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Japanese town blocks tourists from seeing Mount Fuji

May 21, 2024

A Japanese town known for scenic spots for photographing the snow-capped Mount Fuji has built a barrier to dissuade tourists from breaking rules. Many visitors are keen to get snaps for social media.

People taking photo of Mount Fuji from one of the most popular spots to do so
Mount Fuji was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013Image: Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities at a popular Japanese town known for one of themost scenic views of Mount Fuji completed the erection of a giant mesh barrier on Tuesday to dissuade poorly behaved tourists from overwhelming the town.

Rowdy crowds at Fujikawaguchiko have frustrated locals for years, with people littering the roads and breaking traffic rules to get the best photo for social media.

Ignoring parking rules and smoking bans, touristsoften crammed into a particular spot in the town for a picture of the sacred snow-capped mountain.

The AFP news agency reported the net measures eight feet (2.5 meters) high and 65 feet across (20 meters).

Authorities create barricades to erect a barrier to prevent people from overcrowding a famous spot
Authorities create barricades to erect a barrier to prevent people from overcrowding a famous spot Image: Eugene Hoshiko/AP/picture alliance

Fujikawaguchiko is in Yamanashi prefecture, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Tokyo.

Officials have expressed regret at taking the measure and said the mesh barrier was the final resort after tourists ignored warnings from security.

On Monday, the Yamanashi prefecture said in a statement that it introduced new rules for the climbing season, starting July 1 to September 10 for those hiking the Yoshida Trail on the Yamanashi side of the 3776 meter-high mountain. 

For example, those who want to climb one of the most popular trails of Mount Fuji will now have to reserve ahead and pay a fee as the location struggles with too many visitors littering and many who attempt rushed "bullet climbing," putting lives at risk.

Authorities have set the daily limit of climbers allowed on the mountain to 4,000. 

The Japanese National Tourism Organization is expecting a record number of tourists, 32 million, to visit the country this year. 

rm/jsi (AFP, AP)