Attractions Not To Miss On a Trip To Australia

Australia is an enormous country that, despite visiting on 3 lengthy occasions, I have still not managed to see enough of. One thing that I have focussed on as I have toured with my Budget Truck Rental through the vast lands of Australia however, is hitting as many of the famous attractions that was humanly possible. Having now ticked off sufficient landmarks, the next time I go will be to further explore the culture and cities within the country.

If you have not yet been to Australia then I would recommend that you do as I did and hit the main attractions first and if you are in any doubt as to what they are, then here is your handy guide to the ‘must see’ attractions down under.

Great Barrier Reef

So large that it is visible from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most incredible pieces of natural wonder on the planet. This collection of more than 3,000 coral reefs houses hundreds of thousands of different species of marine life and eco-systems which have baffled scientists for years. The reef spreads across a distance of over 2,300 km and diving and snorkeling here is a must.

Blue Mountains

This vast national park has been certified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and the fact that it sits just 80 km west of Sydney means that it is easily accessible for anyone who visits Sydney to spend a few days in this incredible mountain range. Here you will find large hiking trails which will enable you to meander through the mountains and enjoy the dramatic vistas, incredible waterfalls and stunning scenery. If you are brave enough then you could try out the Katoomba railway, the World’s steepest railway that takes you up to the ridge of the mountains before sweeping back down through the valleys.

Sydney Harbour

Arguably the most iconic portrait of Australia is that of Sydney’s harbor, dominated by the two most iconic structures in the nation, the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House. Just walking around this area of Sydney feels magical and if you want to really see it at its best then you can climb the Harbor Bridge. If you have what it takes then you will be strapped on to a harness and begin the ascent to the peak of the bridge where you will see views of Sydney that you never thought possible.

Ayer’s Rock

The new name for Ayer’s Rock is Uluru, this sacred aborigine rock formation is just outside of Alice Springs in Australia’s ‘Red Centre,’ so called for the color of the rocks here. The monolith that is Uluru stands alone in a huge national park at a height of over 348 meters and in order to truly appreciate the natural wonder of it, you need to go and see it for yourself. A tour by one the park rangers is a must, they will talk you through the sacred wonder of Uluru and the tours usually culminate with sunset over the rock. A perfect day in Australia.

Tasmania, How To Get There And What To See Or Do

Source

Travellers “down under” would often stop at hitting the Australian mainland and restrict their visit primarily to the coastal cities like Sydney and Brisbane or the other choices like Melbourne or perhaps out into the outback somewhere like Alice Springs to see the famed Ayer’s Rock. Not many consider taking the opportunity to traverse a little further south to the island of Tasmania, across the Bass Strait to see and experience all the strange and wonderful things this lesser known area has to offer. This article will look at getting to Tasmania and all the things there are to see and do once you’re there.

Getting There

Getting to Tasmania is pretty straightforward, however be advised that if you have rented a car that it’s unlikely you will be able to take it to Tasmania. Instead you’re better off arranging to rent another car once in Tasmania.

Tasmania is serviced by several airlines that fly from major cities in Australia as well as a reliable ferry service from the southern coastal city of Melbourne. The crossing takes a full day or night depending on the season, so be prepared to spend a long time on board. If this isn’t your preference though, flights operate from all the major cities on the eastern side of Australia. From Perth you will likely have to connect in the likes of Sydney or Melbourne.

Getting Around

Cars are the best way to get around Tasmania, letting you go at your own pace. If you are unable to rent a car, however, you can get around by public transport such as on the TassieLink bus system. Do plan ahead though as some services can be infrequent on both TassieLink and the other bus system, Redline Tasmania. These are the two bus lines that service the greater region of Tasmania.

Things to See and Do

First and foremost, relive your childhood by seeking out the famed Tasmanian Devil – the only carnivorous marsupial that calls Tasmania its home. While a generally quite rare sight, the chance of seeing one alone will excite you. Normally seen by roadsides at night eating the remnants of other animals hit by cars.

Other wildlife include kangaroos, bandicoots, wallabies and the like, with some wildlife being more common than others. Stay a night in a national park to encounter a ring or bushtail possum.

Tasmania is nearly 50% covered in protected national parks, so finding a slice of paradise on the island won’t be difficult. It’s perfectly possible to find an area that’s quiet or even deserted to set up for a picnic and enjoy the natural scenery of the island.

There are countless things to see in Tasmania, with favourite landmarks including the Cataract Gorge – a 15 minute walk from downtown Launceston, where you will find the gorge in all its natural beauty along with restaurants and a beach. Hastings Cave is a huge tourist draw, featuring the largest tourist dolemite cave in all of Australia as well as a network of other enjoyable caves. The Bay of Fires is a perfect place for nature lovers with the white sand, blue waters and red cliff faces the camping, swimming and general relaxing here is idyllic.

For those who like history, Port Arthur is the best preserved convict site in Australia and is well worth a look. For the shopper, check out Salamanca Place in Sullivan’s Cove – a treasure trove of handmade, antique and unique items as well as fresh fruits and vegetables at the markets.

So in all Tasmania is a unique and interesting place to head to if you’re spending time in Australia. The benefit of Tasmania is that it enjoys some of the wildlife and other scenery similar to the mainland, but with temperatures much more comfortable in the summer months. So pack your bags – Tasmania awaits!

Things To See And Do In Madrid

Source

Whether you’re from Europe or not, one thing is for certain – Spain is one of the hottest travel destinations for Europeans and foreigners alike. Conjuring up images of back alley cafes, local wines, delicious tapas and beautiful stone buildings framed with cascading greenery and floral highlights, nothing could be more welcoming than Spain and its people. Regardless of your taste and travelling preferences, one city that has something for everyone is Madrid, and here we look at the top things to see and do in this bustling, beautiful city.

Architecture and Museums

Madrid is awash with architecture and museums – from the beautiful Royal Palace to the Plaza de Sol, a favourite meeting ground for locals, Madrid has beautifully decorated and ornate buildings, statues and more. The Royal Palace is open to visitors, with Wednesdays being free entry days so the lines get incredibly long so make sure you go early. Regardless though, the Palace any day is worth a visit.

The museums on offer are almost countless and cover nearly every topic you can imagine, so a trip to one of their museums along your interests is a must do. Head to the Museum Triangle – literally the Madrid museum district for a great selection of museums. While some of the museums are almost eye wateringly expensive for the budget tourist, most museums do offer free entry at certain times of day or on certain days. Check in advance which museums, which times and which days to take full advantage of some of the fantastic museums in the city. Perhaps the best ones, especially for art lovers are the Museo del Prado and the Sofia Reina National Museum and Art Centre – both of which house classical paintings by famous artists from around the world. The Sofia Reina is in fact the home of Picasso’s famous Guernica.

Parks and Getting Outside

Madrid is lucky enough to enjoy a temperate climate most of the year although it can be chilly in the winter months, but nevertheless getting outside is a favourite past time of both locals and tourists alike. Madrid is home to numerous parks and gardens, with Caixa Forum being a great example of a vertical garden (also on the side of one of many museums!). The Royal Botanical Garden as well as El Retiro park are two of the best parks on offer in Madrid, with El Retiro being home to drumming circles in the summer evenings that are a great way to see the dusk in.

Cuisine and Culture

The Mercado de San Miguel is a fantastic spot to stop off if you’re looking for high quality wines, cheeses, dried and smoked meats and more. An indoor market, this is a great place to go on a rainy day or if you just want to pick up a delicious snack of local fare or a bottle of wine to take home with you. For cultural aspects of Madrid, check out one of the many Flamenco shows that are on around the city – with their bright colours and quick movements and fantastic music. Corral de Moreira is the top rated location to take in a show in Madrid, if not the world, and shouldn’t be missed on any trip to the region.

So there you have the top things to see and do in Madrid on any trip to the area, whethere you’re on a budget or not. Madrid is a great city any time of year, but to take advantage of all the outdoor things to do, summer and autumn are the best to enjoy the warm weather and welcoming patios with local beers and tapas. So pack your bags – next stop: Madrid!

Round The World Gear List – For Women!

Source

If you’re thinking about heading off on a round the world trip of some kind, you might be wondering what the best things to pack are, especially if you’re a woman. After all, there are so many eventualities to be prepared for, how can you pack for absolutely every single one? It can seem daunting, but this handy dandy list will help highlight a couple of things that are absolute must haves – personally and practically.

Bags, Bags, Bags

This sounds like a given, but there are a lot of bags that you can employ when you’re on the road – with great results. Take a “bag for life” style plastic bag with you to keep your dirty laundry separated from your clean stuff when you’re moving around and don’t have a chance to get any washing done. Aside from this, organising bags such as vacuum bags can help you really keep stuff organised and help you save space too, so consider taking some of these with you as well – preferably the kind you don’t need a vacuum cleaner to make work correctly as chances are you won’t see a vacuum for awhile. Get the roll up kind that squeeze the air out instead!

A Woman’s Secret Weapon

Okay, this one is going to sound potentially a bit gross for those who are squeamish in the audience but this is an integral part of a woman’s travel kit – MoonCup or Diva Cup. Some places in the world do not have the same quality of feminine provisions that are available at home which can make “that time of the month” even more unpleasant, especially when on the road. The Moon/Diva Cup (or other brands) are silicone cups that you use in a way similar to tampons, but are reusable and washable, making them not just an absolute must have for women on the road but also inherently better for the planet than traditional feminine hygiene products.

General Necessities

Necessities for each woman can depend on what you plan to do and your own personal interests, but some things to consider also bringing with you anywhere you go include birth control pills, if you use them, condoms (better to have some just in case!) and of course a well stocked medicine kit featuring bandages, gauze, antiseptic, cotton buds, nail clippers, mosquito repellent, your anti-malarial medication (if going to a malaria zone) and your yellow fever certificate (again if necessary). Don’t forget to bring sun cream as well, as sun cream and mosquito spray abroad can be significantly expensive. Some things you can forgo purchasing before you leave – like shampoo, conditioner etc as you can get most of this in most countries, but things like sun cream and mosquito repellent should come with you as standard, if even to save some money on the road. One other thing that is a necessity is your own towel. Some places provide a towel at your accommodation, but some places don’t so you will be left drying off after a shower with your t-shirts otherwise!

Of course these are the “extra” practicalities and the overall gear list will depend where you go and what you plan to do, but the general waterproofs, snorkel gear, sunglasses is a given. Everyone will have their own list of these specific things they use, so making a list will help you remember to pack everything you need to bring. Get that bag organised – the wide world awaits!

Road Tripping – Canada On A Budget

Source

Spring break and summer are around the corner and with the holidays come the plans to hit the road for an adventure somewhere fun, interesting and perhaps wild and free. Heading out on the road is always a must do for many people, groups of friends, couples and families alike, but how to know where to hit the highway for a truly enjoyable getaway? For many people, Canada is a country that beckons from the north, and there’s no better time to visit than the late spring or summer when everything is in bloom. Read ahead for some great tips on road tripping Canada on a budget!

The Year of the Freebie – 2017

There is no better year to visit Canada than this year – the year of Canada’s 150th birthday. The National Parks from coast to coast will be sharing the wealth by providing year-round FREE admission, so get in now! Most of the parks are sometimes in the region of $30-50 per day or more depending on what you’re doing, so this is the perfect time to take advantage of a real money saver especially if you’re a fan of beautiful scenery, nature and camping!

Small Towns, Big Hearts

From coast to coast one thing Canadian towns have in common is their unusually huge hearts and warm welcomes to visitors, especially to people from abroad! You can take advantage of cheaper hotels (if you aren’t renting a camper van or RV) and cheaper roadside “greasy spoon” restaurants in the smaller locales than in the big cities, however this being said, if you’re wanting to spend a night or two in a city, try to find hotels offering one or two night last minute deals. Failing that, there’s usually a motel or hotel chain on most highways just outside of main centres which may have lower rates.

Speaking of renting cars and RV’s….

Gas in Canada and renting cars and RV’s can be pretty expensive, but not if you know how to find a deal. RV’s might be expensive to rent and run, but you will have the added benefit of not having to pay for hotel rooms or dinners out along the way, being able to cook your own. Ask around at car rental companies for vehicles needing to be returned to a specific location – if you don’t really mind where you go, and you’re going one-way, this can be a great way to get a reduced – or even free – rate.

Beware the PST

To keep costs low, beware the Provincial Sales Tax. This is a tax that is in effect on almost all goods and services in almost every province/territory except for Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, and Alberta. It is in addition to the GST (Goods and Service Tax) which is a federal tax and is on almost everything throughout Canada at a flat rate of 5%. PST is dependent on the province you are in – some provinces have 7% PST while some have as much as 8-9 or even 10% PST where it will be clearly outlined on your receipt the two tax costs. Some provinces have adopted the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which is a blend of PST and GST into one tax rate and will appear as one tax on your receipts. Saskatchewan has an added tax of 10% on liquor, so it might be worth staying dry in Saskatchewan unless you’re willing to pay a bit more.

Campgrounds

To keep costs low consider stopping at campgrounds that are away from main regions and that are a bit further to get to. You won’t regret it and usually many of these campgrounds have fantastic facilities as well as great lakes, streams and sometimes even sandy beaches. Some campgrounds can be as low as $20 a night per RV or per pitch (for multiple tents) so it can be a really great savings.

So there you have a couple of great ways to keep a road trip in Canada cost effective and easy on the wallet. Grab the sleeping bags and tents – summer is perfect for spreading out under the stars anywhere in Canada, just remember the mosquito spray!

Road Tripping – Sydney To Canberra

Source

Like most things when you travel, the road lesser travelled is often the more enjoyable and adventurous one and nothing could be more true than when you’re driving from Sydney to Canberra. What seems like it could be a lengthy and interesting drive on the highway is in fact fairly unimaginative – unless you take the scenic route that is. This article will look at helping you plan this little journey and what there is to see along the way if you fancy getting out of town with your mates for a bit!

The Road

There are two options when heading out of Sydney depending on the time you have at your disposal. One route is the coastal route down though Wollongong and the second route is down through Campbelltown. The Campbelltown route is more direct, but still offers some great scenery through some beautiful parts of the Highlands, but the coastal road is fantastic. The Campbelltown route can take around 3-3.5 hours and the coast road around 4.5-5, so it depends how fast you want to get there and what you want to see on the way.

For something truly unique, but lengthy you can choose to go all the way down the coast to Bateman’s Bay and then back up through the Monga National Park to Canberra. This is a bit longer – around 6 hours in length depending on where you stop and for how long but lends itself to some truly unique road trip opportunities.

Things to See and Do

Either route will take you through some fantastic natural areas filled with forests, land formations and if you take the coastal road – the coast! Pack a picnic lunch and stop off somewhere new and wonderful – either in the woods in Yerriyong State Forest or on the beach a bit further down the road. The world is your oyster on a road trip between Sydney and Canberra and the only thing stopping you is yourself!

The Wine Region

As you approach Canberra you will enter the wine region. This is a perfect opportunity for you and your travelling companions to head to a vineyard for a tour or some wine tasting. Perhaps pick up a bottle or two to enjoy once you reach your destination. The wine region stretches all around the city, so it’s easy to find a vineyard that hosts tourists and wine connoisseurs.

Canberra

The city of Canberra is surrounded by hills and is separated by a lake which makes it an enjoyable city to wander around in for those of an outdoor nature. With interesting buildings, the city centre lake and great walking trails around the city, it’s a great place to just hang out and take a stroll. Have a coffee and people watch on one of the outdoor terraces or check out some of the historic buildings that date back to the early part of the territory. Lake Burley hosts boats for hire, making it an ideal place to take families for various lakeside activities, and there are a number of mountain biking tails around for those who like to get out and moving. Head to Mount Ainslie for a truly commanding view of Canberra and the area, and don’t forget to catch some kangaroos in the wild – the Pinnacle Nature Reserve – 10km west of the city centre – is the best place to view large mobs of Kangaroos for free.

There you have a couple of great suggestions to consider for your road trip from Sydney to Canberra. Depending on what you like to do, there’s just as much to see and do on the way there as there is once you get to your destination – so make sure you take the time to enjoy the journey as much as the end result!

How To Enjoy Sydney At Night

Source

With any trip to a foreign city or location you want to maximise your time on the ground – taking advantage of every waking minute, especially if you are there for only a short period of time. Sydney, Australia is no different, especially when you consider how long it takes people to get to Australia and what a time investment it can be. If you’re interested in getting out after dark during your time in Sydney (and why wouldn’t you be, it can still be daytime highs in your home country at midnight in Oz!) read ahead to check out how best to see Sydney by night.

Darling Harbour

Ideally situated, Darling Harbour makes a perfect place to come any time of day but at night it really comes alive – the lights of the surrounding buildings reflect off the water to create a beautifully lit up area. The harbour front makes for a great strolling spot and with the area’s lively bars and restaurants it will be easy to find the perfect spot to kick back and relax over a local wine or two.

Newtown

Perhaps the most unique, hip and eclectic neighbourhood, Newtown is awash with kitschy bars and restaurants as well as music venues and a chilled out but entertaining vibe. Featuring a mixture of all the foods you can find in the region – from Malay, Thai, Indian, Chinese and traditional western pub food, Newtown has something for everyone.

The Rocks

This area of Sydney comes alive after dark and is one of the city’s most historic areas with its old buildings and cobbled lanes. Come for a drink at one of the traditional pubs in the area or get some dinner at one of the local restaurants that line the streets. This particular area of Sydney has a lively, traditional air to it, so you won’t be disappointed.

Chinatown

A real taste of the Orient right in central Sydney, Chinatown is home to not just trendy sake bars and kitschy yet traditional Chinese restaurants but also is the home of traditional night markets boasting all kinds of cheap street food and snacks. Check out the other items on offer in the night market and take advantage of it all within its close proximity to other areas around Chinatown, such as George Street which is only a few blocks away.

So there you have a couple of great suggestions on how to see Sydney at night. Being such a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, there is something on offer for everyone here. Book your next holiday to Sydney – you really won’t regret it!

A Mini-Guide To Cape Town, South Africa

Source

If you’re thinking about where to go on your next vacation, you might not have considered South Africa. With a number of cities that bring their own flavour to the game as well as several beautiful national parks that feature the standard African wild animals that can be seen on safari, South Africa has a little bit of everything for everyone. Check out this quick mini guide for a trip specific to Cape Town.

Cape Town – A City

Cape Town, aptly named for its location is the capital city of South Africa and is near the Cape of Good Hope with a number of fantastic attractions and sights nearby. The Cape of Good Hope itself is one such attraction, as is the world famous Table Mountain, named for its flat topped appearance akin to a table top. Visitors that head up the mountain are rewarded with stunning views of both Cape Town and the surrounding area including a few of the wine regions to the north. The Mountain can either be climbed in the old fashioned way or you can also take a cable car up to the top for those not up to the fairly lengthy hike.

The Castle of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest surviving building and is worth a look for those who are into military memorabilia and history. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is perhaps the world’s most spectacular botanical garden, teeming with various species of plants and flowers all set against the impressive Table Mountain, almost overhead.

For those interested in the history of Cape Town and area, check out Robben Island – home to political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela – tours available. You can also check out the District Six museum which highlights the struggles of the area during apartheid.

Wine Regions and Floral Tours

South Africa is known around the world for being the growing and producing region for a multitude of wine varieties. Throughout the country there are numerous vineyards all with their own unique takes on wine making and featuring different flavours, blends and vintages and the Cape region is no exception. Wine tasting and vineyard tours are available throughout the area and many can be booked from your hotel or other accommodation in Cape Town itself. Some of the well known towns and cities for wine making and tours include Somerset West, Paarl and Franschhoek. Picnic tours can also be enjoyed for a romantic twist.

Safari Options

Not only is South Africa awash with wine and vineyards, but it’s likewise well stocked with safari companies and options for those looking to go out on safari to catch some of Africa’s big game in their natural habitats. Safaris can be booked direct in Cape Town if desired, or those looking for something special can head to almost any of the National Parks in the vicinity to book safaris that might be more luxurious or have specific aspects that the traveller is looking for. One popular option near to Cape Town is Tankwa Karoo National Park, with a number of safari options for all budgets. Kruger National Park is another option, but being on the other side of the country, this would be a good option for those who are perhaps planning a trip into neighbouring Mozambique or planning to spend some time in Johannesburg as well as Cape Town.

So there you have a quick run down on Cape Town and all it has to offer to help you plan your next (or first!) visit to the area. With so much history as well as nature around, it’s easy to see why this is a favourite amongst travellers the world over.

Choosing The Best Travel Backpack For You

Source

If you’re planning on heading out on an adventure sometime in the next couple of weeks or months, you might be wondering what kind of luggage is best for you an your needs. Depending on where you’re going, what you’re doing, etc it can be a daunting task trying to choose the right backpack. There are literally dozens of makes, sizes and style on the market and never mind colours either! So how do you pick the perfect one for you? Read ahead for a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing the right backpack for you!

Consider The Length Of Your Trip

The first thing to consider when planning a trip is how long you want to go for – as well as where you want to go. The time of year can be an important consideration as well – all of these will determine how much you need to take and what – are you going to both summer and winter climates? Only summer? Travelling in monsoon season? These are important things to think of and then plan to take the appropriate gear, including a waterproof backpack.

What Do You Need To Take?

Sandals, hiking boots, waterproofs, sweaters, tank tops, jackets and the like are all considerations to think of when packing. If you’re an outdoor loving person and you want to go hiking, camping, walking, but also like to kick back on the beach, knowing what you will need to take will help you determine the size of the bag you will need. The more things you need to take, the bigger a bag you will require.

What’s Your Size?

Backpacks can come in all shapes and sizes and can either hinder or help your trip. Buying a backpack that is too big for you to comfortably carry can be a hindrance to moving around on the road. When you’re looking around for the cheapest room options and needing to carry all your stuff with you or similar activities, an oversized and overloaded bag can be a huge pain.

For day trips or trips away from your main pack (such as to one overnight location where you don’t need to take your huge backpack) consider getting a day pack that can fit water, some food, a change of clothes or two and other necessities like towels so you have an option to taking your big pack if you can leave it somewhere safe.

Consider Your Budget

Finally, consider your budget. You don’t want to go broke getting a backpack for your trip. The standard backpacks around 60L in size are between $75-100 depending where you shop. It’s always good to go with a trusted brand that has a proven track record in providing quality outdoor products as you don’t want a cheap knock off brand backpack ripping apart three months into a nine month trip. So in this sense it’s good to set some money aside specifically for a good quality travelling backpack.

In all, purchasing a backpack for your trip doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be stressful. The best option is to go to the shop itself and try a few out – see how they feel and what the straps are like. You might find that you can get cheaper bags online which isn’t a bad idea, but buying online is always risky in that you can’t feel the quality of the bag in advance – unless it’s from a reputable seller, so it is always a better plan to stick with shop based bags that you can inspect before buying. Good luck!

A Guide To Climbing Japan’s Mount Fuji

Source

For any visitor to Japan there are a few things that are absolute must do activities and one of these is climbing the famed and beautiful Mount Fuji. For those who are not physically able to climb this mountain, which stretches to a very high 3,776 metres above sea level, just seeing it is still high on the priority list. Fuji in all its splendour seems to almost perfectly encapsulate Japan – that is to say seeing a picture of Fuji seems to represent Japan almost in its entirety though many other things do a hefty job as well. For those interested in braving the slopes of this mountain, read ahead for a climber’s guide to conquering Mount Fuji.

When To Climb?

While it may be tempting to tackle Mount Fuji at any time of year there are some times of year where it’s plain just not accessible – such as in winter and in late autumn and early spring. In fact if you try to climb it during these times you will find nothing on the mountain open to the public and al trails closed. Trails open early July through to mid-September and this is the official climbing season. The mountain is at its peak in August when all the climbers seem to descend onto its slopes and you will find yourself in queues in some parts to traverse the paths. In this sense, if time is not a factor for you consider timing your climb for either early or late in the season.

Late June and late September will find snow on many portions of the mountain with some huts available. Only experienced mountaineers with proper equipment should consider the climb in these shoulder seasons. Climbing in October is perilous as heavy snows at higher elevations pose risks of avalanches and the weather is unpredictable at best.

Explore

Climbing Fuji lends itself to being great for the outdoor lovers among us and the region includes the Fuji Five Lakes. Lake Kawaguchiko is the most well developed to welcome foreign tourists and this region is ideal for viewing the mountain at close range – perfect for photos! – and is a great base for climbing the mountain as well. There are also many hot springs and options for catching a quick bite to eat before tackling Mount Fuji around the area, so be sure to take advantage of the amenities, even if you aren’t climbing Fuji.

Fujinomiya

This region on the slopes of the mountain is home to the Fujinomiya Sengen Shrine as well as the Shiraito Falls – Japan’s most beautiful waterfalls. This is the traditional starting point for climbing Mount Fuji and is still used today as one of the most popular routes for climbers.

Trails

A quick rundown on the trails is as follows:

  • Yoshida Trail: Ascent 5-7 hours; descent 3-5 hours.

  • Subashiri Trail: Ascent 5-8 hours; descent 3-5 hours.

  • Gotemba Trail: Ascent 7-10 hours; descent 3-6 hours.

  • Fujinomiya Trail: Ascent 4-7 hours; descent 2-4 hours.

It’s not advisable to try to summit and descend in one day and instead is advised to overnight at one of the mountain huts along the trails that offer sleeping spots as well as food.

Guides

It’s not necessary to hire a guide, however if you don’t want to leave anything to chance and prefer a professional to plan your climb for you there are a number of professional guiding companies that will provide guides for a fee.

Costs and Miscellaneous

Costs to climb Fuji depend on whether you eat at the mountain huts, but at the trail heads expect to contribute around 1000 yen (about $10USD) to go toward various mountain upkeep. Mountain huts average around 7000 yen for an overnight stay plus two meals (5000 without meals). Camping is not allowed on the mountain and any garbage that you create must be taken with you as there are no garbage facilities.

There you have a couple of tips and information on climbing the highest mountain in Japan. Climbing Fuji is one of the most exhilarating things you could do in the area and is definitely worth doing for the sunrise if you’re up to the task. So pack your hiking boots – the mountain won’t climb itself!