LifestyleJapanese city fights back against Mount Fuji tourism chaos

Japanese city fights back against Mount Fuji tourism chaos

Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan.
Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Pises Tungittipokai

10:27 AM EDT, June 7, 2024

The Japanese authorities are growing increasingly frustrated with tourists striving to capture the perfect shot of Mount Fuji. Another city now plans to take action.

The parking lot in front of a grocery store in Fujikawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture is one of the most popular spots for photographing Japan's highest mountain. However, local authorities, responding to residents' complaints about littering and haphazard parking by tourists, installed a dense mesh screen measuring 8 by 66 feet on May 21 of this year. Its purpose was to block the view of Mount Fuji and discourage disruptive photography. The authorities hoped this measure would solve the issue of tourists taking photos of Mount Fuji, a sacred mountain in Japan. However, the outcome was unexpected, as holes appeared in the mesh on the first day.

Now, another city plans to address the problem of disruptive tourists. According to the Japan Times, residents of Fuji city have begun complaining in recent months that foreign tourists not only disrupt their peace but also pose an increasing traffic hazard.

They've had enough of tourists

The city is home to the picturesque Fujisan Yumeno Ohashi Bridge (Great Bridge of Fuji's Dreams), which attracts hundreds of tourists daily. Notably, the stairs adjacent to the bridge frequently appear in photographs because, from a certain angle, they seem to lead directly to Japan's highest peak. Despite its picturesque name, the bridge is an ordinary viaduct running over a river, with a narrow walkway separated from the road by low concrete barriers.

Local tourism official Haruhito Yoshizaki admitted that tourists cross the concrete barriers straight onto the road, where they pose for photos, record videos, or linger.

Authorities take action

The authorities have already set up low metal scaffolding and signs prohibiting entry onto the roadway, but these measures have proven ineffective. Therefore, by the end of June, they plan to install a metal mesh fence 6 feet high, similar to the one in Fujikawaguchiko. That screen is higher, though, at about 8 feet.

Earlier this year, the authorities of Yamanashi Prefecture announced the introduction of a 2,000 yen (approx. $13) fee for climbing Mount Fuji, citing the need to protect the site from excessive tourism.

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