Online reservations to begin for climbing Mt. Fuji

Mount Fuji
Photo credit: Pixabay

Online reservations will be introduced for visitors climbing Mt. Fuji on the most commonly used trail situated in Yamanashi Prefecture, with the prefectural government set to start collecting entry fees this summer, it said Monday, Kyodo reported.

The new system, which will begin at 10 p.m. on May 20, is aimed at easing congestion at reception by enabling climbers to pay 2,000 yen ($13) in advance.

As the prefecture accepts a maximum of 4,000 climbers per day, 3,000 slots will be available via online booking. At least 1,000 visitors will be allowed access by paying the fees at the trail's reception area on the day of their climb, according to the local government.

Reservations can be made on the official website for climbing Mt. Fuji, which is operated by the prefecture and other stakeholders, until the day before the climb, with up to 100 people allowed to book at once. Payments can be made by credit card or QR code, and no refunds will be made in principle.

Mt. Fuji is usually open to climbers from July to early September.

The prefectural government said earlier this year that it would start charging hikers ascending the 3,776-meter mountain from the Yoshida Trail to ease congestion and to fund safety measures.

Designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 2013, Japan's highest peak, straddling Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures, has been a popular tourist destination in the country.

Also starting this summer, Yamanashi Prefecture will set up a gate at the 5th station to close the trail between 4 p.m. and 3 a.m., with the only exception being for those who have made prior reservations, who must stay overnight in huts to prevent bullet climbing.

Shizuoka Prefecture, which has three Mt. Fuji trails, will not collect fees other than one already in place for conservation purposes. But it will launch a pre-registration system to seek climbers willing to inform them of their climbing plans as part of an entry management trial.

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