First look at the new screens makes us wonder if this is a good enough deterrent.

Last month, the town of Fujikawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture announced it would be installing blackout screens to block a view of Mt Fuji that had become overrun with tourists. 

Famous on social media as a site where you could take a photo of Mt Fuji seemingly jutting out of the roof of a Lawson convenience store, visitor numbers had recently swelled to unmanageable levels, interfering with traffic, pedestrians, and the front of a dental clinic where tourists would gather. With local residents complaining about tourists smoking, littering, and jaywalking, the local municipality stepped in to curb the problem with blackout screens, which were finally installed today.

▼ The screens stretch 20-metres (65.6-foot) long and 2.5-metres high, as seen in this report below.

On an overcast day like today, the clouds were already doing a good job of concealing the view of Mt Fuji, but with the screens now installed, it’s become impossible to catch a glimpse of the famous mountain from this once-coveted viewpoint. It’s hoped that the screens will stop people from crowding on the private property in front of the dental clinic where they’re installed, and create a ripple effect that eventually reduces tourist numbers.

It’s not the only new deterrent at the site, as a series of nine three-metre-wide, 80-centimetre-high fences have been installed at the edge of the road to discourage people from crossing outside of the crosswalk, which is located at the end of the street. It’s taboo in Japan to cross outside of a crosswalk or even at a red pedestrian light with no traffic, so when foreign visitors are seen committing these violations, it’s not only considered unsafe but a display of bad manners.

This area is primarily residential and was never designed to be a tourist site, so the local municipality hopes the screens will bring things back to how they once were in the quiet neighbourhood. While the effectiveness of the screens is yet to be seen, people in Japan have a few recommendations for those wanting to photograph a mountain and convenience store together, at other locations in the country.

▼ This Lawson, for instance, sits in front of a mountain in Iwate Prefecture.

▼ And this 7-Eleven can be found in Kagawa Prefecture.

They might not be as dramatic as a shot of Mt Fuji, but it’s a reminder that you don’t have to follow the crowds to snap a beautiful shot of Japan. It’s also a reminder of how local governments are becoming bolder in taking a stance against over-tourism when it becomes a problem for local residents, and just as in Kyoto’s Gion, when tourists forget their manners, they aren’t afraid to shut things down.

Sources: Sankei Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Jiji, NHK 
Top image: Pakutaso
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