Watch: Japanese town blocks view of Mount Fuji to deter tourists

Views of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji have been blocked after a popular photo spot became a magnet for tourists.

Officials erected the barrier on a busy road in Fujikawaguchiko to obstruct the view of the 12,388ft mountain and the Lawson convenience store beneath it.

For locals, the mass of visitors and their refusal to obey rules on littering and parking had become a nuisance and traffic hazard.

A person takes pictures of Mount Fuji from across the street of a convenience store,
The Lawson convenience store became a popular photo spot for tourists - KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP

Kikue Katsumata, 73, a lifelong resident of Fujikawaguchiko, said: “I’m really happy that foreigners are coming to our town, but when it comes to taking pictures from the Lawson, the road is a bit narrow and it can be dangerous when people dash across without using a crosswalk.”

March and April set all-time records for visitor arrivals, driven by pent-up demand after the pandemic and the yen’s slide to a 34-year low, making Japan an irresistible bargain.

In good news for the economy, travellers spent a record 1.75 trillion yen (£6.9 billion) in the first three months of 2024, according to a tourist agency.

The drastic decision to block the view of Mount Fuji follows tensions across the country as Japan reckons with the consequences of its tourism boom.

The western city of Osaka and the hot-spring resort town Hakone are among municipalities considering new tourism taxes to deal with deluge of visitors.

A black shading net is installed on the opposite side of the Lawson Kawaguchiko Ekimae convenience store
Officials erected the barrier after tourists became a nuisance in the area - FRANCK ROBICHON/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Cyril Malchand, a 45-year old visitor from France, found out about the fence online and made a special trip to be among the last to take in the view. He said he empathised with the locals.

“When I see that there could be problems with people crossing the road without watching cars, I don’t find it that bad that they’re setting up that fence,” he said.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.