Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji faces over tourism

 Monday, September 18, 2023 


Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, revered as a sacred site and cherished for its symmetrical beauty, faces a grave crisis due to an influx of tourists that has led to rampant pollution and overcrowding.

The mountain, which straddles Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, has long been a popular destination for both domestic and international visitors. However, the recent surge in inbound tourism has strained the delicate ecosystem and cultural significance of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Authorities warn that urgent action is needed to preserve the sanctity of Mount Fuji. The situation has become so dire that they are contemplating drastic measures, including limiting access to the mountain through the construction of a tram system. Masatake Izumi, a Yamanashi prefecture official, expressed his concerns, saying, “Fuji faces a real crisis. It’s uncontrollable, and we fear that Mt. Fuji will soon become so unattractive, nobody would want to climb it.”

Despite efforts by janitors, businesses, and volunteers to maintain cleanliness, social media is filled with reports of soiled bathrooms and heaps of litter along the climbing paths. The UNESCO listing came with conditions to reduce overcrowding and minimize environmental damage, but overcrowding has only worsened over the years. The Subaru base station saw a 50% increase in visitors this summer, reaching about 4 million tourists.

Another challenge that authorities face is the growing trend of “bullet climbing,” where climbers attempt to summit Mount Fuji for sunrise and return on the same day. This has resulted in a surge in rescue requests, with non-Japanese tourists accounting for a significant portion. Many of these climbers are ill-equipped, suffering from hypothermia or altitude sickness.

In light of these issues, restrictions on access to Mount Fuji may become inevitable, a move that could impact the long-held dream of many Japanese people to climb the mountain at least once in their lives. As Japan grapples with the delicate balance between preserving its natural and cultural treasures and accommodating the desires of tourists, Mount Fuji stands as a symbol of the challenges that such iconic destinations face in an era of booming global tourism.

Share On:

« Back to Page

Related Posts

Tags: ,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Subscribe to our Newsletter

I want to receive travel news and trade event update from Travel And Tour World. I have read Travel And Tour World's Privacy Notice.

Sep 29
September 29 - September 30
Oct 03
Oct 04
October 4 - October 6
Oct 07
October 7 - October 15