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Entry Fee imposed on Mount Fuji Hikers in New Crowd Control Measures

The summer climbing season on Mount Fuji kicked off this Monday with new measures aimed at addressing the challenges of over-tourism on Japan's iconic volcano. To manage the influx of visitors along the Yoshida Trail, climbers are now required to pay a 2,000 yen ($13) entry fee, with an option to make additional donations. The daily number of climbers has been capped at 4,000, a move intended to preserve safety and protect the mountain's fragile environment.

Online reservations have been introduced for the first time, reflecting authorities' concerns about both the safety of climbers and the impact of human activity on Japan's highest peak.

Chetna Joshi, a 47-year-old hiker from India, expressed support for the new regulations, emphasizing the importance of respecting the mountain by limiting visitor numbers. Speaking from the busy Fifth Station, a popular starting point accessible by car, Joshi likened the recent crowds on Mount Fuji to the chaotic scenes often seen at Mount Everest's summit.

Despite encountering unfavorable weather conditions that prevented her from reaching the summit on Monday, Joshi remained positive, describing the partial ascent as a fulfilling experience. Her love for mountains shines through as she gracefully accepts nature's decision this time around.

Post-pandemic, Japan has seen a surge in tourist numbers, many of whom are drawn to the allure of Mount Fuji. Every year from July to September, more than 220,000 visitors embark on the climb, braving night-time treks to witness the breathtaking sunrise from the 3,776-meter summit. However, the popularity of the trail has brought its own set of challenges, with some climbers pushing themselves to the limit, risking illness or injury in their quest to conquer the peak.

In response, the introduction of controlled access and online booking aims to balance the thrill of the ascent with sustainable management, ensuring that future generations can continue to appreciate and explore this natural wonder without compromising its integrity.


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