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Japan Blocks Famous View-Point of Mount Fuji From Tourist Chaos 

by Violet Dawson
0 comment

Mount Fuji is a 3,776 meter peak and has been one of the famous tourist spots and favorite selfie point for the social media users

The iconic view of Mount Fuji in Japan’s Fuji Kawaguchiko town now stands covered with a black mesh screen about the same size as a cricket patch. The residents of the town faced many problems and were upset that tourists would block the narrow sidewalk. They would enter private properties and take pictures on a busy road causing traffic. They wind their way through crowds and traffic just to find a perfect shot. 

Fuji Kawaguchiko has a specific viewpoint at the foot of the huge Mount Fuji and near the starting point of the most used trails up the mountain, is so popular with visitors causing problems for locals. Mount Fuji is a 3,776 meter peak and has been one of the famous tourist spots and favorite selfie point for the social media users. Pictures taken from a narrow stretch of pavement across a busy road from the pervasive Japanese chain, Lawson have been shared online. 

But due to the complaints of the locals against tourists littering and trespassing it has now been put behind barriers. The locals living around said their lives have been interrupted by jaywalking. The situation worsened when businesses that did not entertain tourists and had no connection had faced issues. The Ibishi Dental Clinic which is located next to the photo spot reported that employees and patients have dealt with harassment. 

“There was a series of nuisance illegal activities such as leaving garbage, trespassing on the premises, smoking, eating in the parking lot or under the roofs of private homes, and trespassing on the rooftop, which often resulted in a call to the police,” said a statement issued by the clinic. “It became not uncommon for people to shout insults at us or to throw away their cigarettes while they were still lit when we asked them to move their cars.”

Ever since then, the poles have been in the preparation to be installed measuring 2.5 by 20 metres to block the sight of Japan’s highest mountain that is seen from behind the Lawson convenience store. 

Tourists visiting the town of Fuji Kawaguchiko post the pandemic led to a boom amid a weak yen. More than 3 million tourists visited in March and April. Japan had more than 25 million visitors in 2023 and around 2,21,322 climbers which are close to the pre-pandemic period, said the Environment Ministry of Japan. The tourist visitor number is expected to surpass in 2014 with nearly 32 million, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization. 

The small town in Yamanashi has become the centre of a controversy spread internationally in the past few weeks. The plan was proposed in April when the officials received constant complaints from the locals of the foreigners littering, trespassing and breaking traffic rules. 

Less drastic measures were taken by the officials, by putting up big signboards in multiple languages, telling people not to run onto the road. Unsurprisingly, they were largely ignored 

The screen was a desperate but necessary move in order to protect the streets and the way of living of the people. At the hour of installation it brought more attention to this rural corner of central Japan. The workers were surrounded by cameras as they fixed the poles and hung up the wires, the final touches. Many tourists gathered to capture the chaos. 

Most tourists do not spend the night in the town of Japan, Fuji Kawaguchiko but prefer to do a day visit. This means there is no income in terms of entry ticket, museum passes or hotel rent to maintain the balance caused by thousands of visitors, littering, traffic issues they bring along.  

The government officials have tried to change certain rules for safety and conservation concerns pertaining to the climbing of Mount Fuji. The ones who wish to climb need to book a slot online and pay an entry fee. The new rules will come into effect in a couple of months.

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