Mount Fuji will be closed in summer due to a pandemic

TOKYO: Japan's beloved Mount Fuji will be closed during this year's summer climbing season to prevent the spread of the new one, authorities said Monday.

Shizuoka Prefecture, home to the highest mountain in the country, announced that it would close three of the four main routes to the mountain's peak.

The routes open in the summer, but this year we will keep them closed from July 10 to September 10, the only climbing season for Mount Fuji told AFP.

We are taking this step to avoid spreading the coronavirus, the official said.

It will be the first time that the 3,776-meter (12,388-foot) volcanic mountain trails have been closed since at least 1960 when the prefecture began managing the routes, he added.

The decision comes after the nearby Yamanashi prefecture said it will shut down the Yoshida trail, the most popular hiking route among the four.

The mountain cabins along the four routes will also remain closed.

The mountain, a Unesco A world cultural heritage site, it is located only 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Tokyo and is clearly visible from the Japanese capital.

It hosted some 236,000 climbers last year, according to the official Mount Fuji website.

Despite the majesty of Mount Fuji, many complain about the real experience of climbing it, citing crowded hiking trails and difficult terrain.

Perhaps for this reason, a Japanese proverb says: It is foolish not to climb Mount Fuji once. But it's silly to climb it twice.

The virus outbreak in Japan remains small compared to those seen in parts of Europe and the United States, with more than 16,000 confirmed confirmed infections and 749 deaths.

Last week, Japan lifted a state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus for most of the country, but kept it in place for the main cities of Tokyo and.