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No. of Mt. Fuji climbers during summer recovered to 60% of pre-pandemic figure

Foreigners climbing Mount Fuji in Yamanashi Prefecture are seen at the seventh station of the Yoshida trail on June 30, 2022. (Mainichi/Kentaro Ikushima)

KOFU -- The number of Mount Fuji climbers in the two months since the opening of the Yoshida trail in central Japan's Yamanashi Prefecture for summer increased 1.76 times from the previous year's figure, but still was only about 60% of pre-pandemic levels, the Fujiyoshida Municipal Government has announced.

    The city said on Sept. 1 that a total of 96,649 people had climbed Mount Fuji in this year's climbing season between July 1 and Aug. 31, during which for the first time since 2019 there weren't any restrictions on people's activities, such as the declaration of a COVID-19 state of emergency. There were only 54,939 climbers in the same period last year.

    Although the number of climbers is on the road to recovery, the figure for this season was only 60% of that seen in 2019, which stood at 160,655. Trails to the top of Mount Fuji will close on Sept. 10, ending this year's summer hiking season.

    According to the municipal government, the highest number of climbers in a single day during this year's season was recorded on Sunday, Aug. 14, with 3,901 people. Last year, the number of hikers exceeded 3,000 on just one day during the season, but increased to four days this year.

    The city explained that a spate of bad weather days from the middle to the end of August and the nationwide spread of coronavirus infections since mid-July contributed to the sluggish increase in this year's number of clumbers, compared to during hiking seasons before the coronavirus pandemic.

    (Japanese original by Satoru Yamamoto, Kofu Bureau)

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