Mount Fuji draws nearly 250,000 climbers in 2016

Kyodo

In Japan you won’t escape the crowds by climbing Mount Fuji. A total of 248,461 people ascended above the eighth stations on the mountain’s four approaches this season, up 6 percent from last year, the Environment Ministry has said.

The ministry on Tuesday attributed the increase to a spell of good weather through Sept. 10. Trails up the 3,776-meter-high volcano open from early July to early September.

The most popular route, the Yoshida Trail, was taken by 151,969 people, or about 60 percent of the climbers, while the Fujinomiya, Subashiri and Gotemba trails saw 59,799, 20,996 and 15,697 climbers, respectively.

Meanwhile, 65 percent of people paid the voluntary admission fee of ¥1,000, according to the Yamanashi Prefectural Government. Last year, only 53 percent paid up.

The fee was instituted in 2014 by Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures to fund conservation work and facilities such as first-aid stations and toilets at the World Heritage site.

Infrared counters near the eighth stations on the four routes up the mountain monitored the number of people passing.