TOURISTS climbing Mount Fuji, Japan, from the most commonly used route in Yamanashi Prefecture will be charged 2,000-yen or around IDR203 thousand per person starting this summer. This fee was levied to limit the number of visitors and reduce congestion on the iconic mountain as well as to fund safety measures, Yamanashi Governor Kotaro Nagasaki said on February 1, 2024.

The move comes amid growing concerns over unsafe climbing practices such as “bullet climbing”. This is an attempt to reach the highest peak in Japan, 3,776 meters above sea level, in a short time. Usually, they leave at night and continue climbing without rest so they can enjoy the sunrise in the morning.

Other problems also arise, such as piles of rubbish and climbers who are dressed too lightly. The fee will be collected at the gate to be installed at the 5th station of the Yoshida Line on the mountainside of Yamanashi Prefecture, which is accessible by bus and taxi. In addition, climbers are asked to voluntarily contribute 1,000 yen or around IDR106 thousand for the upkeep and upkeep of the mountain.

However, Shizuoka Prefecture, which has three routes to the peak, has no plans to charge additional fees on top of the existing conservation levies. Funds will be allocated to build shelters in case of volcanic activity. The proposed plan is scheduled to be presented at the upcoming prefectural meeting this February.

According to Kyodo News Agency, data from the Ministry of the Environment shows that a total of 221,322 climbers were reported to have crossed the 8th station during the summer of 2023. This figure is almost the same as the number before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Of these climbers, around 60%, or 137,236 people, using the Yamanashi route.

The Yamanashi government plans to limit the number of climbers using the route starting in August. Recent reports suggest that the government is considering limiting daily climbers to 4,000 people.

In December 2023, it was announced that the trail would be closed between 16:00 and 02:00 (local time) during the 2024 Mount Fuji climbing season, which runs from 1 July to 10 September. [sources/photo special]