FUJIYOSHIDA, Yamanashi -- The Yoshida trail on the Yamanashi Prefecture side of Mount Fuji opened on July 1, marking the beginning of the first summer mountain climbing season in two years after the opening of access to Japan's highest peak was canceled in 2020 due to the spread of the coronavirus.
As the pandemic continues, mountain lodges along the trail have taken measures to prevent infections, such as installing partitions in sleeping areas, in a bid to attract climbers. The number of people preparing to scale the mountain near the fifth station and other locations since June 30 is said to be lower than usual.
Hirokazu Nakano, 56, a real estate agent from Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, said, "This is my first time to climb Mount Fuji. There are only a few climbers, so I want to enjoy our hike at our own pace."
The other three trails on the Shizuoka Prefecture side are scheduled to open on July 10.
(Japanese original by Ayano Tanaka, Kofu Bureau)