Japan imposes new rules on climbing Mount Fuji in response to overtourism

Those who plan to climb Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain. now have to pay a fee and make a reservation in advance.

The new rules have been imposed by authorities because Mount Fuji is struggling with overtourism, human traffic jams, pollution and waste. Many people have also attempted ‘bullet climbing’, which has endangered lives as it involves climbing the mountain all night without adequate rest the previous day.

climb Mount Fuji
Those wanting to climb Mount Fuji must reserve and book online now

In a statement, Yamanashi Prefecture said the new rules will take effect for the upcoming climbing season, which starts on July 1 and continues until September 10, for those who will use the Yoshida Trail.

Under the new rules, only 4,000 climbers are allowed to hike the trail each day. Those wishing to attend must make a reservation online for 2,000 yen (approximately $18 USD). Of the 4,000 slots, 3,000 will be available online, while the remaining 1,000 will be available in person on the day.

Individuals can make online reservations at Mount Fuji’s official website, which is operated by Yamanashi Prefecture, Shizuoka Prefecture and Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.

With the new system, individuals will also have to choose whether they want to stay overnight in one of the available huts or take a day hike. Once the online booking is complete, they will receive a QR code, which they can then scan at the 5th station.

To discourage ‘ball climbing’, those who have not made a booking for an overnight hut will be sent back down the mountain and will not be allowed back up between 4pm. and 3 p.m.

In a statement, Yamanashi Prefecture Governor Kotaro Nagasajki thanked everyone for their understanding and cooperation in helping preserve the heritage.

Mount Fuji Lawson
A mesh net was installed to block a popular selfie spot near Mount Fuji

The announcement came just as Shizuoka Prefecture placed a large black screen on a sidewalk to block views of the mountain because it was attracting too many tourists to the area, leading to overcrowding, affecting traffic, businesses and local residents. population inconvenienced. .

The mesh net, about 2.5 meters high and 20 meters long, was erected at a popular photo spot in response to badly behaved tourists, who often ignored road rules and left litter behind.

The barrier is also intended to protect a local dental practice from foreign visitors who sometimes park in front of the building without permission to get the perfect picture. Although the city had initially hoped that they would not have to take such actions, they were left with no choice as the situation gradually deteriorated.

Overtourism has also hit other popular tourist destinations, including Kamakura

The current plan is for the barrier to remain in place until the situation improves.

Overtourism has also become a problem in other popular tourist destinations such as Kamakura and Kyoto, as many have flocked to Japan due to the weaker yen.

In 2023, Japan had more than 25 million visitors and this year this number is expected to exceed 32 million.