'Very Japanese Social Media Spots' To Take Photos Of Mount Fuji Are Going Away

13/06/2024

Mount Fuji in Japan, is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Honshu.

With a summit elevation of 3,776 meters, it's the tallest mountain in Japan, the second-highest volcano located on an island in Asia, and seventh-highest peak of an island on Earth.

The mountain is so famous that it's regarded as a Japanese national symbol, as well as the country's icon.

It has been depicted in various art media such as paintings, woodblock prints, poetry, music, theater, film, manga, anime, pottery, and even Kawaii subculture.

Due to how famous it is, sightseers and tourists making visits to Japan, make trips to various viewpoints to just take photos of the iconic mountain.

And some locals aren't liking it.

Mount Fuji

While the mountain can be photographed from many locations and cities in Japan, but only a handful of spots are more popular than the rest.

One of which, is at Fujikawaguchiko, a city in Yamanashi prefecture.

Precisely located at a Lawson convenience shop, visitors can view Mount Fuji in all its glory.

Visitors that pack the venue tend to be non-Japanese, and include tourists from around the world.

And because of that, and because of the popularity of the place, visitors usually overcrowd its stretch of pavement next to the shop, according to town officials.

While this is good for the economy, not everyone there behave like they should.

A lot of tourists behaved badly, and this annoys the locals.

After putting new traffic signs here and there, and repeated warnings from security guards were ignored, the town in Yamanashi region decided on create a barrier to block Mount Fuji from view.

The barrier comes in the form of a vast mesh net, meant to be several meters high, and with the length of around 20 meters.

"It’s regrettable we have to do this, because of some tourists who can’t respect rules," including littering and ignoring traffic regulations.

The measure is also meant to protect businesses as well, where tourists sometime parked their vehicles without permission, and have even been seen climbing on the roofs of the locals to get the perfect shot.

The town wishes it hadn’t come down to this, adding that the barrier is only maintained until the situation improves.

Mount Fuji, Lawson

It's worth noting that Mount Fuji can be photographed from many spots in the resort town of Fujikawaguchiko.

However, this particular viewpoint is exceptionally famous because the majestic volcano appears right behind the Lawson convenience store. These two are ubiquitous in Japan, and having them in one frame, can make the photo stand out to a lot of tourists.

Due to this visual juxtaposition, "a reputation has spread on social media that this spot is very Japanese, making it a popular photo location," said the town official who declined to be named.

Following in the footsteps of the once-famous Mount Fuji Lawson, is the Fujisan Yumeno Ohashi bridge.

Or also called the Fuji Dream Bridge, it is just an ordinary bridge, a modest structure that overpasses a river, with a narrow sidewalk divided from the road by a waist-high concrete barrier.

However, the way the bridge is constructed, creates the illusion of climbing Mount Fuji, when someone simply walks up its steps.

The bridge wasn't meant for this, but after social media users realized this, the location becomes famous.

And again, badly behaved tourists also make their way there, with many of them jaywalking to the median strip between traffic lanes to snap photos, twirl for videos, or simply loiter, suitcases in tow.

The pedestrian staircase to the bridge appears in countless photos on Instagram and other social platforms.

As a result, littering and illegal parking have become rampant.

To curb this dangerous behavior, authorities are installing a tall metal fence, to compensate the existing low metal scaffolding and multilingual warning signs.

Locals "welcome visitors as long as basic rules are observed," said Haruhito Yoshizaki, a tourism official of Fuji City., noting that the move is meant to ease the "frustration of local residents."

"Maybe we can build a sightseeing course" instead to encourage more considerate exploration, he added.

Mount Fuji, Dream Bridge, Fujisan Yumeno Ohashi bridge

Social media has literally amplified the allure of Mount Fuji, turning not just the mountain, but its viewing spots into viral sensations.

But tourists who are only visitors and have no tie to where they are at the time, can be unruly sometimes.

Many of them don't follow the rules, and can be quite noisy.

They can litter, and do some other things that can be illegal.

The government had to intervene, in order to make Mount Fuji a more sustainable tourists location and an enjoyable adventure.

Following the post-COVID-19 pandemic and after border restrictions were lifted, the government has been working hard to boost visitor numbers.

And they succeeded.

Japan is seeing overtourism in some places, and that it's already seeing record numbers of overseas tourists travelling to the country, where monthly visitors exceeded three million in March for the first time ever.