A Railway on Mt. Fuji?! Why Critics Are Crying Foul

Mt. Fuji may lose its World Heritage Status if it can’t control overtourism. But one proposed solution — a railway — has critics up in arms.

Unseen Japan
4 min readNov 25, 2023

By Himari Semans

Light rail on Mt. Fuji

Yamanashi Prefecture’s governor is concerned about overtourism at Mt. Fuji. His plan? Put light rail on the mountain. Sadly for the governor, not everyone’s on board with a plan that critics say will spoil the sacredness of the beloved mountain.

A briefing of skeptics

Mt. Fuji
Picture: よっちゃん必撮仕事人 / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

Thursday this week, Yamanashi Governor Nagasaki Kotaro held the second resident briefing on the prefectural government’s plan. The goal: lay down tracks for a light rail transit (LRT) system on Mt. Fuji. The move is aimed at limiting overtourism, which has riddled the World Heritage Site since its designation by UNESCO a decade ago.

The briefing took place in Fujiyoshida, the biggest city around the northern base of the mountain. Governor Nagasaki spoke for nearly 45 minutes to about 780 residents including Fujiyoshida Mayor Horiuchi Shigeru, an opposing critic…