Addressing concerns about overtourism’s impact on Mount Fuji, the Yamanashi Prefectural Government is exploring a solution. Governor Kotaro Nagasaki has proposed a light rail transit system to ease the strain of overcrowding.

As Mount Fuji marks its tenth year as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nagasaki recognizes the urgency of addressing the challenges tied to excessive tourism. UNESCO’s designation comes with responsibilities like managing visitor numbers, lessening environmental effects, and ensuring harmony with the site’s natural and historical context. Regrettably, the past decade has seen these challenges worsen, risking the site’s esteemed UNESCO status. Nagasaki’s innovative solution involves replacing the current Fuji Subaru highway leading to Mount Fuji’s fifth station with a light rail system. This system intends to control visitor numbers, reduce private vehicles, and enhance the visitor experience while preserving the area’s natural beauty and spirituality. The Yamanashi Prefectural Government is committed to making this vision a reality and is conducting a feasibility study. They aim to secure support from stakeholders, including local residents, by March 2024. Urgency arises from a twofold increase in fifth station visitors between 2012 and 2019, resulting in overcrowding, environmental problems, and reduced tourist satisfaction. By shifting the focus from quantity to quality, Nagasaki’s initiative strives to protect Mount Fuji’s sanctity while ensuring a sustainable and enriching experience for visitors.