Near-finished Japan condo blocking Mount Fuji to be razed

Near-finished Japan condo blocking Mount Fuji to be razed

/ 02:47 PM June 12, 2024

Near-finished Japan condo blocking Mount Fuji to be razed

Mount Fuji (back L), Japan’s highest mountain at 3,776 meters (12,389 feet), is silhouetted during sunset behind the highrise buildings of the Shinjuku area in downtown Tokyo on November 20, 2023. FILE PHOTO/Agence France-Presse

TOKYO — A Japanese property developer has decided to demolish a near-complete, 10-story condominium in Tokyo after pushback from neighbors who said it blocked a view of Mount Fuji.

The company Sekisui House said in a statement late Tuesday it had “voluntarily decided to discontinue the project”.


“There is no denying that the current situation has an enormous impact on the landscape. We have decided to prioritize the view from the road,” it said.


READ: Japan to build anti-tourist fence at Mount Fuji viewpoint

The recently built apartments are in part of western Tokyo famous for its picturesque views of Japan’s highest mountain, which appears to soar into the sky from the end of the road named Fujimi or “Fuji Viewing” street.

But the tall new block spoils this effect because it obstructs half of the majestic active volcano.

Construction went ahead despite protests by residents proud of the street’s scenery, and tenants had been due to move into the condo in Tokyo’s Kunitachi district next month.

READ: Holes poked in Mount Fuji barrier, Japan town says

Then — in a shock move — developer Sekisui House recently put up a notice saying the complex would be demolished.

There was nothing illegal about the construction process, Sekisui House said Tuesday, but “our consideration of long-distance views of Mount Fuji has been insufficient”.


For some residents, the decision was welcome news.

“We didn’t want to lose the appeal of our town, where on a sunny day you have a clear view of Mount Fuji,” one local told broadcaster TBS.

The debacle is not the only recent flashpoint around views of Mount Fuji, which is covered in snow most of the year but attracts hundreds of thousands of climbers in the summer.

More casual and sometimes ill-mannered tourists are also flocking to surrounding areas to snap Instagram-perfect pictures of the 3,776-meter (12,388-foot) peak — testing the patience of locals.

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An exasperated Japanese town took the rare step last month of deliberately blocking a view of Mount Fuji with a large black barrier in a bid to deter photo-hungry tourists.

TAGS: Japan, Mount Fuji

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