Mount Fuji Becomes UNESCO World Cultural Treasure, Reactions

Mount Fuji is to be designated as an UNESCO world heritage site

It was announced on June 22 that Mount Fuji had finally been designated as a world heritage site by the UNESCO committee, and Japanese netizens are understandably elated at the news that this magnificent mountain will get the global recognition it deserves.

The site was recorded as a “cultural” treasure rather than a “natural” one, thus paying homage to the huge cultural significance of Mount Fuji in art, literature, and Japanese cultural life.

While the comments express joy and congratulations at the announcement, many netizens also urge those who will visit the site from now on to show concern for the natural environment, and to stop dumping rubbish at the mountain, which has become a major issue in recent years.

From Yahoo! Japan:

Mount Fuji To Be World Heritage Site, Mihonomatsubara Has Elimination Overturned, Also Becoming Part Of World Heritage Site; “Object of Worship, Wellspring of Art” — UNESCO Committee

On June 22, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Committee decided that Mount Fuji would be recorded as a world cultural treasure at a meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. They highly appraised Mount Fuji, which had been put forward by Japan, saying “The impressive sight of Mount Fuji is an object of worship and a source of artistic inspiration, and has even had a remarkable influence on the development of Western art”.

With regards to Mihonomatsubara (Shizuoka), which the advisory committee, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), had eliminated from the adjudication, it was decided by the UNESCO committee that the elimination be reversed, and that Mihonomatsubara should also be recorded as part of the world heritage site.

The view of Mount Fuji from Mihonomatsubara.

The view of Mount Fuji from Mihonomatsubara.

This is the 17th world heritage site in Japan, continuing on from the “Ogasawara Islands” (Tokyo) and the “The Historic Monuments and Sites of Hirazumi” which were added in 2011, and the 13th cultural treasure. The sites will be officially designated on June 16, when the committee’s deliberations will finish.

As a world heritage site, its official name will be “Mount Fuji: Object of Worship, Wellspring of Art”, and aside from the mountain itself with an alitude of over 1,500m, the site will be comprised of 25 structures and assets, such as the Fuji Five Lakes and the Asama Shrine.

In April, while ICOMOS judged that Mount Fuji was suitable for registration as a world heritage site, they stated that “we cannot say that [Mihonomatsubara] is an absolutely vital element to Mount Fuji as a mountain of worship and art,” and made it a condition of Mount Fuji’s registration that Mihonomatsubara be excluded.

After a group of government representatives entered Phnom Penh, they individually explained the importance of Mihonomatsubara to the committee members. In the committee deliberations on June 22, virtually all of the committee members agreed to register Mount Fuji as a heritage site, and there were successive opinions even about Mihonomatsubara that is was important asset and should be registered with Mount Fuji as a whole.

In the run up to the registration, the committee have requested that the Japanese government submit a written report by 2016 about preservation of the state of the site, which is to feature strategies on how to deal with the anticipated increase in visitors to Mount Fuji.

Comments from Yahoo! Japan:


From now on, those who climb the mountain need to take their rubbish home with them.


Congratulations! Stimulating the economy through tourism is great, but you mustn’t leave your rubbish there.

埼玉 矢倉かつお(shi…)さん:

As a Japanese, I want to say this in a big voice:


Mount Fuji, the pride of Japan!
I hope that we go on preserving it carefully.


Now that Mount Fuji is registered as a world heritage site, I really wish people would stop throwing their rubbish away there!


This is going to foster destruction of the environment.
We can’t handle it even when it’s just bad-mannered Japanese people.
Measures and policies to protect Mount Fuji are needed.


I think that there is no doubt that Mount Fuji should be a world heritage site,
but also including Mihonomatsubara was a happy mistake!


Didn’t expect Mihonomatsubara.


Mount Fuji is the symbol and pride of Japan!
It’s splendid that it’s become a world heritage site!
It’s a mystery to me as to why it wasn’t one up to now!


It’s really good that didn’t leave out Mihonomatsubara.
I guess that they did quite a bit of negotiating with each country, both in public and in private, but this kind of lobbying activity just gives the impression that we’re not very good at it…
But more than anything, it would be good if what’s happened this time could become a good experience, and give confidence when we’re “advocating Japan” at other times.


I hope that the number of bad-mannered Asians doesn’t increase.


Of the two, I wish that it had been registered as a natural treasure rather than a cultural one…I want to protect the natural beauty of Mount Fuji with all I have, rather than its mountain tourism.


As a Japanese I’m so amazingly proud that Mount Fuji has been chosen as a world heritage site!!
I guess that the number of tourists will increase all the more, but I want them to support a beautiful Mount Fuji.


Seems like the Chinks will invade by a different mountain route…


So glad that Mihonomatsubara was included~
When I come back from overseas, and I see Mount Fuji, in my heart I shout “I’M HOOOME~” ^ ^


Congratulations! But now I guess that there will be queues to climb Mount Fuji….I don’t mind if they start charging because it costs money to preserve nature, but if people are going to be queuing in huge crowds to climb~~~~


It’s wonderful news, but it’s only in Japan that we’d immediately start saying economic effects, economic effects!!
If you’re trying to make a profit through an area, then isn’t it better that it’s not a world heritage site?!


For those who will go to Mount Fuji, please co-operate with the Let’s Make The Mountain Clean 530 Movement! [530 can be read as “go-mi-zero”, which sounds like “rubbish zero” in Japanese].

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