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Tourists are already cutting holes in the Mount Fuji barrier built by a small town to stop overpopulation in the area.

  • A local official told AFP that the curtain installed by a Japanese city to block Mount Fuji already had a hole in it.

  • The official said 10 finger-sized holes had been discovered in the net since it was erected last week.

  • Authorities installed the barrier because tourists were crowding, throwing trash and entering the area.

It’s been about a week since a Japanese resort erected an eight-foot-high fence to block a panoramic view of Mount Fuji that was drawing tourists to nearby businesses.

But authorities in Fujikawaguchiko have already discovered holes in the black net, a city official told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

“It’s a question of manners. It’s a shame,” the anonymous official said. He added that about 10 finger-sized holes have been discovered so far.

He said a security guard was stationed near the curtain between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and that the holes must have been created while the fence was not monitored, according to AFP.

However, the official told the media outlet that the barrier was, for the most part, fulfilling its role of dispersing photo-hungry tourists.

People walk past the black screen as the town of Fujikawaguchiko built a screen to deter tourists from taking photos of Mount Fuji.People walk past the black screen as the town of Fujikawaguchiko built a screen to deter tourists from taking photos of Mount Fuji.

People walk past the black screen as the town of Fujikawaguchiko built a screen to deter tourists from taking photos of Mount Fuji.David Mareuil/Anadolu via Getty Images

Officials installed the net, which stretches about 65 feet, last week as local residents and businesses complained about bad behavior from tourists flocking to a Lawson convenience store.

The snow-capped peak of Mount Fuji dominates the store’s roof seen from across the street – a view made famous on social media.

But people living and working in Fujikawaguchiko said visitors often litter, cross the sidewalk, obstruct traffic and trespass in search of the perfect shot.

A nearby dental clinic issued a statement on May 1 saying tourists would park in patient spaces, eat and smoke under houses and shout at staff when asked to move.

The clinic said the curtain would obscure its entrance from the road and block a major car exit, but added the fencing was an “unavoidable measure” to deal with tourist disruption.

This photo taken on May 20, 2024 shows tourists crowding the sidewalk to take photos of Mount Fuji from opposite a convenience store in Fujikawaguchiko city, Yamanashi Prefecture.This photo taken on May 20, 2024 shows tourists crowding the sidewalk to take photos of Mount Fuji from opposite a convenience store in Fujikawaguchiko city, Yamanashi Prefecture.

This photo taken on May 20, 2024 shows tourists crowding the sidewalk to take photos of Mount Fuji from opposite a convenience store in Fujikawaguchiko city, Yamanashi Prefecture.KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

“The lives of local residents have been disrupted,” a city official told Japanese newspaper Mainichi. “We have been pushed beyond our limits by the increase in the number of foreign tourists in recent months.”

The influx of tourists to Fujikawaguchiko highlights a strong resurgence in foreign visitor arrivals to Japan after the COVID-19 pandemic. Foreigners made about 25 million visits to the country in 2023, compared with just 3.8 million visits to Japan the previous year, according to government statistics.

That’s still lower than Japan’s record of 31 million arrivals in 2019. But arrivals in January, February and March this year jumped about 70% to 88% compared to the same periods in 2023, allowing the country to match its level of pre-pandemic totals.

Visitors spent an estimated $11.2 billion during those three months, and Japan’s national government hopes to eventually increase tourist arrivals to 60 million annually by 2030.

Read the original article on Business Insider