Visitor numbers at Mount Fuji steadily returned to pre-pandemic levels this summer, as evidenced by the continuous arrival of buses at the mountain’s base station in Yamanashi Prefecture, and the tourists exploring the souvenir shops and restaurants there.

Straddling the border of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, the 3,776-meter Mount Fuji, which closed for the season on Sept. 10, has long been a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers.

But Yamanashi Gov. Kotaro Nagasaki is more concerned than happy about the return of tourists, saying the UNESCO World Heritage site is facing a “crisis.”