Japan town to replace Mount Fuji barrier after holes found

TOKYO: A Japanese town will replace a barrier mounted to deter unruly tourists from taking photos of Mount Fuji after holes were poked in the mesh screen, local media reported today (May 30).

The barrier was put up last week in a popular viewing spot in the town of Fujikawaguchiko, where residents had complained about streams of mostly foreign visitors littering, trespassing and breaking traffic rules.

But at least 10 small holes have already been spotted in the black netting, measuring 2.5m by 20m, hung outside a convenience store behind which the mountain can be seen rising in the distance.

The new barrier will be made of stronger material and possibly changed to a lighter colour, such as blue or green, Kyodo News and other local media reported.

Mayor Hideyuki Watanabe told reporters he "hopes to change the barrier as soon as possible" before the summer holiday season, according to the "Asahi Shimbun" daily.

Record numbers of overseas tourists are coming to Japan, where monthly visitors exceeded three million for the first time in March and then again in April.

But as in other tourist hotspots, such as Venice which recently launched a trial of entry fees for day visitors, the influx has not been universally welcomed.

In Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, locals have complained of tourists harassing the city's famed geisha.

And hikers using the most popular route to climb Mount Fuji this summer will be charged 2,000 yen each, with entries capped at 4,000 to ease congestion. — AFP

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