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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Admission Fee For Mt. Fuji - About Bloody Time

According to a news report out of the Japan Times, the governors of Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures say they are contemplating charging an admission fee to visit Mount Fuji in a bid to finance environmental efforts on the iconic mountain.

Yamanashi Governor Yokouchi Shomei  (surname first) says Yamanashi and Shizuoka, whose borders are straddled by Japan's highest mountain, will jointly determine how much to charge and when to commence a fee-based system. An admission fee might be introduced on a trial basis at an early date, he added.

All I can say is - what, you weren't doing so before?

I live in Canada, and everything that can be charged for is being charged for here. What the hell is Japan doing not charging for admission to Mt. Fuji?

People want to see it. People want to climb it. It's part of Japan's park's programs, why the hell aren't prefectures making some money from this? Seriously.

Yes, I am aghast at some of the crap I have to pay for, but while it's true that Mt. Fuji is one of Japan's national treasures, let's not be stupid here.

People are always going to want to see Mt. Fuji, so why not profit from it. And if it's not profit, then at least use the financial remuneration to pay for the upkeep in and around the area.

Hell... want to see Niagara Falls? First you get the privilege of paying for parking.Then you can pay to get some food. Pay to get a ticket to have access to the grounds outside to view the two sets of Falls (Niagara and the American). You can still pay to take a boat ride in the gorge beneath Niagara Falls. Pay to visit the tunnels under and beside the waters. Pay for more food. Pay for souvenirs. And, let's not forget the cost of gas to get to and from Niagara Falls - which for me in Toronto is 100 km there and another 100 km back.

I only have a family of three, but a day trip to see Niagara Falls can easily cost me a $200.

So what if tourist to Mt. Fuji now have to pay a few yen to see it. It's so freaking huge, you don't actually have to get up close to it to see it.

When I lived in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan, I was a 3 o4 hour shinkansen train ride away. I could also (supposedly) be able to see Mt. Fuji from my town. I never did in three years, but then again, I wasn't always looking... and when I tried, it was raining, cloudy, snowy or misty or foggy. But I was far a away. You could still be 30 minutes away by car and see Mt. Fuji if you don't want to pay the admission price.

But even then - so what? It's a tourist attraction, so you pay for it.

I have no idea why it's news - except for the stupidity of these prefectures not having already been charging viewing rates for these past 10 decades.

I have no idea why the media isn't reporting that.

By the way, I never saw Mt. Fuji in three years, and yet I still feel like I had a fulfilling life in Japan. My friend Michael who lived in Tokyo for five never even saw Kyoto, a place I visited maybe four times and still never saw it all. He also never visited Mt. Fuji. Talking with him this morning before I saw this story, we both agree that we still saw a lot of Japan. For him it was a money issue. For me it was crap luck.

How often can one travel past Mt. Fuji in a shinkansen bullet train and have it obscured by cloud. I'm still not convinced of its existence.

I guess you can always pays yer money and takes yer chances.

Andrew Joseph


  1. I saw Fuji-san all the time - either from the Shinkansen (bullet train) ride past it, or from Tokyo, or from Tochigi-Ken - granted all those times YOU weren't around me then! LOL!

    Paying to use facilities and services on the mountain (or the overpriced ones at once-is-enough-Niagara-Falls) - fair.

    Paying to simply see - not fair.

    1. yes - paying to see as you drive by is stupid... But, if you are inside an area designed to provide a better access view - sure, pay for it.
      Matthew - do you want to write something about anything? A few lines even?