Fujikawaguchiko Takes Stand Against Overtourism: Mount Fuji Selfie Spot Barrier Erected – Roamight
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Mount Fuji Selfie Spot Under Siege: Japanese Town Erects Barrier

07 May 2024 0 Comments
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In the serene town of Fujikawaguchiko, nestled at the foot of the Yoshida Trail leading to Mount Fuji, a battle against overtourism is brewing. This picturesque Japanese locale, renowned for its stunning views of Japan's iconic mountain, is grappling with an invasion of foreign tourists seeking the perfect selfie.

The epicenter of this tourist frenzy? A humble outpost of Lawson's, a ubiquitous convenience store chain, which unwittingly became a backdrop for the sought-after snapshot. Tourists flock to capture the striking contrast between the vibrant, neon-lit store and the serene majesty of Mount Fuji looming in the background.

However, the town has reached its breaking point. Fed up with the onslaught of camera-wielding visitors, local officials have taken decisive action. In a bid to preserve the town's tranquility and combat the influx of tourists, an imposing mesh barrier is set to be erected, effectively blocking the coveted view.

"It is regrettable that we had to take such measures," laments a local official, acknowledging the necessity of this drastic step.

The barrier, standing at an impressive eight feet tall and spanning 66 feet across, symbolizes the town's determination to reclaim its identity from the grips of overtourism. Scheduled for installation early next week, it serves as a tangible reminder of the challenges posed by the relentless surge in tourist numbers.

Fujikawaguchiko's plight is emblematic of a larger issue plaguing Japan. Since reopening its borders post-pandemic in late 2022, the country has grappled with the consequences of overtourism. March 2024 witnessed a historic influx of foreign tourists, surpassing all previous records and exacerbating the strain on popular destinations like Mount Fuji.

The repercussions of overtourism extend beyond mere inconvenience, manifesting in environmental degradation, littering, and erosion along the trails. Mount Fuji, revered as a symbol of Japan and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, bears the brunt of this onslaught, earning the disparaging moniker of "trash mountain" among locals.

In response to these challenges, Yamanashi's prefectural government has implemented stringent measures to regulate tourism. A daily cap of 4,000 hikers and mandatory fees of 2,000 yen per person aim to curb overcrowding and mitigate the environmental impact.

The decision to erect a barrier echoes similar initiatives undertaken elsewhere in the world. Hallstatt, Austria, renowned for its picturesque charm and the alleged inspiration behind Disney's "Frozen," grappled with a comparable dilemma. Faced with an overwhelming influx of visitors, the town resorted to erecting a wooden fence in May 2023 to deter selfie-takers and preserve its tranquility.

As communities worldwide grapple with the complexities of tourism management, the plight of Fujikawaguchiko serves as a poignant reminder of the delicate balance between preservation and progress in the face of escalating tourist numbers.


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