Laura Loss - Feb 4, 2024
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Starting in the summer of 2024, visitors who wish to climb one of the many trails on Mount Fuji must pay a fee. This fee will help fund efforts to clean up the mountain, protect the environment, and combat overtourism.

Additionally, there will be a daily limit of 4,000 visitors on Mount Fuji's Yoshida Trail. This measure is being introduced to ensure that the volume of visitors does not harm the natural beauty of this iconic and sacred mountain, which is also one of Japan's main tourist attractions.

Mount Fuji has experienced a significant increase in visitors in recent years. With this increase in tourism, concerns have arisen about trash accumulation and the safety of hikers. To combat these over-tourism concerns, the government of Japan's Yamanashi prefecture, which oversees hiking activities at the UNESCO World Heritage site, has proposed measures to preserve Mount Fuji's environment. The mountain is a sacred place for the Japanese, standing 3,776 meters high.

Starting from July 1, the government will introduce a fee for the most popular trail, the Yoshida, accessible from Tokyo and popular due to the frequency of mountain huts offering accommodation and meals. In addition, they will limit the number of daily visitors on this trail. Climbers cannot start the ascent between 4:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.

The Japanese government reported an "unprecedented number" of climbers on the Yoshida Trail last year and anticipated a similar increase this year. Over half of the 221,322 climbers who reached the summit of Mount Fuji last year used the Yoshida Trail.

However, the rise in visitors has led to a buildup of garbage along the trail, causing traffic jams that have resulted in accidents and injuries. Officials are also worried about inexperienced hikers attempting the trail and struggling near the summit, with limited facilities.

To combat over-tourism, the authorities plan to install a gate at the entrance to the Yoshida Trail, where a toll will be collected. The revenue generated from this will be used to construct shelters along the trail for use in case of a volcanic eruption and to maintain the hiking trail.

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