Mount Fuji: Iconic view to be blocked to deter tourists

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One of Japan’s most famous spots for taking photos of Mount Fuji will soon be hidden from view by a big black barrier. Authorities have decided to block the iconic view because they are fed up with tourists behaving badly.

The spot in question is in Fujikawaguchiko, where visitors can see Mount Fuji behind a convenience store. This unique combination of nature and everyday life has made it a popular location for photos, especially among tourists. However, residents of Fujikawaguchiko have accused many foreign tourists of littering and parking illegally while trying to get the perfect picture.

The town’s officials say they have tried various measures to address the issue, including putting up road signs and warning tourists through security guards. However, these efforts have been ineffective, with some tourists even climbing onto roofs to get a better view.

To tackle the problem, authorities have decided to erect a 2.5-meter-tall and 20-meter-long mesh net, which is about the length of a cricket pitch. This barrier will block the view of Mount Fuji from the convenience store. Construction of the net is set to begin as early as next week.

Officials expressed regret over having to take such a drastic measure but said it was necessary because some tourists were not respecting the rules. They also mentioned that the net would protect a nearby dental practice, which was suffering from visitors parking illegally and even climbing onto the building’s roof to take photos.

The decision to block the view of Mount Fuji comes as Japan experiences a tourism boom following the lifting of pandemic-related travel restrictions. In March, the country welcomed over three million visitors for the first time ever. However, the influx of tourists has led to various issues, including congestion on Mount Fuji.

To address overcrowding on the mountain, authorities have implemented new measures, including a $13 charge for climbers and a daily cap on the number of hikers allowed on the Yoshida Trail. Additionally, climbers will not be allowed to start their ascent between 4:00 PM and 2:00 AM to prevent “bullet climbs,” where people try to reach the summit without taking breaks.

The situation in Fujikawaguchiko is just one example of the challenges posed by tourism in Japan. In 2019, officials in Kyoto started handing out leaflets and paper lanterns to remind tourists of proper behavior in the historic Gion quarter.

Overall, the decision to block the view of Mount Fuji highlights the importance of responsible tourism and the need for authorities to take action to protect both natural landmarks and local communities.

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