Climbing Mt. Fuji canceled due to COVID-19

Climbing Mt. Fuji canceled due to COVID-19

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest and most iconic mountain, is visible from all virtually anywhere in the Kanto Plain. It calls to even the most novice of climbers and adventure seekers from all over the world.

The climbing season usually begins in July and runs through Sept. 10 as this is when Mt. Fuji’s snowcap has melted exposing it’s hiking trails and summit with amazing views of the surrounding areas. This year, however, climbing this majestic location is off-limits due to COVID-19. This is the first time in modern history that the trails have been completely closed for any form of climbing or tourism.

On May 18, Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures, which oversee the four trails to the summit, announced the decision to keep them closed for the 2020 climbing season.

The pandemic affects not only mountain climbers, but road travelers as well, as the prefectures also decided to close the three roads that approach to the mountain’s fifth station - Fuji Skyline (8 miles), Fujikoentarobo-line (1 mile) and Fuji Azami-line (7.2 miles). This move, officials said, was to prevent private vehicles from approaching any climbing station and violating the order.

Mt. Fuji was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013 and every year attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists. Last year, about 236,000 people climbed to its peak, according to data of the Ministry of the Environment.

For more information, see “Official Website for Mt. Fuji climbing” (http://www.fujisan-climb.jp/en/index.html).

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