Impacts of Tourism

Mt. Fuji "Bullet Climbs" Plummet 90% as Climbing Restrictions Take Effect

Main image to the post Mt. Fuji "Bullet Climbs" Plummet 90% as Climbing Restrictions Take Effect

Mt. Fuji Climbing Restrictions Show Positive Results

The number of people attempting the "bullet climb" to the summit of Mt. Fuji overnight has dropped significantly since Yamanashi Prefecture introduced climbing restrictions. This is according to an analysis by The Yomiuri Shimbun of data collected by the city of Fujiyoshida.

The restrictions, which include a climbing fee and a cap on daily visitor numbers, were implemented for the first time this year. The data shows a 90% decrease in overnight climbers compared to the same period last year.

The restrictions seem to be having a positive effect, with some people concerned about the number of bullet climbers expressing relief at the decrease. Bullet climbers are those who attempt to reach the summit and return in a single day, often starting their ascent in the middle of the night.

The restrictions are in place from July 1st to September 10th. During this time, the Yamanashi prefectural government closes a temporary gate at the fifth station from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. The prefecture has also limited the number of visitors to 4,000 per day and charges climbers from the Yamanashi side ¥2,000 per person.

The data shows that the number of climbers counted from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., believed to include bullet climbers trying to catch the sunrise at the summit, has decreased by 94.8% compared to last year.

While the restrictions seem to be effective in reducing the number of overnight climbers, it remains to be seen whether they will also help to reduce trail congestion. The prefectural government announced that 13,217 climbers were allowed to pass through the fifth station gate during the first week of the opening of Mt. Fuji. This is an average of 1,888 climbers per day, and there were no days when the number of climbers exceeded 4,000.

However, more than 1,000 reservations are being made each day, and reservations for Saturday daytime hikes this week and next are already full. This suggests that the trail could become crowded during peak times.

"The trail was crowded, and at times I couldn't climb at my own pace," said a climber who recently completed their first ascent of Mt. Fuji. "If there were more people, it would have been hard to climb the mountain."

The Fujiyoshida municipal government will continue to monitor how the restrictions affect climbers and make adjustments as needed.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09