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Mountain Stamp Rally App YAMASTA are partially renewing their popular ‘Fuji Hakone Trail Stamp Rally’ in cooperation with Shizuoka Prefecture’s Oyama-cho.
Last year, the event was held from September through to March, and even though it ran through winter – when hiking activities slow down – it became a popular stamp rally with more than 1,000 climbers and hikers participating.
This year the rally event will begin on Thursday 29th of April, and will run through until 28 December 2021.
What is YAMASTA?
YAMASTA is a stamp rally app for mountain climbing and nature. It allows hikers and climbers to collect digital stamps when they check in at predetermined locations, such as mountain peaks or a tourist spot.
In Japan, collecting stamps has become a popular pastime amongst individuals, with 55 official stamp rally events held nationwide attracting over 160,000 people. Most likely inspired by the sacred pilgrim tradition of collecting handwritten temple seals (known as goshuin), there are different stamp rallys for almost any hobby in Japan.
The idea is simple; by collecting stamps at locations and events, one can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and self-fulfillment. The YAMASTA app aims to double that feeling of achievement, by encouraging people to go out and reach certain location goals alongside collecting interesting stamps.
The YAMASTA app utilises the built-in GPS functions of modern smartphones, and can even check-in devices when they’re in a location not covered by phone signals.
Participants are welcome to join in the event at any time according to their own convenience, and with no need to line up at an official counter for stamp collecting, it is possible to collect stamps whilst avoiding congestion and maintaining a safe social distance from others.
Fuji Hakone Trail Stamp Rally
The Fuji Hakone Trail Stamp Rally follows the mountain trail from Mt. Fuji’s Subashiri 5th station on the Fuji Hakone Trail, through to Mikuni Ridge, Yufuneyama, and Furosan in Nishitanzawa to Ashigara Pass. This year, with the hopeful reopening of Mt. Fuji, YAMASTA will also add the Subashiri 5th station as a new check-in stamp location.
All the stamps of the trail have been renewed and updated, so that even those who have participated before can enjoy the stamp rally with excitement.
The trail is abundant with rich nature, such as the beech forests that spread along the ridgeline, and with different flowers blooming throughout the seasons you can enjoy the approach to Mt. Fuji no matter when you choose to take part in the stamp rally.
Check-in stamp location
The ‘Fuji Azami Line’ must be used in order to reach Mt. Fuji Subashiri 5th Station. In the off-season, you can check-in at Michi-no-eki Subashiri instead.
You can get commemorative badges for each check-in location at Suruga Oyama Station Exchange Center in Oyama. There are only 1,500 badges in total (11 designs), and they will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis.
Additionally, course achievement certificates are also available at the Exchange Center for those who complete the full Stamp Rally trail. If you collect all the stamps on the trail, you can put your name in for a lottery to win a special pin with the motif of Mt. Fuji, Sanshobara (Japanese roses) and a Beech forest that symbolizes the Fuji Hakone Trail