Mount Fuji: Iconic view to be blocked to deter tourists

By Alex Binley, BBC News

One of Japan’s most iconic photo spots is to be blocked by authorities exasperated by badly behaved tourists.

A big black barrier is to be erected to obscure views of Mount Fuji.

Residents of Fujikawaguchiko accuse mainly foreign tourists of dropping rubbish and parking illegally as they search for the perfect photo.

The shot in question features a convenience store in the foreground, with Japan’s most famous landmark rising behind it.

The juxtaposition of the soaring volcano and the banal sight of one of Japan’s most ubiquitous shops have made Fujikawaguchiko a popular location for photos, with a local official telling AFP that the place had gained a “reputation that this spot is very Japanese”.

They added that the town in Yamanashi region was at its wits’ end over the behaviour, with some tourists even climbing on to roofs to get the perfect snap.

Construction of the mesh net which will be 2.5m and 20m – or the same length as a cricket pitch – will begin as early as next week, the official told AFP.

“It’s regrettable we have to do this, because of some tourists who can’t respect rules,” they said.

Before taking the rather drastic measure of the screen, officials had put up road signs and said repeated warnings from security guards were ignored.

The official said the net was also being put up to protect a nearby dental practice, which was suffering from visitors parking in its spaces without permission and even climbing on the building’s roof to clinch the best picture.

Japan is currently enjoying a tourism boom following the lifting of post-pandemic travel restrictions and a push by the government to attract more foreign visitors. For the first time ever in March, visitor numbers to the nation of islands passed three million.

However, soaring numbers of tourists have caused some issues.

Congestion on Mount Fuji caused by climbers means that from this summer hikers will have to pay a £10 (NZ$21) charge as authorities try to limit the numbers scaling to the summit.

The congestion on the route up Japan’s highest mountain was leading to increasing injuries and rubbish littering the trail – not to mention inappropriately dressed hikers, officials said.

Numbers of people hiking up the Yoshida Trail will also be capped at 4,000 people a day. They will also not be allowed to set off between 4pm and 2am – part of a bid to stop so-called “bullet climbs”, when people try to scale the 3,776-metre summit without breaks.

While in Kyoto in 2019, officials started handing out leaflets and paper lanterns in an attempt to remind tourists how to behave in its historic Gion quarter.

– BBC News

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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