national

Large amount of trash and waste left on Mt Fuji

36 Comments

As the Mt Fuji climbing season approaches its end, officials in Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures have called attention to the large amount of trash and waste left on the ground along climbing paths in areas far removed from rubbish bins and restrooms.

In an effort to protect the environment and preserve the natural beauty of one of the world's most famous World Cultural Heritage sites, prefectural officials have been charging a voluntary climbing fee to help pay for more toilet facilities and garbage containers.

Mt Fuji was given the prestigious ranking as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, under the understanding that the central government would adhere to strict guidelines regarding the preservation of the mountain's environment and scenery.

NHK reported Tuesday that the Japanese government will be submitting a report to UNESCO regarding its plan to clean up the waste and prevent the issue from worsening in the future.

Shizuoka authorities conducted a survey of the mountain paths and found large amounts of trash and waste approximately 900 meters from the 5th stop along the Subashiri climbing route. Although many toilets equipped with rubbish bins have been set up along many points of the climbing paths, there are no toilets between the 5th and 6th stops.

Large heaps of garbage were also discovered along the eastern side of the mountain, NHK reported.

About 300,000 people have climbed the 3,776-meter mountain since the climbing season opened on July 2, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

The climbing season closed on Sept 14 on the Yamanashi side and will close Oct 10 on the Shizuoka side.

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36 Comments
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That's rather disgusting...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What's crazy is that I bet it's the Japanese who are making a mess! They trash their own beaches, rivers, and Mt Fuji!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Mt. Fuji and surrounding area has always been used as a garbage dump, including industrial waste. The real reason it was designated as a cultural (rather than natural) heritage site is because of all the garbage, despite clean-up efforts.

Like so many things here, better off admired from afar.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Well, I like the idea that everyone is responsible for their own trash ... on mountains, at beaches, at lakes, in the forest. It builds a sense of responsibility for one's environment. The only trouble is that it doesn't work... anywhere.

These places need more places to dump trash, and someone - the city, the prefecture, hired help - to pick up after the least responsible people and to empty the trash.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Maybe the local towns who make millions off the tourists who come to Fuji should have to pay fee to cover some of the costs of cleaning. You can't stand on the mountain and yell out to the world what a great place it is and encourage them to come and see it without expecting the mess any crowd of people leaves behind.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Would be awful if people are throwing out banana peels.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Is it THAT hard to put the trash in a vynil bag and bring it back to a garbage can. Some people have no respect for nature.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Make the climbers clean it up. Shame on them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

World Heritage listed garbage dump! I climbed Fuji five years ago and was disgusted with the amount of rubbish up there. Admittedly, many of the climbers are international tourist, but the majority are Japanese. On the even darker side, I also saw a lot of industrial garbage in the forests around the bottom that are accessible by vehicles. Car bodies, refrigerators, TV sets, piles of bricks and other industrial waste just dumped in the scrub.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

They should leave the trash to build and build. The only way to force action from idiotic humans is the shame them into it. I am convinced that humanity is a failed experiment and that we will someday soon be wiped out so that another group of more advance "humans" can try their hand.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe they should allow only those people who cleaned up the soccer stadium in Brazil to climb the mountain.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe the best solution--drastic as it sounds--is severely limiting the number of climbers to the top of Mt. Fuji to no more than 30,000 per year (90% less than now), and impose strict enforcement of garbage cleanup.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Paul Vulaj

Make the climbers clean it up. Shame on them

Good idea ! But you'd have to catch them red-handed (or "garbage-handed") first...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reality check. There are large amounts of garbage left behind on Mount Fuji every year. The UNESCO designation essentially created two schools: 1) Pipe Dreamers who thought that the World Heritage status would magically solve the problem. 2) Knuckleheads who think that paying the climbing fee would absolve them from carrying away their trash (which used to be the guiding principle).

Perhaps a workable solution would be an army of cuddly mascots that run around slapping the crap out of every inconsiderate twit that dares to tarnish this national treasure. Or simply close it altogether and subsidize the local economies.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Many Japanese simply accept litter as a part of scenery.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I thought I read a few years ago that they were going to charge each climber a small amount of Yen in order to pay for clean up of garbage left behind. Guess that didn't happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

its time japanese government wakes up and provide bins for the public to dispose their rubbish!! why is everyone paying tons of money for city tax?

Keep throwing the stuff around so those people at city halls wake up and provide a proper service to the public!!

i can walk for miles and not see one bin, what iam gonna go with my rubbish? hold it in my hand and carry a plastic bag around. i would do this but than cut my city tax by 30%..

1 ( +3 / -2 )

if your collecting a climbing fee then those getting the money need to use it on cleaning. cant expect people to pay for something and not give them any services in exchange.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It is an interesting problem and it makes me wonder why Fujii has so much difficulty with it. I've been hiking in some heavily touristed mountains in other countries (Lake Loise in the Canadian Rockies comes to mind) and have never encountered large amounts of litter elsewhere.

I've never climbed Fujii, but what they are describing in general sounds like what I see when I go hiking in other, even much less frequented, hills and mountains in Japan. The amount of garbage can be overwhelming in some places. Beaches and almost the entire coastline of the country is the worst, so much garbage gets washed ashore that you can't even see the sand in some places.

Increasing the number of garbage and toilet areas through the imposition of a mandatory (rather than voluntary) fee seems like the best way to go. When you attract that many people, many (most?) of whom aren't actual nature enthusiasts who can be relied on to follow common sense norms of cleaning up after yourself and taking your litter home with you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what fuji san needs is a mascot to educate hikers about litter. something of a cross between fukuppy and funashi, with a little kumamon. kufufuku?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So shameful and embarrassing. Food cigarettes, etc. should be banned from Mt. Fuji, because some people obviously can't handle it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I had the chance to visit Macchu Pichu last year and they have an average of 4000 visitors each day...I didn't see litter anywhere...what I did see were teams of young people wearing yellow t-shirts, patrolling the site and collecting any single piece of trash they found...resulting in a spotless mountain and ruins.. And this is Peru...the rest of the world can learn from them...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've climbed Fujisan twice on 3 different routes. Both times I took a plastic bag with me expecting to fill it along the way with trash I might see. On the Subashiri route the article speaks of, I found just TWO pieces of trash. I descended via Gotemba and aside from a massive amount of footprints in the pumice, it was spotless as was the Yoshida trail I took up and back the next year. There is a lot of visual pollution in terms of huts and other structures along the way, but I sure didn't come away feeling I was on a trashy mountain. Anyone else have the same experience or am I alone? Yes, and I know the saying about being a fool for climbing it more than once ;)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

hooktrunk2, good observation. media always makes the story bigger than it is. and you are not a fool by climing fiji more than onces, it all depends what kinda fears drives you to do it...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So called National Parks in Japan are a joke compared to other first world countries. I've been to so called national parks from Okinawa to Hokkaido. While beautiful there is practically zero maintenance on any parks. There are few to no rangers or workers. Frankly Japan's attitude and education level on pollution matters is 40 years behind.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I was taught from when I was a kid to only leave FOOT PRINTS behind! An amazingly simple concept!

One that far too many Japanese cant get their heads around across the whole damned country! Its disgusting the trash left around, just imagine what the cities would look like if it were not for all the shop owners keeping the areas out front clean!

And I am sorry but paying an entrance fee to a nature park DOESNT mean you get leave your garbage! If you can carry it out then stay the hell away I say!

While I don't expect anywhere near perfection from people using parks etc Japan clearly needs to get its crap together as its a mess literally.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Waste is the inevitable consequence of economic growth. In fact, in the end in a materialistic sense all humans do is transform nature into waste. The greater number of people and the faster turnover time for capitalists to realize surplus the more waste must be produced, filling the land, water and air with garbage and toxins. We now are so immersed in the waste of a creative-destructive economic system that some people think nothing of marking their presence by soiling even the places we would like to better preserve. Is there really any solution as long as waste production is central to today's economic "health"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A few years ago UNESCO took the drastic step of revoking the World Heritage status of Dresden Elbe Valley in Germany, because of construction of a bridge that would alter its natural beauty. This was widely reported in the Japanese press amongst much gleeful cackling and "Nihon de arienai!" ("it would never happen here!").

In a way, I hope the same fate befalls Mt. Fuji. It might teach a few people here that pride really does go before a fall. And more importantly, it might teach them to clean up their act.

I've never climbed Fujii, but what they are describing in general sounds like what I see when I go hiking in other, even much less frequented, hills and mountains in Japan. The amount of garbage can be overwhelming in some places. Beaches and almost the entire coastline of the country is the worst, so much garbage gets washed ashore that you can't even see the sand in some places.

Yes! I'd love to see Mt. Fuji up close, but so many Japanese friends have begged me not to bother, and to admire its great beauty from a distance. I think I'll heed their advice.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It seems that what is needed, is packaging that disintegrates in a short time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hooktrunk2, your experience mirrors mine. I simply did not see trash on the trails. Are people walking off the trails to dispose of their garbage?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fuji-San should not have been granted UNESCO status until AFTER they cleaned up. Allowing the government things here under conditions and promises to be met later means they won't be met, or that the budget will explode and the plans change, be it Fuji, Tokyo 2020, NPP retarts, etc.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'm visiting Japan for a week in late October and part of the trip involves a hike up to the fifth stage on Fujisan. I think I'll pack a garbage bag in my backpack for the trip and clean up litter I find during the hike (unless it's decomposing or otherwise gooey). It seems like most of the trash is between the 5th and 6th stages, however. :-(

1 ( +1 / -0 )

damn tourists, its reprehensible that they would defile such a famous and sacred site such as mount fuji, its like they were raised by animals! they could easily stuff the trash in their pockets or in a pocket in their bag, but instead they just throw it on the ground, i think its pretty insulting that they would do that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stop promoting these sites and encouraging the hordes to appear. Why do we want crowds of people ruining our art museums and national parks. Let them watch tv.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just climbed up to the summit this past weekend and didn't notice a lot of trash on the mountain. In fact, I saw almost everyone with a plastic bag tied to their gear filled with trash, empty water bottles, and oxygen bottles--including myself. There are signs everywhere that asks climbers to take the trash home with you (which I did). There are hardly ANY trash bins at all and the signs on the 5th-8th station makes sure all climbers know that. The climb up is hard and treacherous. Personally, I think they need to start placing trash bins at the stations so that the climbers have a place to throw away their trash...it's a hard enough climb as it is without having to carry trash back home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shizuoka authorities conducted a survey of the mountain paths and found large amounts of trash and waste approximately 900 meters from the 5th stop along the Subashiri climbing route. Although many toilets equipped with rubbish bins have been set up along many points of the climbing paths, there are no toilets between the 5th and 6th stops.

This seems to indicate that the survey found this one location, and that it is somehow related to lack of toilets. I think this area might be the last (or first) spot with vegetation cover for somebody who need "to go" suddenly. A lot of people climbing Fuji may not be accustomed to so much physical activity, and combined with sickness from high altitude, and that stamina meal they had before starting the hike ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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