There’s a saying in Japan about Mt. Fuji that goes to the tune of, “You ought to climb it once, but only a fool would climb it twice.”

That’s because, as yours truly learned just last weekend, climbing Mt. Fuji is  a lot like spending up to eight hours repeatedly swinging a mallet into your knees as hard as you can. It’s also – at least this year, after having been declared a World Heritage Site – so crowded you’re guaranteed to be spending the climb with your face in dangerous proximity to someone else’s ass at all times.

Lucky for those that haven’t climbed it yet, Google Street View strapped some poor sucker with 100 pounds of weird Google robot gear, maybe gave him a bottle of water and some peanuts, and told him to walk right on up and take some pictures from the top. “It’ll be cool,” they probably said. “We promise.”

We can’t help but think this guy must have lost a bet at the Google Japan offices.

ScreenHunter_36 Jul. 24 20.49

So, up the oblivious guy went, possibly shouting “Hodor! Hodor!” as he climbed, snapping some neat shots on the way. The pictures are pretty cool, although they do reveal the mountain to be the bleak, almost moon-like wasteland of volcanic rock and exhausted hikers that it really is up-close. As the pictures show, it was a relatively cloudless day, so the view at the top is also pretty nice, but here’s a pro-tip: if you absolutely must see the view yourself, climb at night and arrive for the sunrise. It’s really quite stunning.

Now that Google Street View has made it possible for anyone to see the view from the top of Mt. Fuji at their computer, perhaps that old Japanese saying will change to, “Only a fool climbs Mt. Fuji. Here, open your web browser for a second.”

ScreenHunter_29 Jul. 24 20.47

ScreenHunter_30 Jul. 24 20.47

▼ This is the 5th checkpoint, where most start their journey. You’ll become well acquainted with at least this many people’s hind quarters if you choose to climb.

ScreenHunter_32 Jul. 24 20.48

ScreenHunter_31 Jul. 24 20.48

ScreenHunter_33 Jul. 24 20.48

ScreenHunter_34 Jul. 24 20.48

ScreenHunter_35 Jul. 24 20.49

 Finally, here’s a cool mini documentary about the filming:

Source: Gigazine