Tokyo, May 18 (efe-epa).- The iconic Mount Fuji, a symbol of Japan, will close its four main climbing routes this summer to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among mountaineers.
Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture, which manages three of the four main routes to Japan’s highest peak, announced Monday that it will not open any of the roads, in addition to a similar announcement made earlier by Yamanashi Prefecture about the trail.
In the past summers, large numbers of mountaineers climbed to the 3,776-meter summit in the official climbing season, between Jul. 10 and Sep. 10, when much of the snow melts and the danger of climbing lessens.
Sixty percent of these climbers made it through the Yamanashi prefecture on the “Yoshida” route, according to data collected by state media Kyodo News, but until the announcement on Monday, the possibility of reaching the summit this summer on the roads of Shizuoka remained.
It is the first time since 1960 that the four routes to the top of this Japanese volcano will be closed during the climbing season, as detailed by the prefectures.
The cable cars established along the routes to shorten the path will also be closed.
Mount Fuji, traditionally considered sacred in Japan, is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and attracted some 236,000 mountaineers last year, according to data from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. EFE-EPA