Smallest number of trekkers on Mt. Fuji

Japan's highest peak, Mount Fuji, drew the smallest number of hikers during the summer climbing season in 40 years.

Between July 1 and September 10 this year, 65,519 people went up the mountain on the trail that starts in Yamanashi Prefecture.

The number is the lowest since the earliest available records from 1981, and 120,288 less than the figure from two years ago.

The summer climbing season was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The city of Fujiyoshida counts trekkers at the sixth station of the trail.

City officials say that limited use of the road and the smaller capacity of cabins were factors in the declining number of visitors.

The toll road connecting the foot of the mountain and the fifth station was open only between 3 a.m. and 6 p.m. It had been open around the clock during the climbing season before the pandemic.

The officials are grateful for all the cooperation to open the season this summer even with the pandemic ongoing. They hope to see an increase in visitor numbers next year.

There are other paths up Mount Fuji from Shizuoka Prefecture.