Small Japanese Town Erects Screen Blocking View of Mount Fuji

The tiny Japanese town of Fujikawaguchiko has erected a screen blocking a popular view of the iconic Mount Fuji, international news outlets reported yesterday.

Fujikawaguchiko is situated just 100km from Tokyo at the base of one of the most popular trails up the mountain. As a result, CNN reports, the town is often swamped by visitors who spend their tourism dollars in the megacity instead of the town — a situation exacerbated by Japan’s post-pandemic tourism boom.

But the tendency of phone-wielding gawkers to stand in the middle of the road snapping photos of the UNESCO World Heritage site led to the screen’s placement.

The spot is directly in front of a shopping center that contains a convenience store, a dental clinic, and other businesses. Tourists seeking once-in-a-lifetime TikTok vistas, Instagram photos, dating profile pics, and other modern digital flotsam are causing traffic jams, property damage, and litter — all issues the town of 10,000 residents is struggling to handle.

a view of a convenience store with Mount Fuji rising in the background

A large black screen now blocks this all-too-popular view of the mountain. Photo: Shutterstock


“There was a series of nuisance illegal activities such as leaving garbage, trespassing on the premises, smoking, eating in the parking lot or under the roofs of private homes, and trespassing on the rooftop, which often resulted in a call to the police,” the Ibishi Dental Clinic, one of the businesses in the shopping center, said a statement. “It became not uncommon for people to shout insults at us or to throw away their cigarettes while they were still lit when we asked them to move their cars.”

Meanwhile, the convenience store next door announced it would hire private security guards and put up signs in multiple languages.

Fees and limited bookings

The screen isn’t the only new measure in the area.

Japan expects to welcome over 32 million visitors in 2024, blowing past a tourism record set in pre-pandemic 2019. Many of those visitors will journey to Mount Fuji.

In response, the prefecture containing the popular Yoshida Trail will limit hikers to 4,000 per day. A fee structure will charge hikers about $13, with an option to donate an additional $6 for conservation efforts. Three thousand slots will be set aside for online booking, with the remaining slots going to day-of hikers, the CBC reports.

Officials halfway up the mountain will also turn away visitors climbing after 4:00 pm who have not booked an overnight hut. They expect this will reduce injuries and search-and-rescue operations on the mountain.

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is an award-winning painter, photographer, and freelance writer. Andrew’s essays, illustrations, photographs, and poems can be found scattered across the web and in a variety of extremely low-paying literary journals.
You can find more of his work at, @andrewmarshallimages on Instagram and Facebook, and @pawn_andrew on Twitter (for as long as that lasts).