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Mount Fuji Implements New Climbing Limits to Combat Overtourism

Tuesday, July 2, 2024 • Tamil Comments
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New Yoshida Trail crowd control measures kicked off Mount Fuji's summer climbing season on Monday. The daily climber limit is 4,000, and hikers must pay 2,000 yen ($13). For safety and environmental reasons, Japan's highest peak now accepts online reservations.

Indian hiker Chetna Joshi said, "If you respect the mountain, you have to limit the people." On opening day, wind and rain prevented climbers from reaching the top, although Joshi called the partial ascent a "great experience."

Post-pandemic Japan has experienced a record number of tourists wanting to see Mount Fuji. Over 220,000 climbers visit the snow-covered mountain each July-September. Hikers climb the 3,776-meter (12,388-foot) top at night to see the sunrise. The surge has caused safety difficulties, with many climbing without equipment or rest.

Yamanashi governor Kotaro Nagasaki said the Yoshida Trail, which 60% of climbers favor for its easy access from Tokyo, is now restricted to save lives. The discovery of four bodies near the peak last week highlighted the need for these procedures.

Despite the hurdles, US climber Geoffrey Kula said, "It just seems like another crazy adventure." Japan has had over three million tourists every month since March, with Mount Fuji a top draw.

Tourism control goes beyond Mount Fuji. A hamlet near the mountain blocked tourists from snapping photos in May to reduce littering and trespassing. Kyoto residents have complained about tourists disturbing geisha.

The Mount Fuji measures reflect Japan's goal of 60 million foreign tourists and balancing tourism with preservation and local well-being.

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