The Mount Fuji World Cultural Heritage Council has decided to ask all people who visit the iconic mountain to pay a voluntary 1,000 yen fee, even if they do not plan to climb it.
Previously, the voluntary fee was collected from climbers who set off toward the summit from the 3,776-meter-high mountain’s 5th station, which is about half way up and accessible by cars and buses. The new policy will apply to all visitors who go past one of four 5th station points at the start of each hiking trail.
If the proposal is officially approved at a meeting on March 19, it will be implemented this summer. Payment of the fee will remain voluntary. The donations are used to preserve the environment, clean up trash and boost safety measures for climbers on the mountain which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.
According to data provided by Shizuoka Prefecture, the amount collected from climbers last year was 56.6 million yen on the Shizuoka side, with 50% of all hikers paying the fee. On the Yamanashi side, about 87.8 million yen was collected from 60% of the hikers who paid the fee.© Japan Today