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Town to block view of Mt. Fuji due to over-tourism

The local government in Fujikawaguchiko, home to Japan's most renowned Lawson convenience store, has been compelled to take drastic action in response to the disruptive behavior of countless tourists. After exhausting numerous alternative measures, the authorities and residents feel they are left with no choice but to erect a large barrier that will obscure the view of Mount Fuji. This decision comes as a last resort to preserve the peace and order of the town, which has been significantly disturbed by the influx of visitors.

“It appears it became famous about two years ago after a popular Thai actor mentioned it on social media. Initially, it attracted mostly Thai tourists, but due to its proximity to Kawaguchiko Station on the Fujikyuko Line, we have recently seen an increase in tourists from various Asian countries and the West,” says a local journalist.

Previously, locales from anime and other pop culture references have attracted foreign visitors. For example, significant social issues arose when numerous fans disrupted traffic to photograph a railroad crossing near Kamakura High School Front Station of the Enoshima Electric Railway, a scene depicted in "SLAM DUNK."

“This is a classic example of 'localized overtourism.' There's a dental clinic right in front of Lawson, and visitors blocking the entrance for photos or parking without permission have been a major nuisance,” the journalist adds.

Furthermore, the area is plagued by litter and cigarette butts, prompting local residents to clean up repeatedly throughout the day. Initially, the community was supportive, hoping that increased tourism would benefit the town. However, the mood has shifted to frustration.

To prevent traffic accidents, Kawaguchiko Town began employing security guards to manage traffic a year ago: “We allocate 7.6 million yen annually for guards to manage traffic. There's a police station nearby, so police officers and retired officers also stand by to assist. Even so, the crowds in the past three to four months have surpassed our expectations,” an official from Kawaguchiko Town Hall noted.

Luckily, no traffic incidents requiring police intervention have occurred yet, but the town hall is taking further steps. They plan to install a 'privacy screen' to block the view of Mt. Fuji itself.

“The screen will be a 2.5-meter-high, 20-meter-wide black mesh, reinforced with wires, and will be installed on the sidewalk near the dental clinic. Construction begins on April 30 and should be complete in two or three days. However, we are concerned that tourists might move onto the road to take photos, since they won’t be able to do so from the sidewalk,” the official explained.

We urge all tourists to respect local customs and maintain decorum.


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