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Why a Japanese store apologized for attracting too many customers – Times of India

WorldWhy a Japanese store apologized for attracting too many customers - Times of India

NEW DELHI: In the scenic town of Fujikawaguchiko, a popular location for capturing Mount Fuji behind the modern facade of a Lawson’s convenience store has led to unexpected consequences. The influx of tourists aiming to snap the perfect photo has prompted local authorities to take drastic measures. As per a CNN report, the town is constructing an eight-foot-tall barrier to obstruct the view of Mount Fuji from the store, in an effort to deter excessive tourism that has disrupted the local community.
The decision comes as the small town, located in Yamanashi Prefecture at the start of one of the most frequented hiking trails up Mount Fuji, struggles with the challenges of overtourism.This phenomenon has escalated to the point where the number of visitors can triple the town’s population during peak season, leading to significant disruptions in daily life for residents. Local officials and business owners near the Lawson’s store have raised concerns about the behavior of tourists, who often leave trash, block traffic, and restrict local movement.
In response to the situation, Lawson’s issued a statement on May 5, expressing regret for the inconvenience caused by the popularity of the store as a photography spot. “We offer our sincere apologies to local residents, customers of these stores, and others for inciting inconvenience and concern due to the popularization of the Lawson Kawaguchiko Station Branch,” the company said. In addition to the town’s barrier, Lawson’s has committed to installing multilingual signs warning against littering and disruptive behaviors and is considering hiring private security to manage the area, the CNN report said.
This issue is part of a broader problem of overtourism that Japan faces, especially following its full reopening post-pandemic. Destinations like Kyoto and Mount Fuji have seen overwhelming crowds, prompting local governments to seek stronger measures to manage the influx of tourists effectively. In Kyoto’s Gion neighborhood, for example, signs and brochures have been distributed to educate tourists on respectful behaviors towards geishas, though challenges persist.
As Fujikawaguchiko prepares to complete the installation of the barrier by the end of the month, the town represents just one of many across Japan grappling with the double-edged sword of popular tourism and local quality of life.

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