Japan will build an anti-tourism fence at another Mount Fuji viewpoint

Japan will build an anti-tourism fence at another Mount Fuji viewpoint

TOKYO – A high metal fence will be built to control unruly tourists who have disturbed locals at a popular Mount Fuji photo spot, a Japanese official said June 6.

This follows the construction last month of a black screen in another nearby city to block an Instagram-famous view of the snow-capped volcano rising from behind a convenience store.

Now residents have complained that visitors, mostly foreigners, venture onto Mount Fuji’s Dream Bridge road in search of the perfect photo of Japan’s highest peak.

Despite its striking name, the bridge is an ordinary flyover over a river, with a narrow sidewalk separated from the road by a waist-high concrete wall.

But people have been jaywalking to reach an empty area between the two lanes of traffic, said Haruhito Yoshizaki, a Fuji city tourism official.

There they pose for photographs, spin around for videos or simply relax, and some even bring their suitcases.

To discourage this risky behavior, authorities have already put up low metal scaffolding and signs telling people to stay off the stretch of asphalt.

Next, authorities said they plan to erect a 1.8m-high chain-link fence around the area by the end of June.

Locals “welcome visitors as long as basic rules are respected,” Yoshizaki said, noting that the measure is aimed at easing the “frustration of local residents.”

“Maybe we can build a tourism course” to encourage more considered exploration, he added.

A pedestrian staircase to the bridge also appears in countless photos on Instagram and other social platforms, including wedding photos, because from a certain angle it appears to lead to Mount Fuji.

Residents have also complained about tourists parking illegally in the quiet neighborhood or yelling at each other when taking wide photos from afar.

The Dream Bridge has been around for about a decade, but photo-hungry visitors began flocking there in November, Yoshizaki said.

Record numbers of foreign tourists are arriving in Japan and, as photos taken at the site spread on social media, crowds have grown sharply in recent weeks.

This week, the city installed a parking area and restroom on the bridge to ease the burden on locals.

Meanwhile, the nearby city of Fujikawaguchiko plans to rebuild a black mesh barrier, already placed next to the store, with stronger material.

Several small holes have been made in the screen to prevent people from littering, trespassing and violating traffic rules.