We wanted to do one day trip as part of our journey, and while Kyoto was tempting, we couldn't resist the opportunity to see the great Mount Fuji in person. Since I was going under the knife for hip surgery after returning home, I wanted to do something physically challenging and rewarding. Climbing Mt. Mitsotuge (next to Fuji) fit the bill and created memories we won't ever forget.

I did my research and was looking for something difficult. I should be clear that there are many easier ways to see Mount Fuji. You can make a whole day of it without having to do any climbing, it's a beautiful place. But seeking a challenge, we decided to climb Mitsotuge.

6.5 hours, 14 miles and 5,859 feet of altitude later, we had done it. What a ride. We wouldn't have made it without the amazing directions in this article. If you do this hike, make sure you have a copy of the article with you so you don't get lost. This photo gallery does a better job at showing the beauty of the hike. It was incredible.