Mount Fuji is a 12,388 ft (3,776 meter) dormant volcano. It is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south-west of Tokyo and can be seen from there on a clear day.

Every year more than 300,000 people climb to the top. The most popular period for people to hike up is from July to August, while huts and other facilities are operating and the weather is warmest. Most Japanese climb the mountain at night in order to be in a position at or near the summit when the sun rises.

There are four major routes to the summit, each has numbered stations along the way. They are (clockwise, starting North): Yoshida, Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya routes. Climbers usually start at the fifth stations, as these are reachable by car or by bus. The summit is the tenth station on each trail. The stations on different routes are at different elevations; the highest fifth station is located at Fujinomiya, followed by Yoshida, Subashiri, and Gotemba.

While I do not know the exact origin of the proverb, The writer of the article puts his interpretation nicely - "It's not often that you find out first hand the meaning of a proverb. Fuji-san holds a special place in the heart of many Japanese. Standing on its peak, I got a glimpse into the reverence that influenced centuries of Japanese art and literature. It's true: one may be a fool to climb it twice, but to not climb it at all may be the most foolish thing of all."

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