Every ending is a new beginning

On July 22, 2018, I made my final (for the foreseeable future) trip to Japan, the country that captured my heart and that I called home for 3 years. Unlike previous trips in which I’d catch up with old friends, visit old haunts, and simply enjoy being in Japan, this trip had a PURPOSE: to climb Mt. Fuji. It had been a goal for several years, but every summer, my plans fell through. As I’m preparing to leave Asia after 5 years here, though, this was my last chance, and I wad determined to SUCCEED.

So my friend Jack and I packed our bags and hitched a flight to Haneda…

20180723_134831^^^ view of Fuji-san from the 5th Station

20180902_235950.jpg^^^ Fuji-san: it’s not just for adults anymore! (note: the majority of the descent was ONLY dust and pebbles like this!)

20180903_000043.jpg^^^ our lodging for the evening, dinner and sleeping bags included

20180903_003809.jpg^^^ some people won’t rest yet, though

20180723_184751.jpg^^^ not a bad view, I suppose!

20180724_022207.jpg^^^ sometime around 2:00am, back on the trail with a few hundred of our closest friends

20180724_044832.jpg^^^ glorious sunrise from the top! We made it!

20180903_000519.jpg^^^ looking back towards the shops etc. at the top

All in all, I’m so glad and grateful to have been able to summit Mt. Fuji. It was marginally difficult, requiring the use of hands in some places to scramble over rocks. It was also a relative steep incline, and much of the trail was loose gravel and dirt, making each step a challenge: 1 step forward, then slide back a bit.  In all honesty, though, it felt a little bit anti-climactic in the end, as I had trekked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal the month prior: with merely 6 cumulative hours to summit Fuji versus 8 days to reach EBC, I was left feeling, “Is that it? It’s over already?” upon seeing the sunrise on Fuji.

Regardless, what a wonderful accomplishment and goal to realize as I conclude my time in Asia (although I’d be surprised if I never live in this region again!). And the best is yet to come!

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