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.© Japan Today