Admission fee for Mount Fuji in works: Yamanashi, Shizuoka governors

Kyodo

The governors of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures have warned they might start charging an admission fee to visit Mount Fuji in a bid to finance environmental efforts on the iconic mountain.

Yamanashi Gov. Shomei Yokouchi said the two prefectures, whose borders are straddled by Japan’s highest mountain, will jointly determine how much to charge and when to commence a fee-based system. An admission fee might be introduced on a trial basis at an early date, he added.

“It’s likely we’ll ask climbers to share certain burdens,” Yokouchi told reporters Saturday, although Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu said it’s possible the prefectures will “start by collecting contributions rather than a compulsory charge.”

The move comes at a time when Japan is hoping to have Mount Fuji listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

The two prefectures have discussed the introduction of an admission charge for the last 15 years due to the degradation of Mount Fuji’s environment from the volume of visitors and climbers. However, concerns that the plan could cause visitor numbers to tumble have hindered its implementation.

Yokouchi and Kawakatsu were attending an event in Tokyo organized to promote the mountain’s bid for a World Heritage listing.

  • Daitokei

    Good

  • blimp

    so what will they do with the money? will they clean up the mountain, something that is already done today by volunteers, or will they repair the trails, something they should ask the hut owners to do, or will they use it to finance rescue operations, something that is either already covered by insurance or should be covered by the individual.

    • KM, Tokyo

      If you lived in a mountainous area of Japan you would realise how many things need to be funded to deal with the burden placed on local cities by the tokaijin (city slickers) who visit. If you think that volunteers do “all” the cleanup work, you are deluding yourself. Local governments are constantly forced to pay for large-scale efforts to collect trash, not to mention the abandoned cars, trucks, refrigerators, bathtubs (you laugh???) and so on that get dumped.

      But a far more serious issue is the cost to local people when some stupid climber gets themselves in trouble, or start a wildfire. While SDF personnel often are involved, it is predominantly the local shobodan (volunteer fire fighters) who provide the “feet on the ground” to do search and rescue, not to mention putting out forest fires. And the word “volunteer” is spurious, because if you live in a rural area and are male, you MUST serve in your local shobodan for at least a few years and often two or three decades. If not for the compulsory nature of “volunteer” activities like shobodan, rural towns wouldnt be able to function.

      Prefectural funds are – and always have been – used to provide shobodan members with some minor form of compensation for their efforts. Individuals are supposed to be held responsible, but in practice the fines they are charged barely cover the cost of the non-volunteer portion of rescue operations. And when tragedy strikes (as it has done many times in just the decade since I moved to rural Yamanashi), and a shobodan member is killed or seriously injured trying to save some idiot from Tokyo who went climbing without adequate preparation, the prefecture provides the only source of compensation for the family of those injured or killed.

      The fact is that if you took a vote among citizens of Yamanashi and Shizuoka, they would choose to charge truly exorbitant fees, and if that discouraged climbers from coming – so much the better. It is only pressure from neighboring prefectures (esp Tokyo, Saitama and Kanagawa) that has kept the fees from being imposed up to now.

      • blimp

        Just to properly understand you. You mean that “city slickers” drive to Mr Fuji to throw away a refrigerator? I hope you aware that it is cheaper to have someone to pick it up at your home then to drive to Mt Fuji for Tokyo or Yokohama. I seriously doubt that climbers of Mt Fuji are the ones that dump the things that you list, but perhaps you know better.

        You “must” serve in the shobodan? That is honestly the first thing I have heard. I know quite a lot of people that do it as a volunteer, but this is the first time I hear it is mandatory.

  • A man who lave Mt. Fuji

    It is rightful measure that the nature of Mt.Fuji has be protected.