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Fuji climbing fee likely to be Y7,000

By Rona Moon

Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest and much-climbed mountain, has lately been acknowledged as a priceless part of the world’s cultural heritage. But a climb to appreciate this heritage may now come with the hefty fee tag of 7,000 yen per person.

With the sacred mountain on the verge of attaining UNESCO World Heritage status, the number of climbers could skyrocket, placing additional strain on an environment which some say is already pushed to the limit. The results of a preliminary study on the issue conducted by Kyoto University’s Professor Koichi Kuriyama (Environmental Economics) were released on June 4. Professor Kuriyama came to the conclusion that to keep the number of climbers at current levels, “a 7,000 yen fee per person is necessary”.

To estimate how the number of visitors would decrease if a fee to climb the mountain was to be introduced, the study used statistical analysis to quantify the relationship between the number of climbers and the time and cost of travel.

Calculations showed that a 500 yen entry fee should decrease the number of climbers by 2%, a 1,000 yen fee by 5%, a 7,000 yen fee should result in the same number of climbers as last year, and slapping on a 10,000 yen fee should lower numbers to a mere 90% of last year’s approximately 318,000 climbers. We can only speculate as to how much the fee would need to be increased to make people run away from the mountain rather than climb it. Why stop there? Why not double or triple it?

Professor Kuriyama also notes that it’s not realistic that the entry fee alone will check the number of climbers, but a small entry fee could go towards preserving the environment and accident prevention.

Japanese netizens responded with a wide range of opinions:

-- “It’d be better to charge 3,776 yen…” (1 yen per meter of mountain height. This could have the additional benefit of forcing people to recognise that Mt Fuji is really a very high, serious mountain, and come prepared)

-- “No matter how much you charge, if climbers don’t behave with decency and good manners, this won’t change a thing.”

-- “It doesn’t seem right that the number of climbers has to be kept down because it’s being listed as cultural heritage.”

-- “That’s so expensive! It’ll probably reduce the number of visitors, but it’s too expensive.”

-- “I think that’s about right. Given that there are already too many climbers.”

-- “What if we make everyone pay 7,000 yen, and we end up with a lot of climbzillas, who start saying things like ‘It’s ridiculous to carry trash back home’ and ‘I already paid the cleaning fee!’”

The 7,000 yen fee does seem expensive, so climbing Mt Fuji may not be undertaken lightly in the future. If this is how it has to be, if this symbol of Japan is removed from the reach of people who are unable or unwilling to pay so much, would it have been better if it never became World Heritage listed at all?

There’s a Japanese proverb on the subject — “You’re a fool if you never climb it, and a fool if you climb it twice.” At this rate, if you climb Fuji twice, you must be an idiot. But before we complain too much, Mount Kilimanjaro charges a similar amount per day of climbing, while if you raise your sights to Mount Everest, you’re looking at a cool $35,000-$100,000. Mount Blanc will set you back a few thousand dollars.

Source: jin115

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japanese Passports Get a Patriotic Facelift with New Mount Fuji Case -- 80-year-old Japanese man conquers Everest -- Fujiyamashita Station: Crushing Dreams Since 1928

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I always wished to climb Mount Fuji..I don't have the pleasure to have mountains in my country and I only visited the Dolomites and Alps, and fell in love with mountains. But, well if I'd do it only once in my life I guess..why not? If I am in Japan, after spending some 2K Eur..what will EUR50-70 look like? But I know Japanese who like to climb Fuji-san quite often..it will be quite a fee for them :/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope the 7,000 yen fee will include a free night stay one of the cabins up there.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Perhaps Y5,000 if you promise not to poop during your journey.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

7000yen holy @@@@ can think of plenty more interesting thinks to spend 7000yen on than that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No thanks. I walk for free.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hey someone has to clean up the trash left behind by all those thoughtless fools that climbed the mountain before. If people would have been more considerate of others this fee wouldn't have come.

Blame them, not the people trying to keep Fuji clean!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@laguna - that's funny :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

what is the money for ? to fix the crater of the next expected eruption ;) ?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

what is the money for ? to fix the crater of the next expected eruption ;) ?

Very funny....(not) if you have been reading along here recently you might have found out that there are a lot of problems with ignorant people, with bad manners, who have been leaving literally tons of trash on Fuji and have been causing problems with not following common courtesy rules when climbing the mountain.

By adding a climbing fee it will hopefully eliminate most of the "trash" climbers and help to keep Fuji clean.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fees are necessary to pick up trash, develop and maintain mountain toilets, pay for medical supplies and personnel at stations along the way and general maintenance of the trails.

Currently the above are taken care of by volunteers, and payments from the surrounding prefectures, as well as some part paid for by the lodging companies

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why do we need so much on a mountain anyways? I climbed Ontake-san and it was wonderful; i didn't see anyone aside from other hikers. I'd rather not see a suki-ya and flushing toilets all the way up a mountain.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

make the fee 20,000 yen unless you want it to be the world's biggest garbage dump... or does Everest hold that distinction now?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If there's an escalator or elevator to the top... Here's my ¥7.000

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Make it Y20,000. Have a garbage bounty for climbers who bring it down as a rebate on their fees. Hire a garbage collection company to do same Set a maximum limit of climbers per day. Have a lottery system if necessary.

It's not like Japan to suddenly be unable to handle crowds

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kind of curious how they will enforce the fee? Tell you that you can't use the toilet without a wristband saying you paid? Hired thugs to squeeze it out of you? A chain link fence ringing the whole mountain with electronic gates at the 5th station that go off if you don't pay? Unfortunately, a lot of people will cheat. I can imagine it's tremendously expensive to support all the facilities they have built up along the busier trails. The cash injection will probably help. BTW, I thought the mountain was pretty clean.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Strange how two months ago when this system was first mentioned the price was 2,500 yen. Now, it is three times more. I wonder which local government got greedy. If they intend to introduce such a high levy they should at least provide decent amenities. I also like the logic of charging more for less. They want less people climbing Fuji so they charge them more. Have these wombats considered what less tourists will do to the local economies? Plus, the lesser tourists will have less money to spend. I climbed it six years ago. The amenities were a joke and the local businesses were a rip-off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As it stands, most people already spend at least 5000 yen just for the transportation to and from mount fuji. Purchasing their overpriced water and sustenance on the way would easily surpass the 7000 yen mark, so do you really believe this will deter much?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just imagine the local government enkais this will fund.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I see it as a good thing as it will limit the people going up there. It will also pay for people to maintain the place so it doesn't end up looking worse then it already does.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Still will be WAY TOO many "climbing" Fuji, looking at the hordes that line up & down to me is depressing sight

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The mountain never asked to be climbed on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Heck, make it an even Y10,000 to avoid all the change in little thousand-yenners.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

7,000 is far too much considering how much most people spend to get there and back. yes I accept that the trails are getting worse year on year, but forcing people to pay isn't the right option. A voluntary donation of a thousand yen, would be reasonable and people would pay that, but any more and I think people should expect something else back in return. Maybe discounted lodgings or food and drink.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a tax on stupidity. Mt Fuji must be the least interesting in the world, I climbed it once found nothing up there and rushed back down. Never again...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Those who don't climb don't pay.

Seems reasonable to me.

(or is it whom?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

7000 yen is a bit steep, given they are also going to charge from now on to use the toilet as well, etc. All the back patting about achieving World Heritage Site status is getting to those in charge.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've climbed Fujisan numerous times during the past 40 years and, yes, the number of climbers and their trash has increased year by year. BUT the real problem with trash is illegal dumping BELOW the 5th stages. Tires, bikes, old eletrical and electronic items, etc., etc.

Will the money actually go to the maintance of the mountain where the climbers are OR will it fund what the police should already be doing in stopping the individuals, and many companies, from dumping around the lower areas instead of paying recycle fees?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The ¥3,776 fee idea is reasonable, and symbolic. If it's ¥7,000, the last comment in the story text is spot on -- people will feel they paid for the right to not carry off their trash.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Insanity. If the fees were only used for the mountain they would be FAR less. Just think how many climb it now, and how little you would have to pay a small team of custodians to keep it clean. A donation sound like a sane idea however...

It's all about UNESCO and expenses incurred for the bid etc...

A real shame... still waiting for that world "air tax" though then I can say I've seen everything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

smithinjapan wrote

7000 yen is a bit steep, given they are also going to charge from now on to use the toilet as well

They already do charge for toilet use. Unless I just somehow found the yakuza-controlled toilets by mistake...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They need to have access to trash cans & people would use them I think. And have them emptied frequently . Problem solved. I know some of the fee might help with the erosion of the mountain for being frequently climbed but 7,000 yen is quite steep. Maybe 3,500 yen is more reasonable. Just a thought. Thanks!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"If there's an escalator or elevator to the top... Here's my Y7,000"

No escalator or elevator yet. There is helicopter service up to 3,000 meters but you don't want to know how much it costs!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a ridiculous amount of money to ask for. Sure the amount of climbers has been increasing over the past years, but I don't believe that it being made a world heritage site is going to make this number sky rocket much more. Mt. Fuji is already loved by the Japanese and well known to foreigners as well. The people who will climb it most likely will have plans to climb it whether or not it has the status. On top of that it's not like it is being listed as a "nature" heritage site, it is a "cultural" heritage site due to it being depicted in old woodblock prints, ukiyoe, etc. That isn't all that much to motivate to go and check the mountain out. I can understand that they want to collect a fee to help out with upkeep of the mountain but choosing an amount based on how many people it will scare away is a ridiculous tactic. Why not instead instate some form of a mountain climbing registry/ticket system where you have to sign up in advance to climb the mountain and then they could refuse admittance after a certain number was reached per day. They could still collect money from this, but it wouldn't have to be as much as they are asking now.

I climbed Fuji about 8 years ago and it was one of the worst experiences of my life due to the weather. The scenery is nothing to write home about either. There are far more beautiful mountains in the 日本百名山、日本二百名山、日本三百名山 (100, 200, 300 famous Japanese mountains) that don't cost anything to climb and I recommend that anyone wanting to go mountain climbing in Japan look into them instead. Mt. Fuji is like a brand name. People climb it to say that they climbed it. Pretty much nobody that I have ever talked to who has climbed it said they actually enjoyed doing so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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