Now, pay to climb popular route of Mount Fuji

Individuals looking to climb Mount Fuji via its most popular route will face a fee of ¥2,000 (£10.50, $13.35, A$20.50) once the climbing season commences in the summer. This initiative by local authorities aims to alleviate congestion exacerbated by the tourism boom in Japan.

The pathways leading to Japan’s tallest peak, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013, are witnessing growing overcrowding, sparking concerns about littering and “bullet ascents.” The latter refers to instances where inexperienced climbers attempt to scale the 3,776-meter summit without proper breaks.

Mount Fuji’s limited toilet facilities are under unprecedented pressure due to overcrowding, and the surge in tourists raises the risk of accidents among those underestimating the physical demands of the climb.

Starting in July, hikers approaching the summit along the Yoshida trail in Yamanashi, one of the two prefectures the mountain spans, will be subject to a charge. Daily entries will be capped at 4,000, and access will be prohibited between 4 pm and 3 am, as reported by the Kyodo news agency. Presently, climbers are encouraged to make a voluntary ¥1,000 donation for the mountain’s maintenance.

Toshiaki Kasai, a local government official, emphasized the need for climbers to dress appropriately and be well-prepared for the mountain, attributing the increased traffic to the post-COVID relaxation of restrictions.

While hikers can still use three other routes in the neighboring Shizuoka prefecture without charge, officials are confident that these measures will control overall numbers, especially since the Yoshida trail is favored by about 60% of climbers coming from Tokyo. The journey to the summit from the fifth stage takes an average of five to six hours, but conditions and climbing abilities can extend it to 10 hours.

Last year, over 220,000 visitors passed the eighth stage of Fuji’s 10 stages during the three-month climbing season, a figure similar to pre-pandemic records. The imposed restrictions on opening hours aim to discourage late arrivals, particularly those starting their ascent from the fifth stage, intending to reach the summit in time for sunrise.

Reports from Japanese media have highlighted poorly equipped climbers sleeping on the trails instead of utilizing mountain lodges, leading to injuries and altitude sickness. Yamanashi’s governor, Kotaro Nagasaki, emphasized the urgency of controlling the number of climbers due to overcrowding.

Latest articles

US: 40% of people exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution

According to a recent report by the American Lung Association, nearly 40% of people in the US are exposed to unhealthy levels of air...

Profits dip, Tesla comes up with new models

Tesla's profits have significantly declined this year, prompting the company to accelerate the release of new models and cut thousands of jobs in an...

Greece: Athens covered with orange Sahara dust haze

An intense orange haze has enveloped Athens, creating a surreal landscape as vast clouds of Sahara Desert dust have drifted over the city. This...

Argentina: People protest against cuts to public universities

Tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, on Tuesday, to protest and for voicing their opposition...

Related articles