Climbing Fujisan on the Yoshida Trail

I Hiked Fujisan 🗻 Wednesday/Thursday with my partner and another couple. Started off with a bus from Shinjuku. Bit of work to navigate the sprawling station. We planed for this but it still took about 30 min to find the highway bus terminal. It is on the opposite end of the station from the local buses, which we found first. Upon arrival to Fujisan Subaru 5th station 2305 m (7,562 ft) we were greeted with a downpour and thunderstorms, we waited it out. With the weather clearing we set off in light rain around 3:30 pm a bit later than we planned.
Hiking in and out of rain our destination for the night was Gansomuro. A mountain hut in station 8 at 3250 m (10,660 ft). There were beautiful sights but the elevation caught up with us as it increased and the nigh wore on. Late in the 7th station area around 8:00pm we were confronted with the dinner cut off. We sent Tyler and Anne ahead to secure our lodging for the night. Allison and I just made dinner by 5 minutes. Wolfed down our chicken kar? and had some tea, bed by 9:30 pm with a 2:00 am wake up. A bunkhouse sleeping 50 to a room is not a great place to get a restful nights sleep. I got a few fitful hours, Allison none.
About 1:30 am the early birds started leaving the hut to the sounds of heavy rain and thunder. The next morning was really rough on me. My head was foggy and stomach was sour. All the rest of the party were also showing signs of mild altitude sickness. We set off a little after 3 am. Hiking was slow we had fog, dense fog or rain as an accompaniment. We took frequent breaks whenever we could find shelter on the backside of the switchbacks. With spirits flagging  around 3500 m I asked the question on our minds, do we continue to the top?  Decision, yes. We climbed on reaching the top of the Yoshida Trail to the Kusushidake peak around 6:30 am at 3720 m (12205 ft). When we were planning this trip we planed on doing a loop of the Ohachimeguri crater. When faced with the reality of wet clothes, strong whipping winds, dense fog and sub 0 windchill we scrapped those plans. Reaching the true summit 3776 m given our hiking pace would have meant spending another 90 minutes exposed to the worst the day and the mountain had to offer. Accepting the victory of getting to the top of our trail we headed down on the tractor trail. This was a different sort of trial. Often walking through dense fog gave us no sense of time or distance. Unlike the acceding trail this trail was featureless. Just crushed red and black pumice surrounding us. The few times it cleared we were afforded some views that buoyed our spirits. The hike wrapped up with us back at Subaru 5th station around 12:45 pm.