After Mount Fuji’s UNESCO listing, climbing gear rental business booming

JIJI

The mountain climbing rental gear business is booming, possibly gaining a lift from the June 22 listing of Mount Fuji as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

People are flocking to rental shops for gear such as backpacks and waterproof clothes so they can take to the peaks without having to shell out hundreds of thousands of yen to buy expensive gear.

Cuterek, an online climbing gear rental shop based in the city of Gifu, offers colorful top-brand climbing gear for ¥9,800 to ¥24,000 for overnight use. Buying this equipment would cost more than ¥60,000. The price scheme has made the set a hit.

Since the start of the year, an increasing number of people have made preparations to take to the mountains amid expectations that Mount Fuji would become a World Heritage site.

“We may run out of stock,” Cuterek President Kaori Muto said.

Outdoor gear rental shop Soranoshita in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, at the foot of Mount Fuji, has increased its stock of climbing gear for people planning to summit the volcano this season.

In between April and June, rental orders more than doubled from a year before, the company said. Notably, orders spiked three- to fivefold after the World Heritage recognition, it said.