Millions visit Japan’s highest peak each year, creating pollution and putting pressure on medical centre

The hum of anticipation, like the gathering clouds, hangs over the fifth stage of Mount Fuji, the preferred starting point for climbers to begin their ascent of Japan’s highest and best-known mountain.

They fuel up on noodles and curry, complete with a conical-shaped portion of rice, while those coming in the opposite direction buy mementoes of their time on the sacred peak – everything from branded whisky to Fuji-shaped cakes.

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