In Japan, the authorities want to protect Mount Fuji from “globe-instagramers”

“Cover me this Mount Fuji that I cannot see”…The week of April 29, 2024, Fujikawaguchiko city authorities will begin construction of a mesh net 2.5 meters high and 20 meters long, to hide the view of Mount Fuji from tourists . Mount Fuji is this stratovolcano, this majestic giant, whose representations by Japanese painters in the 19th century strongly influenced European impressionism. And this, well before the tourist influencers, armed no longer with their brushes, but with their smartphones, in search of the best photo, but not necessarily the most original.

Globetrotters who visit Japan, or rather “globe-instagramers”, do not seem to have much imagination. They all meet in the same place, in the same seaside resort of Fujikawaguchiko, in front of the same supermarket, “Lawson”, typical of Japan, with a view of the summit of Mount Fuji. As a result, thousands of people crowd together every day, making the sidewalk in front of the convenience store impassable, while others climb onto the roof of the neighboring clinic to get the best view. So much so that the Japanese authorities decided to block the view of the famous summit.

A decision that comes at just the right time, as the high tourist season begins in Japan where the number of monthly visitors exceeded three million in March 2024 for the first time. As of this week, construction of a barrier will begin to block the view of tourists. Fujikawaguchiko city officials are almost apologetic for having to do this because of “some people who leave their trash and ignore all the rules of the road”, they explain. We are really very far from the Japanese designer Hokusai who captured the sacred mountain in a state of grace and meditation, before creating the famous prints which would inspire a certain Monet. Prints titled the “Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji”without a convenience store or giant net, of course.



The famous wave of the Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai, from the series

The famous wave by Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai, from the series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”, 1830. (ANN RONAN PICTURE LIBRARY / AFP)

But this was a time when there was no need to limit the number of hikers in order to reduce traffic jams on steep slopes, a time when Mount Fuji was not yet connected to Wi-Fi, the one before selfie sticks, when its ascension, necessarily divine, was forbidden to women. But all this goes back a long, long way, to the beginning of the 18th century, when the Fuji volcano, nicknamed the great store of eruptions, had just plunged into a deep sleep, which still lasts today to the point that we sometimes tends to forget that if it is asleep, it is only temporarily, and that its next eruption is only a matter of time.



PREV “We usually couldn’t afford these luxury meals” (video)
NEXT Impressive images of the new volcanic eruption in Iceland (video)