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Mount Fuji Implements Daily Climber Cap and Toll Amid Rising Trash and Safety Concerns

As Mount Fuji faces escalating challenges with litter accumulation and increased injuries among ill-equipped climbers, the Yamanashi prefectural government has taken decisive action. Beginning July 1, a daily limit of 4,000 climbers will be enforced on the popular Yoshida Trail, with a toll introduced to support maintenance efforts and the construction of shelters.

Governor Kotaro Nagasaki announced the plan in late December, emphasizing the need to alleviate trail congestion and address safety issues associated with overcrowding near the summit. Additional regulations include restricting climbers from starting the trail between 4 pm and 2 am. The toll’s cost is yet to be determined and will be announced in February.

While the move is supported by environmental preservation groups and guiding organizations, concerns are raised about its potential impact on local economies. Tatsuo Nanai from the Fuji-san Club acknowledges the problems of waste disposal and limited facilities on the mountain, highlighting the importance of addressing these issues. Safety concerns related to altitude sickness and unpredictable weather conditions are also emphasized.

With a total of 221,322 climbers in the summer of 2023, the Yoshida Trail’s popularity necessitates measures to ensure a safer and more sustainable climbing experience. Industry experts, such as Luke Cummings from Fuji Mountain Guides, believe that these initiatives could lead to improved facilities on the routes, setting a precedent for similar systems on other trails to Mount Fuji’s summit.

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