Climbing Mt. Fuji: New Fees and Reservation System for Summer 2024

Climbing Mt. Fuji, one of Japan’s most iconic adventures, is about to become more expensive and complex starting this summer. The Yamanashi Prefecture government has announced a mandatory fee for hiking the popular Yoshida Route and introduced a new reservation system to manage the influx of climbers.

Mandatory Hiking Fee

Starting at the Mt. Fuji 5th Station, approximately halfway up the mountain and the highest point accessible by car or bus, hikers on the Yoshida Route will now be required to pay a “hiking fee” of 2,000 yen (US$13) per person. This fee must be paid before passing through the trail gate, which will be closed from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily.

Daily Hiker Limit and Reservation System

To control the number of hikers, a daily limit of 4,000 climbers will be imposed on the Yoshida Route. Advance reservations, which must be made at least one day prior, are now available through the official Mt. Fuji Climbing website. These reservations, which require advance payment of the hiking fee, cannot be cancelled, changed, or refunded, even in the event of public transportation delays. Same-day reservations are not available.

Payment Options

Payment of the hiking fee can be made via credit card or unspecified cashless payment methods. However, those without reservations are advised to bring enough cash, as cashless payments might be challenging during extreme weather conditions.

Mountain Hut Reservations

Hikers with reservations for mountain huts along the Yoshida Route are guaranteed trail access without needing a separate hiking reservation. However, the 2,000-yen hiking fee is still required and is not included in the mountain hut payment. Mountain hut guests are allowed to pass through the trail gate even during the restricted hours, although hikers are generally discouraged from climbing between 4 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Purpose of Fees and Donations

The hiking fee supports several initiatives:

  • Safety and conduct management
  • Foreign language support
  • Trail and gate maintenance
  • Emergency contact points and disaster response
  • Overall trail management

In addition to the hiking fee, hikers are still encouraged to make a 1,000-yen-per-person donation for:

  • First aid stations
  • Portable toilets
  • Safety support information centers
  • Local disaster prevention organizations
  • Prevention of invasive species

Encouraging Overnight Stays

The new policies are designed to encourage hikers to stay overnight in mountain huts, thereby reducing the number of climbers attempting to summit and descend in a single night. This is intended to enhance safety by ensuring hikers acclimate to the high altitude and to increase revenue for local businesses.

Reservation Opening Date

Reservations for the 2024 summer climbing season will open on May 20 at 10 a.m. through the official Mt. Fuji Climbing website.

For more information, visit the Official Website for Mt. Fuji Climbing.

These changes reflect a concerted effort by the Yamanashi Prefecture to manage the increasing popularity of Mt. Fuji climbs while ensuring safety and sustainability. By implementing a fee and reservation system, the government aims to preserve the natural beauty and integrity of Japan’s highest peak.