Before climbing Mount Fuji, you first need to choose a route. Mount Fuji has four major routes. The northernmost route is Yoshida Trail, followed in the clockwise direction by Subashiri Trail, Gotemba Trail, and Fujinomiya Trail. The distance and difference in elevation vary depending on the course. Know the characteristics of the routes before choosing one. The routes recommended for those climbing Mount Fuji for the first time are the Yoshida and Fujinomiya Trails, which have many huts and are relatively short. You will feel safe because there are first-aid stations in the event of an emergency. Try the Gotemba Trail if you have experience in mountain climbing or have climbed Mount Fuji before. This route is longer and with a greater difference in elevation and so is preferred by experienced climbers. Because the route has fewer huts, you need to have enough experience and physical strength to finish the climb as planned.
The typical period for climbing Mount Fuji is the two months from July 1 to the end of August when the huts are operating and special buses are running. Although the period when the huts are open varies a little,* they are open only during these two months, and you need specialized equipment during the other months, which are allowed only for mountain experts. Check the operational status of the huts before planning a climb. Summer equipment is sufficient for July and August (click here for things you need and clothes to wear), and you're less likely to get lost because there are many other climbers. Bedclothes and meals are available at the huts, so you need to carry a minimum load. In short, these two months are when even beginners can walk safely. However, because many climbers concentrate in these two months, the courses and huts are crowded. You might avoid the crowd pretty well simply by choosing a weekday.
When you have decided on the route, check the access information to the trail entrance. If you use trains, switch to a bus bound for the entrance at one of the major train stations of JR or private-railway lines. These buses are called “climbers' buses (tozan bus)." The departure and arrival stations for the buses are the Kawaguchiko, Fujisan, Gotemba, Shin-matsuda, Mishima, Shin-fuji, Fuji, and Fujinomiya stations. From Tokyo, there also are convenient direct buses to the entrances, so you don't have to switch to a climbers' bus. Other than these, for your convenience, you can use a car, an expressway bus, or join a climbing tour. There is parking at each trail entrance (at the fifth station) so you can use your own car, but it's regulated during the peak season in order to protect the environment and ease traffic congestion. During this season, drivers park their cars at pay car parks at the foot of the mountain and go to the entrance by shuttle bus.
Reservation-based expressway buses allow you to travel at a reasonable price. They mainly depart from the Kanto Area, as well as Nagoya, Osaka, and Kyoto. Those flying into Haneda Airport from a distant place can switch to an expressway bus bound for Fujisan Station, Fujinomiya Station, or the fifth station of Mount Fuji. For a limited time, there are direct expressway buses from Shinjuku Station to the fifth station of Mount Fuji (Yoshida Trail) and Shizuoka Station to Fujinomiya Fifth Station. In the Kanto area, buses from Tokyo Station, Ichigao, and Yokohama to Gotemba and Kawaguchiko stations; from Omiya, Kawagoe, and Ikebukuro to Kawaguchi-ko and Fujisan stations; from Tsudanuma, Nishi-funabashi and Shin-Urayasu to Kawaguchiko station; and from Tokyo Station and Yokohama to Fujinomiya Station are available. From Nagoya, Osaka, and Kyoto, there are buses bound to Kawaguchiko and Fujisan stations. The operation period differs, so please check.