After initial delay, plan to block view of “Fuji Lawson” is back on track.

As you might be able to guess from the first two syllables in its name, Fujikawaguchiko isn’t far from Mt. Fuji, and the Yamanashi Prefecture town has some great views of Japan’s tallest mountain. Unfortunately, Fujikawaguchiko has been having some problems lately with a tourist-attracting view in a part of town that’s not designed to accommodate large numbers of travelers.

There’s been a recent spike in the number of foreign tourists coming to see and photograph Mt. Fuji from a unique angle, where it seems to be rising from the roof of an otherwise unassuming branch of the Lawson convenience store. The most photogenic view is from directly across the street from the store, in a narrow strip of sidewalk in front of a dentist’s office, which has now become regularly crowded with tourists, a number of whom have left behind litter, blown clouds of smoke from cigarettes, and otherwise exhibited less-than-polite behavior.

In response, at the end of April the city government said that it would be installing opaque black screens between the dental clinic and the road in order to block the view of the mountain. However, while posts to attach the screen to were quickly erected, it’s taking a bit of time to source the 20-meter (65.6-foot) wide, 2.5-meter tall screen, so the view of Mt. Fuji and the Lawson branch is currently still visible.

The Fujikawaguchiko government says, though, that it’s now got its screen-sourcing issue sorted out. Barring any severe rain or other extreme weather-related delays, the screen is estimated to be installed on May 21, at which point Mt. Fuji will be blocked from view for those standing in front of the dentist’s office. In addition, a series of nine three-meter-wide, 80-centimeter-high fences are being installed at the edge of the sidewalk at points along the road to prevent jaywalking, something else a troubling number of tourists have been doing as they dash back and forth across the street in non-crosswalk areas.

It’s sad to think that as a result of tourists’ poor manners local residents who work and receive treatment at the dental clinic will be denied a beautiful view of the most famous symbol of their country, one that they’d had for years. Odds are that it won’t be long until somewhere else becomes the next trendy spot for travelers to photograph Mt. Fuji from, but hopefully when that happens visitors will do a better job of remembering their manners so that everyone can enjoy the view.

Source: Sankei Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun
Top image: Pakutaso
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