Mt. Fuji Photo Spot Gets New Parking Area as Another Japanese City Takes Measures Against Overtourism

Courtesy of Fuji city government
Tourists view Mt. Fuji near the Fujisan Yumeno Ohashi bridge in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture.

FUJI, Shizuoka ― Another municipality overlooking Mt. Fuji has taken a measure against disruptive behavior by tourists.

The city government in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, opened a parking lot on Monday near a photogenic bridge and began dispatching two traffic controllers to cope with flocks of foreign tourists who visit the site to take photos of themselves at the bridge with Mt. Fuji in the background. The bridge is located in a residential area, and visitors have been causing problems.

The move follows the installation of a large screen by the town of Fuji-Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture to block the view of Mt. Fuji seen above a convenience store that was popular with tourists.

The Fujisan Yumeno Ohashi bridge spans the Uruigawa River that runs through the city, and Mt. Fuji is directly in view when crossing it from south to north. The adjacent pedestrian bridge is a popular photo spot as it looks like a person is ascending the mountain while crossing the bridge.

Overseas tourists began posting about the view on social media, and many have traveled to there since around autumn. Several hundred people visit in a single day on some long weekends.

Problems have arisen, such as people taking photos on the roadway, parking in the street, littering and making noise.

“Some visitors parked in the parking areas of private homes and were loud in the morning and at night,” said Masatoshi Matsumoto, head of the local neighborhood association. “We want tourists to behave with good manners.”

The central and local governments had installed signs and barricades near the entrance to the pedestrian bridge to prohibit parking on the street, littering and crossing the roadway outside of the crosswalk.

The new parking lot can accommodate 17 cars and has portable toilets. Traffic controllers are on duty from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except when bad weather blocks the view of Mt. Fuji.

Many tourists were seen near the bridge on Monday morning despite heavy clouds covering the view of Mt. Fuji, and the traffic controllers were seen informing visitors that a new parking lot had been opened.

A Thai man said he came to the site by rental car because he learned about the site on Facebook. He said he would be careful when sightseeing, as he had heard about tourists’ dangerous behavior when crossing the roadway.

A section chief in the city’s exchange and tourism division said, “We must solve problems for residents first to balance tourism.”