The mountain’s registration on the world heritage list is expected to attract more climbers this year.
Climbers flocked to Mt. Fuji on Monday as Japan’s highest mountain opened for this year’s climbing season following its addition to UNESCO’s World Heritage List last month.
At the 3,776 m summit, climbers cheered as the sun broke through the clouds around 4:40 am on Monday.
They trailed up the mountain which straddles Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures after three of its four climbing routes opened on Sunday midnight.
Another route from Fujinomiya, Shizuoka, will be completely opened by midnight next Sunday.
The mountain’s registration on the world heritage list is expected to attract more climbers this year, so the authorities will face a greater challenge in ensuring adequate safety measures for them and promoting environmental protection.
To help preserve the environment and fund safety measures, the two prefectures will charge a 1,000 yen admission fee on a trial basis for about 10 days from July 25 near the half-way points, and conduct a survey of climbers about the admission fee.
About 350,000 to 400,000 people climb the mountain every year, according to the Yamanashi prefectural government.
As it takes about six hours to climb the mountain by the Fujinomiya route and longer by the other routes, most climbers stayed overnight at mountain lodges to catch the sunrise from the peak.
A ceremony was also held at a Shinto shrine in Fujinomiya to pray for the safety of climbers, with Shizuoka Governor Heita Kawakatsu and Fujinomiya Mayor Hidetada Sudo attending.