Shizuoka Prefecture to Ask Unprepared Mt. Fuji Climbers to Refrain from Mountaineering; Yamanashi Prefecture to Begin Taking a Toll on Mountain Trail

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The fifth station on Mt. Fuji’s Yoshida Trail is seen crowded with climbers in July 2023.

SHIZUOKA — Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu plans to introduce a system this summer in which people will be asked to refrain from climbing Mt. Fuji if they do not have reservations for mountain lodges in order to prevent unprepared climbing overnight.

On the other hand, Shizuoka Prefecture does not intend to limit the number of climbers or collect a toll from them, the governor said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Yamanashi prefectural government intends to introduce a toll for climbers using the Yoshida Trail, set a cap on the daily number of climbers and take other steps in order to reduce congestion on the trail.

Given that Shizuoka Prefecture has been concerned about the possible influx of unprepared climbers from the Yamanashi side. The Shizuoka prefectural government plans to launch a website on which people can register in advance whether they have lodging reservations as well as their climbing plans. Under the envisaged system, staff will check the registration information at parking lots or other locations near the fifth station, mainly at night, and if climbers do not have lodging bookings, they will be asked to refrain from climbing the mountain.

Even though the number of climbers on the three routes in Shizuoka Prefecture last summer was high, the prefectural government has stopped short of setting entry restrictions. Regarding the so-called conservation cooperation fees, for which climbers are currently asked to pay on a voluntary basis, the Shizuoka governor had previously said consideration would be given to make the fees mandatory. However, he has now said that the prefecture would continue asking climbers to pay the ¥1,000 fee on a voluntary basis this summer, while continuing to study the matter.

“Yamanashi Prefecture will launch a new initiative this year, so we will also take it as a social experiment and reflect the results in our measures for the next and subsequent fiscal years,” Kawakatsu said.