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New measures to manage overcrowding on Mount Fuji – The Post

New measures to manage overcrowding on Mount Fuji – The Post

The most popular route to the top of Japan's most famous volcano will be paid for and capped on the number of visitors, also to discourage dangerous practices

The government of Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, announced on Monday: And he agreed Decree to introduce new tickets and restrictions for ascents of Mount Fuji, which is the highest mountain in Japan with a height of 3,776 metres, as well as the country's emblematic volcano. Due to the climatic conditions, the mountain is only open for tourism during the summer, with the result that between July and September thousands and thousands of people focus on the trails daily: the decision was made specifically to manage the crowding of visitors towards the top and to discourage dangerous practices, both problems that have been known for some time.

The new measures will relate to the so-called Senteru YoshidaIt is the most popular and best equipped to reach the summit of Mount Fuji, and departs from the fifth stop of the Fuji-Subaru bus line, at an altitude of about 2,300 metres. According to the decree, from next July 1 to access the trail, you will have to pay a ticket of two thousand yen (just over 12 euros) per person, in addition to the voluntary contribution of one thousand requested by the Mount Fuji Preservation Fund to maintain the mountain. path clean. mountain. A barrier will be installed at the fifth station and will remain closed from 4pm until 3am the next day and will collect payments and limit the number of visitors.

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There is already a cap of 4,000 parks per day. But at present, there were no gates on the corridors, and in practice it was difficult to keep track of who was coming in and who was going out. The local administration explained that once the 4,000 entries per day are exceeded, no one will be able to enter until the next day, except for those who have a reservation to sleep in one of the accommodations along the route. These measures do not relate to the other three access routes to the mountain, the Subashiri, Gotemba, and Fujinomiya routes, which are located in Shizuoka Prefecture, and over which Yamanashi Prefecture has no jurisdiction.

A group of visitors ascends Mount Fuji before dawn on August 27, 2019

A group of visitors ascends Mount Fuji before dawn on August 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Most people who visit Mount Fuji stop at one of the stops along the way, because although the trip to the summit is technically simple, it is very long and tiring. According to Japanese Environment Ministry data, about 221,000 visitors reached the mountaintop in the summer of 2023, the same number who were there in the summer of 2019, in the pre-coronavirus season. pandemic. Again, according to ministry data, 60 percent of these ascend the Yoshida Path.

The problem is that often there are those who set out for the summit without adequate preparations, equipment and clothing, which creates traffic jams and doubles the time needed to reach the top of the mountain. In particular, many people climb the mountain at night to reach the summit at dawn and descend during the day: a practice called “bullet climbing”, which over time has also led to an increase in calls for help due to the arrival of bad weather. Especially by inexperienced non-Japanese tourists.

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Since 2013, the mountain has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Japanese government has already advised the implementation of measures to manage visitor flows.

Yamanashi Prefectural Administration Make it known The restrictions are designed to alleviate overcrowding on the trail and near the summit and address concerns about visitor safety and behavior. Ticket proceeds will be used to build barriers to protect hikers from potential rocks or debris falling from the mountain, but also to monitor dangerous or inappropriate behavior.

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