A Japanese city has lifted a ban to prevent tourists from taking selfies at Mount Fuji

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(CNN) — A picturesque Japanese town is erecting a giant mesh barrier to block a popular selfie spot near Mount Fuji.

Fujikawaguchiko, at the foot of the Noki Yoshida Trail Mount FujiInvaded by foreign tourists trying to get the perfect photo of Japan's most famous mountain.

Specifically, they stop in front of Lawson's, an establishment of a large Japanese convenience store chain, to capture the contrast between the busy, neon-lit store and the quiet mountain behind.

Now the city has had enough and is putting up netting to prevent sightings, a local official told CNN.

A tourist takes a photo at the Fujikawaguchiko barrier raising site.  (Photo: Philip Fang/AFP/Getty Images).

A tourist takes a photo at the Fujikawaguchiko barrier raising site. (Photo: Philip Fang/AFP/Getty Images).

The official, who did not want to be named, said there have been constant problems with tourists leaving litter and disobeying traffic rules. Despite signs and security guards being put up to warn them, the situation persists.

“It is regrettable that we had to take these steps,” the official said.

The mesh, 2.5 meters high (8 feet) and 20 meters wide (65 feet), will be installed early next week.

The city of Fujikawaguchiko is located in Yamanashi Prefecture, about 100 km (62 mi) north of Fuji and west of Tokyo.

Small-town ravaging crowds are part of a larger problem plaguing Japan.

Japan has faced problems with over-tourism since reopening after the pandemic in late 2022. March 2024 is the biggest tourism month in the country's history with more than three million foreign tourists.

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Many of them head straight for Mount Fuji, Japan's iconic and UNESCO World Heritage Site, leaving litter and erosion in their path.

“Overtourism — and all its consequences, such as litter, increased CO2 emissions and irresponsible climbers — is the biggest problem facing Mount Fuji,” Masatake Izumi, a traveler, told CNN Travel last year.

The 3,776-meter (12-foot) mountain, known in Japanese as Fuji-san, is nicknamed “Trash Mountain” by some locals.

In an effort to reduce overcrowding, the Yamanashi Prefectural Government announced Several new policies for tourists, Including a limit of 4,000 hikers per day and a mandatory fee of 2,000 yen (US$13) per person. Previously, payment was optional.

Putting up a barrier to block photographers has precedent elsewhere in the world: There's the case of the Austrian city of Hallstatt, which is said to have inspired the origin of the hit Disney movie “Frozen.”

Hallstatt has about 800 permanent residents and receives 10,000 tourists a day in high season. He built a wooden fence May 2023 as a deterrent against selfie-takers.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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