Climbing Mount Fuji at Night: Ascend covers the ascend.
For 2 hours I was waiting in the cold at the summit, drinking green tea from the vending machines. Due to the cold, I could not sleep or stay at one place without moving - and that was even with proper jacket, I had seen people climbing up in short trousers, probably not waiting for the daylight but directly descending.
Eventually a hut opened, people streamed in and ate udon. At 4:15, the first light could be seen, people started to stare towards east. Some wrapped the body in tinfoil, curious how well that works. Looking downwards, I saw the clouds, this time not seen from a plane but the Fujisan. At 5:02, the sun finally came up, and the Japanese national anthem was played.
Everybody was happy to have made it so far. Shops opened and sold souvenirs. Pilgrims were around with cone shaped hats, for some it is considered good to have climbed Fujisan at least once in a lifetime. It got more and more crowded now, climbers arrived.
Turning around, a crater was seen, rocks and snow. There was a shrine which I did not visit.
Eventually I started to descend. I had not slept and figured I should pay special attention to not slip, so taking time would be good. Some people used oxygen masks, as the air at this height gets thin.
The views while descending were amazing. First pure rocks. Then red soil, like on mars! All of that in front of the clouds from the top. The Fujisan is just open for climbing for 2 months in the summer, at the other times the stations are closed and hikers bring in tents and camp.
I considered to take the long way down, but decided to just go with the shorter one to not block ascending people. Eventually the scenery got greener, first plants were seen. The wooden pole was really helpful, without that I would have needed to focus much more on each single step. After all of these hours, focusing got harder and harder.
At 8:00 in the morning, I reached the 5th station again. Buses were not yet running, so I took trains back to Tokyo. I stayed up that day until 18:00, the next day I went to the Odeo onsen, and spent there all day bathing and sorting the pictures.