News On Japan

New Entrance Gate Installed on Mt. Fuji Trail to Manage Crowds

YAMANASHI, Jun 14 (NHK) - Workers have begun setting up an entrance gate for a trail to Mt. Fuji before the climbing season starts in early July. Officials aim to regulate the number of hikers who visit Japan's highest mountain on any given day.

The Yoshida Trail in Yamanashi Prefecture is one of the four main routes for climbing Mt. Fuji. The work began on Thursday morning, at a location about halfway up the mountain.

Yamanashi Prefecture decided to take the measure in response to an increase in the number of climbers. Some take the risk of going up Mt. Fuji at night without taking a rest in mountain huts, while others leave trash behind.

Starting on July 1, the daily number of climbers using the route will be limited to 4,000. Each of them will be charged 2,000 yen, or around 13 dollars. The gate will be closed at 4 p.m. and reopen at 3 a.m. every day.

The gate, about 8 meters long and 1.8 meters high, is expected to be completed next Monday. Workers were seen putting wooden boards over an iron frame on Thursday. A door will be created in a midsection.

Yamanashi Prefecture officials say the gate is temporary, and they plan to install a more robust one before next year's climbing season.

A senior official, Hosoda Chiaki, says they will check the new gate to make sure that people will be able to use it smoothly as the climbing season will begin soon.

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