A local Japanese government said Wednesday it will work with police to restrict the number of hikers who can use a route to climb to the summit of Mt. Fuji if it becomes dangerous from overcrowding.

The Yoshida Trail, located on the Yamanashi Prefecture side of the mountain, will become subject to limits from the 5th station, which is accessible via car or bus. Possible closures are slated to begin Friday and last through this year's season ending on Sept. 10.

Climbers walk near the fifth station of Mt. Fuji on July 1, 2023, as the summer climbing season for the highest mountain in Japan officially begins the same day, with the opening of a route on the Yamanashi Prefecture side of the 3,776-meter volcano. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The move comes as Mt. Fuji, straddling Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, reopened to an influx of visitors last month after the country lifted all COVID-19 restrictions and marked the 10th anniversary of registration of Japan's tallest peak as a World Heritage site in June.

Safety guides will patrol the area and provide information to the prefectural government if there are dangers of accidents or falling rocks from too many hikers.

The government will then send a request for limiting the number of hikers to the police, which will ultimately make the decision regarding whether or not restrict trail use.

It said earlier this month that it was considering restricting numbers of hikers on the trail from the 8th station if they exceed 4,000. It did not specify, though, how it would implement the limits.

But those who work with mountain lodges located along the trails have asked for the restrictions to begin from the 5th station due to difficulties in securing resting spots around the summit.

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