Overtourism at Mount Fuji in Japan is causing serious environmental damage
. Each year, the number of tourists seeking to climb all or part of the famous mountain has increased tremendously. In 2012, approximately 2 million people visited Mt. Fuji's fifth most-popular hiking station. By 2019, that number had more than doubled - to 5 million people.
Officials in Japan say that in recent years, those numbers have skyrocketed even more as international tourists seek to shake off the isolation from the COVID pandemic.And with tourists comes plastic pollution, littering, and a rise in carbon emissions from cars and planes. We must protect Mt. Fuji!
Government agencies and non-profit groups have tried to counteract the negative effects of overtourism on the mountain, but it's been a literally uphill battle. One group, the Fujisan Club, now uses electric bikes to monitor garbage pollution. Meanwhile, Japanese officials have attempted to limit the number of people who can climb the mountain each day - but it's been hard to enforce.
One reason that overtourism has been hard to curb is that Mt. Fuji is very easily and publicly accessible, with no gates or fences to create order and structure for visitors. Authorities don't even charge any entrance fees. While it's wonderful to see that such stunning nature can be enjoyed by all... this has come with an obvious cost.
There must be a way to find balance between keeping nature accessible, and ensure that nature isn't over-run.Sign the petition to urge Japanese authorities to create stricter enforcement mechanisms, to ensure tourists don't trample on and pollute Mt. Fuji!