Climbers to pay entry fee to ascend Mt Fuji starting July 1

At 3,776m, Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and a Unesco World Heritage Site. - AFP

TOKYO: Japan’s Yamanashi prefecture, the main starting point for thousands of trekkers at Mount Fuji every year, will impose an entry fee of ¥2,000 (US$13) per person from July 1.

The move is aimed at controlling congestion near the summit, broadcaster NHK reported.

The entry fee will be on top of the ¥1,000 climbers already fork out to support the mountain’s conservation.

The ordinance was passed on March 4 by the authorities in Yamanashi, which lies to the north and west of Mount Fuji.

A gate will be installed at the fifth station, or the entrance of the Yoshida Trail on the Yamanashi side of the mountain, where the fee will be collected, The Japan Times reported.

Jiji Press said the money will go towards setting up shelters and deploying observers to warn climbers who behave badly.

The Yoshida trail is one of four trails up Mount Fuji. It is split into 10 stations, with the summit marking the 10th stop.

At 3,776m, Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain and a Unesco World Heritage site.

The new fee comes as the number of trekkers in 2023 recovered to near pre-pandemic levels of about 300,000 people annually.

During the climbing season in 2023, more than 60 per cent of hikers used the Yoshida trail, Japan’s Environment Ministry said.

In August that year, the Yamanashi government had said it would restrict the number of climbers on the Yoshida trail if overcrowding posed a danger.

The Japan Times reported that during the 2024 climbing season that starts on July 1, entry restrictions will be imposed if the daily number of climbers exceeds 4,000. However, those staying at mountain huts would be exempted from these restrictions.

The move would deter so-called bullet climbers who get to the summit to catch sunrise, without resting at one of the mountain huts. - The Straits Times/ANN

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