Following a raft of requests, free Internet access will be available on Mount Fuji starting July 10 in a bid to bring more overseas tourists to Japan’s highest peak.
Working with telecommunications carrier NTT Docomo Inc., Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures will set up Wi-Fi hotspots at eight locations on the mountain, including three cottages around the summit and a general management center and a resort facility at the fifth station in Yamanashi Prefecture.
The free Internet access will be available at the fifth station from July 10 through Sept. 14 and around the summit between July 10 and Sept. 10, according to the Yamanashi prefectural government.
Climbers who are extremely slow could be out of luck, however. The free Wi-Fi will be available for 72 hours from the first login.
The service will be available to all hikers, but the two prefectures are more focused on attracting climbers from overseas through e-mail and social media.
“We hope people will use the service not only to tell about the attractions of Mount Fuji to people abroad but also to obtain weather and other information to ensure their safety,” said an official at the Yamanashi prefectural government’s tourism promotion division.
Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures plan to distribute 70,000 brochures and special cards in foreign languages at the mountain’s fifth and sixth stations to show tourists the predetermined passwords and steps to access the Wi-Fi service.
According to Yamanashi prefectural officials, the number of overseas visitors to the mountain has been increasing every year. An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 foreign tourists hiked along the Yoshidaguchi course last year.
However, many climbers from the United States and Europe have said they wanted to use the Internet to share their experiences while on the mountain, the officials said.
Source: Kohei Watanabe –ajw.asahi.com