Philip!? This time, I propose that we wait until at least August.

Can’t wait! Travis
 

andy_w

Warming-Up
Feb 4, 2009
143
4
0
Tokyo
tri-japan.blogspot.com
#2
I'd be on for this Travis, I've been contemplating sea-to-summit myself so Im glad you suggested this ride.

The official season for climbing Mount Fuji is July/August, thats when all the shops and mountain huts are open so you can buy over priced water if you dont want to carry it up, and post your postcard back home from the post office at the top. Nice to get warm ramen before the summit though.
There will still be plenty of snow into early July, and the top is around 4 degrees at night, in the hottest sweatiest days of summer.
Definitely not a place to be in any kind of bad weather, so picking a flexible date between typhoons/any amount of wind is advised.

You dont need to start the climb before 11pm by the way, you might end up sitting around in the freezing cold for too long.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,670
483
103
Japan
#4
Would love to do this.(but won't be going down that far) If you are intending to ride back, maybe a van to carry the mountain hiking gear to the fifth station would avoid having to carry pounds of extra gear, leaving you more energy for the climb and return. Having a place to lock the bikes in while you climb would also not be a bad idea.
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#5
Hi Travis,

I would like to do this. Maybe this is the beginning of a new annual endurance event :)

I have some experience climbing Fuji-san. In preparation for the Fuji Mountain Climbing Race a few years ago I climbed to the top seven times in seven consecutive weekends.

I would start from Fuji Yoshida at 09:00 and be on the top before 13:00. I would be back at Fuji Yoshida before 15:00. It would take less than two hours of climbing (on foot) to reach the 5th station from Fuji Yoshida and under two hours from the 5th station to the top.

The benefit of completing the climb at this time was:

1) Avoid the crowds of "tourists" who want to reach the peak at sunrise using (in many places above the seventh station) a single file track.

2) Complete the climb in daylight making the climbing easier and substantially warmer. I would wear a t-shirt and shorts and carry a lightweight windbreaker. This means you would not need to carry much on the bike.

I also used trail running shoes (normal running shoes get destroyed) so you don't need boots. I would seriously consider changing pedals over to toe straps so I would not need to carry running shoes on the bike - uhmmm? a hard one to call . . .

In our original discussion we talked about a swim across Yamanakako. What happened to the swim :D:D:D

Cheers,

Philip
 

Jules

Speeding Up
Nov 8, 2009
143
21
38
Tokyo, Uehara
fairmean.com
#6
I thoroughly agree with Philip. We did the climb last year. During the day, same scenario. Jogging shoes and light clothes. Up and down fast. No nutty single file death march. And you can SEE everything. There seems to be a number of trains that get you within 50km of the mountain, for less than 2000yen? It is not as glamorous as riding all day to get there, climbing all night and riding home straight off the mountain.... there are some head spaces in that approach... I'll keep my beard for that one.
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#7
Hi Jules,

To confirm. What I am 'proposing / suggesting / offering as an option' is to ride out from Tokyo in line with Travis original plan - but leave Tokyo station around 01:00(AM) to arrive at the base of the Subaru line before 09:00(AM). Expect to return to this point before 16:00 and roll into Tokyo station around 23:00.

I am usually optimistic in my planning so lets make it easy. Leave Tokyo station at midnight and be back before midnight. That is the challenge. (just joking about the swim).

Maybe some of the Nanban Rengo guys will give this a go (one of the ladies at NR is a seriously good mountain runner / climber and I think she is riding Kusatsu so she may be first back to Tokyo)?

Cheers,

Philip
 

Jules

Speeding Up
Nov 8, 2009
143
21
38
Tokyo, Uehara
fairmean.com
#8
Philip, that is very cool. I guess there would only be 3 hrs of darkness on the way out anyway (1am-4am or so). What do you think Travis? It would be in line with the body clock in terms of not being up all night (psychologically). Ride climb Fuji in one day. Fab.
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#9
Timing is good!

You see, Philip! Now you’ve forced my hand. In my original post I deliberately edited myself and mentioned you, and your roll in all of this, as little as possible, all in the name of protecting the guilty.

But now, I’m afraid, everyone will know. Here’s what I left out of the wordy version of the first post:

“…but I’d rather take Doshi-michi this time, as it’s a more direct route. Last time it was Philip’s choice to go via Rte.35, which is a nice enough road I suppose. But personally, I didn’t want to do any more climbing than absolutely necessary. Not only that, I don’t want to mention any names or anything, but we can thank Philip, AlanW, and Christoph (cinelli) for keeping the pace so brutally high all the way to Kawaguchi-ko, so that our legs were already cooked before we’d even started the main climb….”

And “…once again it was Philip and Alan, who were the originators of the idea to do the whole sea-to-summit thing, when Philip mentions something about a swim across one of the lakes to give it a more ‘triathlon-like feel’. All credit to Alan’s intelligence, as he remained silent at the mention of swimming…”

Anyway, bygones!
I’m glad you still want to do it.
The timing you suggested also works for me too – A midnight-ish start from Tokyo, with the aim of being back within 24 hours sounds spot-on (if a tad optimistic).

>Jules: You’re O.K. with this too, I assume. I don’t fancy a slow single file trudge in pitch-black either.

>Andy: What about you? I hope you weren’t too set on seeing the sunrise.

>Kiwisimon: It’s about time you came down here, and found out what a real summer is supposed to feel like :warau:

The only thing I’m worried about is the difference in hiking speeds between us. I dare say Philip could be up & back before I’m even ¾ of the way to the top (I still fail to see how my implied “make it to the top”, can in Philip’s ears, be heard as “run up the mountain as fast as you can” :rolleyes:). I plan to have at least one foot on terra-firma at any one time.
ie. No running or jogging for me.

What gives me hope that the 24 hour goal is possible is from when I rode up Doshi-michi about 8 months ago, to go shopping in Gotemba (long story). I left home at 6am, and arrived at the Yamanaka-ko 7-11 at 11:00am. That was 120km in 5 hours at a moderate pace, so we should be well within the time-limit barring any unforeseen circumstances.

As for the date of the ride, I think Andy made a good point about being “flexible”, so as to work around any inclement weather. I’m good for the last 2 weekends in July, and every weekend in August.

Thanks for the replies so far!
T
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#10
Travis,

I totally agree with Doshi Michi. The climb up R319 after R35 is too busy with traffic especially for a larger group.

Last time I did not even make it to the fifth station so I should not worry about my running to the top :). Of course you should expect some competition.

Philip
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
48
Tokyo
#11
Another sleepless endurance event (aka act of mid-life defiance and futility). Excellent. Count me in.

Also a fan on climbing in the morning - done it this way about 7 times and MUCH better than at night - for me at least. The drudery of stopping/waiting single file in the rocks round 8th station is pure agony.

On the climb... fresh legs, constant pace, and 30 yrs off of current age translated to about 2.5-3 hrs w/o running.

Look forward to it. :D
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#12
This Friday, 27th, anyone?

Philip, Jules, Andy, Todor, Alan, anyone else?
Are you still game to give this a try?
I think this week might be our last "weather window of opportunity". Possibly the week after - but I may have to be somewhere else that weekend.

I was thinking Friday, midnight-ish, in the hope of being back by midnight Saturday. That'll allow all day Sunday to sleep.

Of course, some of you may prefer to sleep all day Saturday, and set out on Saturday night.
Please post your preferences, and we'll go with a majority rules decision. Personally, I'd rather the Friday night departure, but can do Saturday if absolutely necessary.

Travis

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's the rough itinerary, once again:

0:00 - Leave Tokyo.
2:00 - Arrive Hashimoto. Start climbing Doshi-michi.
5:00 - Arrive Yamanaka-ko.
6:00 - Find a family restaurant.
8:00 - Leave restaurant.
10:00 - Arrive 5th Station.
10:15 - Start climbing.
14:00 - Reach Summit. Turn around.
16:00 - Arrive 5th station.
17:00 - EAT! A lot!
18:00 - Head back to Tokyo along Doshi-michi.
00:00 - Arrive Tokyo.:D
 

andy_w

Warming-Up
Feb 4, 2009
143
4
0
Tokyo
tri-japan.blogspot.com
#15
Im still interested, I could do this weekend but not the weekend after.

September weather is still warm enough, we're not bothered about the mountain huts being open are we? I think some of the huts remain open till mid September, even though official climbing season ends at the end of august.
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#16
Blogs away!

Im still interested, I could do this weekend but not the weekend after.

September weather is still warm enough, we're not bothered about the mountain huts being open are we? I think some of the huts remain open till mid September, even though official climbing season ends at the end of august.
Hey Andy, thanks for the company on this one!
And what a right adventure it was too. I've finished the blog:
https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/blog.php?b=72
So everyone can read about it there.
Looking forward to hearing what it was like from your perspective too.
Cheers! Travis
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#18
Great report and pics Travis and Andy. I really enjoyed reading it. As you said, you gotta love it when a great plan comes together;) I look forward to your next edventure.
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#19
Congratulations Travis & Andy. I enjoyed the write up :) Which way did you come down Fuji-san (did you come down the way you climbed up or did you use the tractor road)?

Philip