National

Even Mount Fuji climbers who don't plan to push for the summit will be asked to pay up

Kyodo

Even hikers who have no intention of reaching the summit of Mount Fuji will be asked to make a donation of ¥1,000 for stepping foot on the country’s highest mountain from this summer, local prefectures said Thursday.

Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, which the 3,776-meter-high volcanic mountain straddles, will aim to secure more income to help preserve the environment and fund trail safety measures at the UNESCO World Heritage site.

At present, adult climbers aiming to reach the top of the mountain from the various fifth stations, which are mostly halfway to the summit and are accessible by car, are asked to contribute.

Under the new plan, donation points will be set up on the mountain near the fifth stations. But tourists who just want to enjoy the view and shop and eat at those stages will not be asked for a donation.

The new policy will be finalized at a March 19 meeting including the two prefectures, as well as municipalities and central government agencies concerned.

The two prefectures began collecting the voluntary admission fee in 2014, a year after the mountain was registered on the UNESCO list. In 2018, Shizuoka Prefecture collected about ¥56.55 million from 50 percent of the climbers aiming for the top, while Yamanashi Prefecture took in around ¥87.79 million from some 60 percent, according to the Shizuoka Prefectural Government.

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