Mount Fuji Azami Line (Japan)

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Distance: 11km
Average Gradient: 10%
Elevation Gained: 1,117 metres
Surface: Sealed

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

Listed as a World Heritage site, Mount Fuji is easily one of the world’s most recognisable Mountains. Located on Island of Honshu, it is this is Japan’s highest and most sacred Mountain which has a beautiful cone shape peak rising to 3,776 metres above sea level. This is a climb for the mountain goats. There are four ascents to choose from. All are extremely hard!

The climb begins from Subashiri.  This ascent is 11 km long, with an average gradient of 10%. If you’re wondering how hard this is.  The climb from the Gantry up Mount Baw Baw is considered one of Australia’s toughest climbs.

Mount Fuji is almost twice as long……….
Mount Fuji Azami line
Image taken by Matthew Hine, courtesy of Flickr

The Azami line is the shortest of the four ascents, but has the benefit of being the quietest of the four roads. There is not that much traffic, and most importantly does not attract the bigger vehicles such as busses that make the other ascents uncomfortable on the narrow roads.

Not only is this climb incredibly steep.  Its one of those nasty climbs that gets steeper and steeper the higher you go.  The ascent is up a fairly straight line directly up the east side of the Mountain.  The first half of the climb is a dead straight.  This type of climb is very challenging.  Without corners, all you will see is a road going up into the heavens with no respite in sight.  No matter the scenery, you will want to have a good “happy place” for your mind to go.  A climb like this you will face many demons, and your body will scream in agony as you grind your way up a climb which will seem to go on forever.

The climb gets steeper, halfway up the mountain and the second half of the climb consists of switchback after switchback, with some incredibly steep pinches heading upwards of 20% along the way.  The first part of the climb will seem like a picnic compared to this.  Your lungs will be screaming.  Your legs will be threatening to go on strike.  With switchbacks, at least you don’t have to see that far up the road.

Mount Fuji Azami line
Image taken by Skyseeker, courtesy of Flickr

Mount Fuji is a mystical place to the Japanese, and is a climb that you can’t take lightly.  Only the strongest will make it up to the top.  If you thought Mount Baw Baw was hard…….

Plan your ride

Location:                                             100 km south-west of Tokyo between the prefectures of Shizuoka and Yumanashi

Best time of year to climb:          Late July to late August when the weather condtions are stable (Please note that between the 13th – 17th August Japan has the long holiday week (Bon holidays) and Mount Fuji becomes very busy during this time.

Temperature:                                    Expect cold conditions up top. Even in mid-summer, the average temperature at the summit is between 5 – 8 degrees. Don’t underestimate the difference in temperature from the base to the top, and bring suitable clothing for the   cold descent.

Additional notes:                             There are metre wide metal drainage grates on the steeper parts of the climb, and in the wet can be quite dangerous both on the climb and descent.

Mount Fuji Azami line
Mount Fuji Azami line
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