Japan | City to hide view of Mount Fuji to avoid overtourism

(Tokyo) A small Japanese town near Mount Fuji has decided to erect a high fence to stop an influx of foreign tourists, who sometimes show bad manners, at a very popular place for photographing the famous volcano.

The city of Fujikawaguchiko plans to begin construction of a mesh net 2.5 meters high and 20 meters long next week.

“It is regrettable that we are forced to do this, because some tourists do not respect the rules,” one of the city officials explained to AFP on Friday, complaining in particular about waste left by tourists or more violations of the Highway Code.


This is the latest shock decision in Japan to combat the effects of overtourism, after the recent closure of certain alleys in the geisha district in Kyoto, or the paid and limited access to Mount Fuji from this summer.

More than three million foreign visitors entered Japan in March, an all-time monthly record for the country, which had long been closed to international tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mount Fuji, the highest peak in Japan (3776 m), can be photographed from many locations in Fujikawaguchiko or elsewhere.

But the viewpoint which will be obstructed is particularly sought after by certain tourists, because it appears in the background behind a Lawson convenience store, an omnipresent chain in the archipelago.

Because of this visual juxtaposition, “the reputation of this place, which is very Japanese, has spread on social networks, making it a popular place for photography,” explained a city official interviewed by the AFP, who requested anonymity.


After the failure of prevention campaigns, with signs and even security agents, the municipality decided to use major means, as a last resort.

This decision also aims to protect a neighboring dental clinic, whose parking lot is under attack and which has even found tourists climbing on its roof to take photos, according to the city official, who specifies that this radical measure will be maintained until the situation improves.

The problem of overtourism and its damage to the environment recently led Venice in Italy to charge 5 euros for entry to the city, a UNESCO world heritage site.

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