Fujisan’s Endless Crowds
The famous 17th-century poet Basho wrote ‘Rain obscures the scene; But Fuji still exerts a charm Even when unseen’. This sentiment still rings true today based on the sizeable number of climbers who took to the slopes in 2017, a year when Tokyo recorded 21 consecutive days of rain in August.
It was way back in 2000 when I trekked to the summit of Japan’s highest peak. It was only the first week of the climbing season, but even then, I was completely taken aback by the number of hikers eager to watch the sunrise after hiking all night. Though this pales in comparison to some evenings such as the one on August 13, 2017 where there was over 8,000 climbers.
In recent years the mountain has seen upwards of three-hundred-thousand climbers converge upon it during the official and rather brief two month climbing season. The net effect being large amounts of rubbish and human waste on the slopes along with an overall lack of facilities. So, the question becomes, is it sustainable, are we loving Fujisan to death as this infographic seems to suggest.