Overtourism is hitting Mount Fuji in Japan

Avatar photo

With its 3776 meters above sea level, Mount Fuji is the highest peak in Japan. It is the result of volcanic activity that began about 100,000 years ago. Today, Mount Fuji and its surroundings are a popular recreational destination for hiking, camping and relaxation.

Mount Fuji remains a world-famous image

About 200,000 to 300,000 people climb Mount Fuji every summer. The four main trails provide different approaches to reach the summit. Along the way, you can stop at rest areas where you can find toilets and accommodation. Climbing the summit is popular at sunrise. Climbers often start their ascent the day before and spend the night in a high altitude refuge, then start climbing early the next morning to see the sun rise over the horizon. Previously, Mount Fuji served as a destination for shugenja, practitioners of Shugendo, a mountain cult, to undergo training. Even the popular social classes made pilgrimages there. The many shrines at the foot of the mountain testify to the spiritual and historical significance of Mount Fuji.

In Japan, there are fears of a rush to Mount Fuji

During the official climbing season, which lasts only two months from the beginning of July to the beginning of September, thousands of people climb the slopes of the mountain every day.

This year, locals are sounding the alarm as they fear more than 300,000 people will come after Covid restrictions are lifted. Community leaders in Yamanashi Prefecture have asked authorities to limit the number of climbers, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported today.

Catherine Mills Avatar