A 10-day trial scheme to collect a 1,000-yen entrance fee from those climbing Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain, was introduced on Thursday.
The entrance fee is charged on four routes leading to the summit of the 3,776-meter mountain, which straddles Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures. Payment is voluntary.
Over the 10-day period, officials from the Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectural governments will be stationed on the four routes between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. to collect the fee. The four are the Fujinomiyaguchi, Subashiriguchi and Gotenbaguchi routes that start in Shizuoka and the Yoshidaguchi route starting in Yamanashi.
Those who pay the fee will receive a certificate and a badge. The money will go toward protecting the mountain, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in June, and for safety measures such as repairs of the routes.
Climbers will be asked whether they approve of the entrance fee and whether they think 1,000 yen is appropriate. By considering the opinions of climbers, the two prefectures are aiming to officially launch the scheme in summer 2014.