Shizuoka and Yamanashi aim to ease Mount Fuji crowds with targets for number of daily climbers

JIJI

The prefectural governments of Yamanashi and Shizuoka on Tuesday adopted targets for the number of climbers on some Mount Fuji routes.

The move is designed to prevent the mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from becoming crowded with too many hikers.

The goal for the maximum daily number of climbers was set at 4,000 for the Yoshida route on the Yamanashi side and 2,000 for the Fujinomiya route on the Shizuoka side.

The figures will be reported to UNESCO by the end of November.

The prefectures have no plans to regulate entry into the mountain area. Instead, they aim to control the number of climbers by providing a crowd forecast calendar.

The number of summer climbers on the mountain tops 300,000 in a busy year.

When a UNESCO advisory panel recommended Mount Fuji for World Heritage registration in 2013, it warned that the large number of hikers is putting great pressure on the trail and huts, calling for a study of the capacity of climbing routes.

The prefectures conducted crowd surveys from 2015 to 2017, partly by distributing GPS devices to climbers.

Aside from confirming that the mountain is crowded on weekends and holidays, the surveys also found that congestion tends to occur when the number of climbers from the Yoshida route reaches 4,000 and that of those from the Fujinomiya route tops 2,000.

The prefectures did not set numerical targets for the other two routes, which attract fewer climbers.